Braves among the betting favorites to land Shohei Ohtani

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Shohei Ohtani will be the most highly sought after free agent in the history of baseball and maybe sports in general. Longevity aside, there’s never been a player at the peak of their career playing better than the Japanese unicorn. Though most people don’t consider the Braves to be the favorites to land him, the club is certainly among them, currently listed with the fifth-best odds.

I am in the majority when I say the Angels have virtually no chance of retaining Ohtani as well as the Dodgers are overwhelming favorites. However, I might be in the minority when I say the two clubs in the Big Apple don’t have that good of a chance.

Firstly, most believe he doesn’t want to come to the east coast, which makes sense. He’s from Japan and it’s much closer to home on the west coast. Moreover, and this is just a hunch, I believe he values winning more than money.

He’s made it well known that he wants to win, so if he does somehow come to the eastern seaboard, why not join the team with the best chance to do just that? The Braves are set up to compete for World Series after World Series until the end of the decade. Yes, the Mets and Yankees will compete, but neither are in the same conversation as the Braves.

Atlanta wouldn’t be able to match dollars with the Mets and Yankees, but nobody is set up to compete like the Braves. If Shohei Ohtani places winning above all else, I could see Alex Anthopoulos pulling off the impossible.

What was once considered a pipe dream is now slightly more attainable. I still think the Dodgers offer the best of both worlds. LA is close to Japan, and they’re set up to compete for championships. I don’t think the odds above reflect how heavy of favorites they really are; just don’t count out the Braves in the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes.

Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire

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