To say that Japanese baseball star Shohei Ohtani was the hottest thing in the MLB right now would be the understatement of the century. The 27-year-old enjoyed an incredible season and, as a result, won, unanimously, the AL MVP award even though his Los Angeles Angels side failed to make it to the postseason for the seventh season on the spin.
Ohtani hit 46 home runs from just 23 starts and became the sixth player in the history of the game to hit at least 45 home runs and at least 25 stolen bases in the same season. Shohei posted other unreal numbers, including 156 strikeouts and 44 walks, and in honor of his achievements, Tokyo Tower will be lit up in Los Angeles Angels colors to mark the achievements of their countryman.
The performances put in by Ohtani were frankly extraordinary and not the kind of displays anyone can predict; such is the unpredictable nature of the world of baseball and in particular the MLB. Indeed, that’s why an informative and effective MLB betting guide is invaluable to anyone looking to form a betting strategy for the next season.
Perhaps having a player of Ohtani’s obvious talents could push the Angeles next season and lead the Anaheim-based side and make them worthy of the attention as you set about selecting possible picks for 2022. They are currently sitting at (+4000) to pick up their second-ever World Series title.
As well as being a baseball player in the red-hot form, Shohei Ohtani is clearly also something of a player when it comes to investments, and he has chosen to take a big stake in Crypto firm FTX.
As part of his agreement with FTX, Ohtani becomes a global ambassador for the brand and is one of many high-profile deals struck by owner Sam Bankman-Fried.
Ohtani’s payment will be made entirely in cryptocurrency and equity in FTX and is a player that Bankman-Fried hopes will further the exposure of his company;
“We are hoping to have a similarly revolutionary impact on what fintech means and what personal finance apps look like,”
Bankman-Fried commented, referencing Ohtani’s historic addition to the All-Star team as both a pitcher and batter.
FTX owns the naming rights to NBA side Miami Heat’s home arena and has also done sponsorship deals with NFL legend Tom Brady (and his wife Gisele Bundchen), Rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Golden State Warriors star, Steph Curry.
The crypto firm is now valued at around $25 billion, an increase of $7 billion from just three months previous, and it’s understandable that they’d use key celebrities and stars to help push their service.
This comes in the wake of the Los Angeles Lakers home court, the Staples Center, being renamed the Crypto.com arena, on Christmas Eve, just in time for their big match-up with the Brooklyn Nets.
It’s clear that the world of crypto is heading more and more mainstream, and the use of leading sports teams and players to help push that message is a solid path to tread.
As for Ohtani, the numbers he posted in 2021 pretty much came from nowhere, and he’ll have a hell of a time trying to get anywhere near the heights he scaled when next season comes along, and it may become a case of managing expectations for the Angel star.
2022 MVP Odds
It’s still too early to place any sort of futures bet on MVP odds, but Ohtani is almost certainly the frontrunner to win in 2022. Teammate Mike Trout should be in the mix as well after a calf injury ended his 2021 season.
On the National League side, 2021 winner Bryce Harper will be one of the early favorites. Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis Jr should give him a run for the money.
Keep an eye on several former Cubs as they make a case for MVP. Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Javy Baez are all pending free agents, and depending where they land, they could be strong dark horse contenders.
After an ugly 2021 season where they finished 71-91, it’s hard to see any current Cubs in the conversation, though Willson Contreras (.237/.340/.438 last season) is likely to have the best odds when the books open.