When the Los Angeles Angels won the sweepstakes to sign Shohei Ohtani, it was no secret that the team was on its way to improving. But, after Ohtani’s strong start to the season, the team has gone far beyond expectations at this point in their rebuilding efforts. Thanks to the dynamic dual-threat player, the Angels are not only better than they have been but are relevant once again in the American League.
Ohtani has earned a lot of praise after just three starts on the mound. After his first two starts, he had struck out 18 batters while only allowing six players to reach base via hit or walk. His ability to strike batters out has been a direct result of his ability to mix up his pitchers, as batters have looked out of sorts at times during the season against him. And, while his ERA has creeped up since, due to a lackluster performance against the Red Sox, Ohtani has shown that he has the potential to be a great starting pitcher.
Perhaps more impressive than Ohtani’s pitching performances so far this season has been his ability to get the job done as a hitter. Being able to both pitch and hit was one of the biggest draws of Ohtani, and he has not disappointed at all this season in that regard. The Japanese dual threat has been an above .300 hitter for virtually the entire time he has been in the Major Leagues, while having to navigate his pitching duties as well. He has hit several home runs too, making him not just a capable hitter but a dangerous one at that.
All of these contributions from Ohtani would be nice even if the team was losing, but the team is certainly not losing. Thanks in large part to Ohtani’s efforts, the Angels had their best start in nearly 40 years early in the season. With the way the team has played so far, the conversation has started brewing about making the playoffs, even though the season is in its infancy. For a team that has been so bad over the last few years, even some early season hope has been welcomed with open arms.
The Angels have been an interesting case at the betting window as well, as their surprising start has rewarded those who have backed them since the beginning of the season. With some using Major League Baseball free bets from Oddschecker, it has been possible to have turned minimal cash into a substantial profit by trusting the Angels to continue winning as they have early in the campaign.
Of course, it is worth noting that not everything that the Angels have accomplished this season has been the doing of Shohei Ohtani. The team has been solid from top to bottom for the most part, something that even the best teams in baseball haven’t been able to do consistently in some cases early in the year. Baseball is a game of consistency above everything else, as a team is only as strong as its weakest players. Fortunately, for the Angels, there haven’t been many weak spots in the lineup just yet.
And all of this has happened without once mentioning the great Mike Trout. Trout is leading the team in several key statistical categories on the offensive end. It is an interesting case with Trout, who has been so good for so long that he almost fades into the background even when doing the great things that he has done. For some, it is more fun to talk about a phenom like Shohei Ohtani rather than once again praising Trout for all of the good he has done for his team.
So far, everything has clicked for the Los Angeles Angels. Thanks to a great start from Shohei Ohtani and some inspired play from Mike Trout, the team finds itself in a great position to go for a playoff berth this season. And, while there are still so many games left to be played and so much room for things to change, the fact that the Angels are in this position at all is something that a success-starved fan base will be thrilled with.