MLB To Probe Former Player Tied to Ohtani Scandal

Former Angel Made Contact with Ohtani's Interpreter's Bookie

We have a new chapter to the Shohei Ohtani-Ippei Mizuhara betting scandal. Ohtani’s former Angels teammate David Fletcher — currently a minor leaguer in the Atlanta Braves organization — is being investigated for betting with that bookie. The David Fletcher gambling allegations don’t implicate Ohtani but they make his protested ignorance of Mizuhara’s actions a little tougher to believe.

Fletcher and Ohtani were together with the Angels from 2018 through 2023, during which period Mizuhara is alleged to have gambled with Mathew Bowyer. Fletcher is said to have introduced Mizuhara to Bowyer. Adding to the intrigue is that Fletcher’s friend Colby Schultz (also a former minor leaguer) also allegedly gambled with Bowyer and even bet on Angels games Fletcher was playing in. As far as MLB gambling goes, this is bad news.

It remains to be seen how or if Fletcher will wind up being punished because he is not alleged to have bet on baseball games, which could merit a lifetime ban. But, he did other sports with an illegal bookie and that is not allowed whatsoever by Major League Baseball.

The Ohtani connection complicates things as well, of course, because it provides another way for Ohtani to have feasibly known about Mizuhara’s gambling issues, something Ohtani has denied.

Fletcher And Ohtani Were Very Close

It’s widely known that, when they were on the Angels, Fletcher and Ohtani were extremely close and spent a lot of time together. That’s why the David Fletcher gambling allegations are so interesting when viewed in connection with Ohtani and Mizuhara’s pending prosecution.

Since the story broke, Ohtani’s company line has been that he didn’t know about Mizuhara’s gambling and had no clue about all the money Mizuhara stole from him to pay for that gambling.

However, if Fletcher gambled with the same illegal bookie as Mizuhara, it would be more difficult for Ohtani to plead ignorance over the situation. Right now, MLB’s investigation is only expected to deal with Fletcher’s actions. Still, it can’t — and won’t be forgotten — that he has such a strong connection to Ohtani and potentially other MLB players that we are still not aware of.

MLB probably didn’t expect this story to completely go away even though things have mostly been quiet since the beginning of April. But, the inclusion of Fletcher into the mix ensures that there will be much more discussion on this topic than Commissioner Rob Manfred certainly wanted.

Even if the investigation finds Fletcher gambling on non-baseball sports, the fact that an investigation is needed shows the seriousness of the whole thing. MLB also wouldn’t want the investigation dragged out for fear of potentially interfering with the MLB World Series, for example.

Schultz Could Be The Key

Colby Schultz isn’t a well-known name as someone who only played in the Royals’ system for two seasons and never advanced past Single-A. But, he is described as being a longtime friend of Fletcher’s. The two grew up in Orange County where the Angels play and where Mizuhara is from.

It is alleged that Schultz not only made MLB betting picks with Bowyer but was also an associate. Schultz reportedly got Mizuhara’s wire information from Bowyer. The specific role that Schultz played in Bowyer’s operation isn’t known but it is clear that he is very wrapped up in whatever was going on. And, when you follow the story, it feels unlikely that Fletcher wouldn’t know about the debts that Mizuhara was incurring to Bowyer through Schultz.

Accordingly, it would be strange if Fletcher knew about the debts and knew that Mizuhara. The Japanese-American worked for the Angels as Ohtani’s interpreter, putting him in the same dugout and clubhouse as Fletcher for years. Fletcher was getting them paid somehow. And he not only never knew about Ohtani’s (unwitting) financial involvement but also never told him about their mutual friend’s activities.

There are just a ton of questions right now and not a lot of answers, which makes it concerning that Ohtani could potentially be implicated further depending on how MLB’s investigation goes and what it finds.

For MLB betting news, odds analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.


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