2024 Seoul Series - San Diego Padres v Los Angeles DodgersShohei Ohtani set for 2025 homecoming as Dodgers slated to open season against Cubs in Japan, per reports

Shohei Ohtani could be set for a homecoming in Japan with the Los Angeles Dodgers next year. With the 2024 MLB Seoul Series being a resounding success, rumors are circulating that 2025 will see a Tokyo Series featuring the Dodgers and Chicago Cubs.

According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, the MLB has privately informed the two teams that they will kick off the 2025 season in Tokyo. This would be in a similar fashion to the recently concluded San Diego Padres versus Dodgers series in Seoul, South Korea. Per Nightengale:
“The Chicago Cubs and Dodgers have been privately informed they have been selected to open the 2025 season in Tokyo.”

“MLB has privately informed the Dodgers and Cubs that they’ll open the 2025 season in Tokyo, Japan, according to @BNightengale.” – Dodgers Tailgate.
This would certainly be a huge spectacle as Dodgers Japanese star Shohei Ohtani is as revered in Japan as prime Michael Jordan was in the US. Improving the prospect even further is that with Ohtani not expected to pitch in 2024, Tokyo could be the place where the Dodgers’ two-way star throws his first MLB pitch for the team.

Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani and former interpreter Ippei Mizuhara are being investigated by the MLB

Shohei Ohtani and his former interpreter Ippei Mizuhara have been in the headlines over the last few days since allegations of Mizuhara having gambled on sports surfaced.

The translator denies ever betting on baseball games, which would violate the MLB’s gambling policy. Ohtani’s name surfaced in a federal investigation into a Californian bookmaking operation, with Mizuhara reportedly having placed bets with them.

The interpreter maintains that Ohtani had no knowledge of his betting, however, he backtracked on his initial version of events, which had Ohtani paying off his debts. While Ohtani’s legal team alleges the Japanese superstar is the victim of theft, the MLB has started its own investigation into the matter.

The league released the following statement on Friday:
“Major League Baseball has been gathering information since we learned about the allegations involving Shohei Ohtani and Ippei Mizuhari from the news media. Earlier today, our Department of Investigations (DOI) began their formal process investigating the matter.”
At present, Shohei Ohtani is not facing any disciplinary action from the MLB, however, that could change depending on the findings of the investigation. With sports taking a hard line on violations of gambling policies, to maintain the integrity of the sport and avoid match-fixing, Dodgers fans are likely concerned about the situation.