Shohei Ohtani Out of MVP Race Already? Two-Way Phenom Beat Himself Out of Top Honor

Published 04/16/2024, 1:30 PM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

Shohei Ohtani has been embroiled in the Ippei Mizuhara scandal, which may have impacted the beginning of his MLB season. But the Los Angeles Dodgers superstar has since recovered and seems to be getting into a good rhythm. But Ohtani may have lost the chance to win MVP this year, and it is due to something that is completely out of control. 

The two-way star has impacted the game over the last 3–4 seasons. Winning two AL MVP awards unanimously put him in the history books, in a league of his own. But Shohei Ohtani may now face the consequences of his greatness in the 2024 MVP voting. 

Shohei Ohtani is only a DH this season


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In each of the years that Shohei Ohtani won his MVPs, the Japanese star excelled as a two-way star. He had an OPS of .900 or more and a sub-3.5 ERA in both of those MVP years, according to Baseball Reference. This season, he will only play as a DH, limiting his impact on the game beyond his big hitting. Furthermore, Ohtani holds the honor of being the only DH to have won the League MVP ever in both the AL and NL. 

via Reuters

Now, the Japanese star will have a difficult time winning the MVP while recovering from surgery to repair his UCL. His previous exemplary play as a two-way star makes it tough to win the award in 2024 as just a DH. Furthermore, his teammate Mookie Betts looks like a favorite alongside Ronald Acuna Jr. 


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Although Shohei Ohtani may not win the award, he will certainly give it his best shot, maybe even finishing high in the MVP voting. It will be interesting to see how his season ends up developing after a somewhat slow start. The $700 million slugger has also managed to clear his biggest off-field obstacle recently.

Ohtani is free from the Ippei Mizuhara scandal


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Ippei Mizuhara recently admitted to stealing $16 million from Shohei Ohtani. The two-way phenom was caught up in his former interpreter’s gambling scandal. But with Mizuhara set to be charged, Ohtani has escaped his biggest off-field distraction. The $700 million star was also indirectly involved in an incident with the fan who caught his first Dodgers homer. But Ohtani helped right the Dodgers’ mistake and made it up to the fans. 

Now that he can focus solely on baseball and has been getting into a good rhythm, the Dodgers star will be at his best. Do you think Shohei Ohtani can challenge for the 2024 NL MVP, or has he already beaten himself? Kindly share your thoughts in the comments below.


Written by:

Pranay Mukherjee


One take at a time

Pranay Mukherjee is an MLB writer at EssentiallySports, with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. His expertise lies in cheat sheets, post-game analysis, and trade rumors, providing readers with comprehensive coverage of the sport. Pranay is an avid follower of baseball and is a staunch supporter of the Yankees, firmly believing that it is time for the New York team to break their World Series jinx.
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Edited by:

Riya Singhal