With 25% of the 2021 MLB season complete, one player has established himself as the clear leader in the American League MVP race. Shohei Ohtani is the overwhelming favorite, overtaking Los Angeles Angels teammate Mike Trout following his injury Tuesday. 

Trout suffered a calf strain that will sideline him for six to eight weeks. The center fielder saw his AL MVP odds go from +175 to +1100 at DraftKings Sportsbook, following the news. Now, it’s Othani who is favored as his odds improved from +300 to +150.

Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is the second choice, sandwiched between the two Angels with +850 MVP odds. 

Ohtani might have been on his way toward becoming the MVP favorite even before Trout’s injury. The 26-year-old is doing something that hasn’t been seen since the days of Babe Ruth, excelling as both a pitcher and a hitter.

In Los Angeles’ 6-5 loss against the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday, Ohtani homered in his third straight game. He leads all players with 14 home runs and ranks first in the AL with a .632 slugging percentage. Ohtani’s 33 RBI put him tied for second in the AL.

In five starts as a pitcher, Ohtani has thrown 25.2 innings. The MVP favorite has a 2.10 ERA with 40 strikeouts. If he had enough innings to qualify for the ERA title, Ohtani would rank fourth in the AL.

Ohtani tossed seven innings of one-run ball while striking out  10 Houston Astros in his previous start. When he was replaced on the mound, Ohtani finished the game in right field.

Trout has established himself as MLB’s best player over the past decade. The three-time MVP is hitting .333/.466/.624, leading the league in on-base percentage and OPS.

The individual success for the two stars has not translated into team success for the Angels. With an 18-23 record, Los Angeles sits in fourth place in the AL West. L.A. is 5.5 games out of a playoff spot.

Shohei Ohtani Los Angeles Angels Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels, pictured pitching in the first inning of a game against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium on April 8, 2018 in Anaheim, California, is the favorite to win the 2018 AL MVP award. Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images