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#pounditFriday, June 14, 2024

MLB launches gambling investigation into Shohei Ohtani’s ex-teammate

Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani on the field

March 20, 2024; Seoul, SOUTH KOREA; Los Angeles Dodgers player Shohei Ohtani reacts after playing against the San Diego Padres during a MLB regular season Seoul Series game at Gocheok Sky Dome. Photo Credit: Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters via USA TODAY Sports

Shohei Ohtani’s former Los Angeles Angels teammate is now being investigated by Major League Baseball for his alleged ties to the same illegal bookie that took wagers from Ippei Mizuhara.

The league confirmed to TJ Quinn of ESPN on Monday that it is investigating David Fletcher, a former Angels infielder, for allegedly placing bets with bookmaker Mathew Bowyer. Fletcher is alleged to have bet on sports other than baseball, though one of his friends, former minor leaguer Colby Schultz, did allegedly bet on baseball games that Fletcher was involved in.

MLB investigators are expected to seek law enforcement cooperation in their investigation, which would be crucial, as the league otherwise lacks evidence against Fletcher.

Fletcher, now part of the Atlanta Braves’ system, is said to be one of Ohtani’s closest friends from his Angels days. For now, it remains vague how much Fletcher allegedly gambled with Bowyer, but he may face a lighter penalty from the league if he did not bet on baseball games.

Bowyer is the same illegal bookmaker that got Mizuhara, Ohtani’s former translator, in major legal trouble. Mizuhara recently accepted a plea deal for his role in defrauding Ohtani in order to pay off gambling debts.

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