If there is a team that can weather the absence of an injured superstar, it's the Los Angeles Dodgers, who seem to be in the business not just of winning baseball games but collecting top-tier players. With Mookie Betts on the 10-day injured list and expected to miss several weeks because of a hand injury, the Dodgers need more from two-time American League Most Valuable Player Shohei Ohtani.

The good news for the Dodgers amid Betts' absence is that Ohtani continues to produce at a high level and is even now listed as the overall favorite to win MVP in the National League. Over at FanDuel Sportsbook, the 29-year-old Ohtani has the shortest odds to win the award. He has a price of +145 to come away with the honor. Betts, who used to be the NL MVP chalk has dropped to +5000 at the time of this writing.

Betts suffered the injury after getting hit by a Dan Altavilla fastball during last Sunday's series finale against the Kansas City Royals at home. The Dodgers won that game, but it came at the expense of the health of Betts, who went hitless in the said contest.

Despite his unproductive stint in the Royals game, Betts still has decent batting splits in the 2024 MLB season, thus far. Betts is hitting .304/.405/.488 with 10 home runs and 40 RBIs through his first 283 at-bats. However, Shohei Ohtani has simply been better than Betts this season. The former Los Angeles Angels star is btting .316 in his first season with the Dodgers. He also has a .388 OBP and a .608 slugging percentage for a .996 OPS. In addition, Ohtani has 20 home runs and 49 RBIs along with 16 stolen bases.

In the two games since Betts suffered the injury, Shohei Ohtani has gone 5-for-10 with three RBIs and a home run. That is quite a performance for Ohtani since getting moved up to the top of the batting order following Betts' injury. For what it's worth, Ohtani even made a 2024 MLB record shortly after getting the call to occupy Betts' usual spot in the order (h/t Noah Camras of Dodgers Nation).

“Shohei Ohtani's 20th home run of the season comes in his second game as the Dodgers' leadoff hitter. He smoked it 113 mph and an unbelievable 476 feet. Ohtani seems to be pretty good at this leadoff stuff. It's the longest home run hit by any player in MLB this season.”

That was during the Dodgers' incredible 11-9 come-from-behind victory Tuesday night in the second leg of a three-game series on the road against the Colorado Rockies. With Ohtani in such a dangerous form, the Dodgers will continue expecting him to produce at the plate and help soften the blow of Betts' absence.

Los Angeles is still comfortably ahead of everyone else in the NL West division, as the Dodgers improved to 46-39 following their latest win over the Rockies, but they still have some more wining to do to catch up on the Philadelphia Phillies for the top seed in the NL.

Shohei Ohtani's top rivals for the 2024 NL MVP 

Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) gestures for a base runner to advance on a wild pitch from the Pittsburgh Pirates during the eighth inning at PNC Park.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

While Shohei Ohtani's got the best odds to win the NL MVP, there are others close behind him who could overtake him. Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper has the second-shortest odds with +300, while Marcell Ozuna of the Atlanta Braves is labeled +750. Another Dodgers star, Freddie Freeman, and San Diego Padres outfielder Fernando Tatis Jr. both have +1200 odds.