Shohei Ohtani’s Historic Two-Way Season Sets Him Up for MVP and Cy Young Contention
Shohei Ohtani, the Los Angeles Angels’ multi-talented player, made history in the 2021 season by winning the AL MVP award for his exceptional performance both as a pitcher and a hitter. However, his chances for the Cy Young Award were hindered by the team’s decision to limit his pitching innings and less impressive numbers compared to other top pitchers in the American League. Nonetheless, Ohtani’s recent remarkable performance on Wednesday has catapulted him into the discussion for both awards in the upcoming 2022 season.
Ohtani Shines in Two-Way Performance
During the game against the Miami Marlins, Ohtani showcased his dominance on the mound by allowing only one unearned run over seven innings. Impressively, he struck out 10 hitters, leading the Angels to a 5-2 victory. As if his pitching prowess wasn’t enough, Ohtani also contributed offensively, going 1-for-4 with two RBIs, a run scored, and a stolen base.
This outstanding performance elevated Ohtani’s season record to 8-4 with an impressive 2.44 ERA. What’s more, he hasn’t conceded an earned run over his last 28.1 innings pitched and has secured wins in each of his last five starts, raising his profile as a formidable force in the league.
Setting Historic Standards
Ohtani’s incredible achievements are rewriting the record books. He became the first player since at least 1920 to strike out 10 batters, earn two RBIs, and steal a base in a single game. This feat not only highlights his exceptional talent but also emphasizes the impact he has on both sides of the game.
“It’s special, it’s historic, it’s elite,” remarked Angels catcher Max Stassi. “He’s established himself as one of the better arms in baseball â€“ everybody else knows that â€“ and you’ve got to fear him at the plate the same day, too. He’s a superstar pitcher and he’s a superstar hitter.”
The MVP Race: Ohtani vs. Judge
While Ohtani’s dual threat abilities make him a strong contender for the AL MVP, the current favorite for the award is New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge. Judge’s exceptional offensive performance has positioned him as the frontrunner, leading the league in home runs, RBIs, and runs scored, with an impressive OPS of .993. However, the challenge lies in comparing Judge’s offensive dominance with Ohtani’s unique contribution as a pitcher as well.
Though Ohtani may not be the immediate favorite for the MVP, his value as a pitcher cannot be overlooked. With each start, his significance becomes more apparent. Currently listed at +950 odds, Ohtani is ranked fourth in the AL Cy Young Award race at FanDuel, trailing behind pitchers Shane McClanahan, Justin Verlander, and Gerrit Cole. While still considered a dark horse, Ohtani has the potential to challenge his competitors if he continues his dominant performance as the season progresses.
The Ongoing Debate: Fatigue and Injury Concerns
One of the recurring debates surrounding Ohtani revolves around his ability to avoid fatigue and injury while simultaneously fulfilling the duties of a designated hitter and starting pitcher for the Angels. However, for now, Ohtani assures that he is fully prepared to handle the workload and remains in optimal physical condition.
“I’m able to go without any worries on my body, fully healthy,” Ohtani stated confidently in response to concerns about his workload. This assurance, coupled with his recent pitching prowess, strengthens his candidacy for the Cy Young Award. With continued dominance on the mound, it will be difficult to deny him a second MVP award, positioning him among the top pitchers in the American League while also excelling at the plate.
Shohei Ohtani’s exceptional two-way season has positioned him as a frontrunner for both the AL MVP and Cy Young Award. His ability to excel as a pitcher and hitter simultaneously has broken barriers and captivated the baseball world. With his recent remarkable performance and historic achievements, Ohtani has surpassed expectations and continues to defy conventional baseball norms. As the season progresses, the question remains whether he can sustain his impressive form and simultaneously contribute as a dominant pitcher and offensive force for the Angels.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. How many RBIs did Shohei Ohtani earn during his standout performance?
During his memorable performance, Shohei Ohtani earned two RBIs, showcasing his offensive prowess alongside his dominant pitching.
2. Who is the current favorite to win the AL MVP award?
At present, New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge holds the favorite status for the AL MVP award, given his exceptional offensive statistics and overall impact on the game.
3. How does Ohtani’s value as a pitcher impact his MVP chances?
The unique aspect of Shohei Ohtani’s candidacy for the MVP award lies in his dual role as a pitcher and hitter. While his pitching performance adds significant value to his overall contribution, the challenge lies in comparing it to the offensive dominance of other contenders.
4. Who are Ohtani’s top competitors for the AL Cy Young Award?
Shane McClanahan, Justin Verlander, and Gerrit Cole are currently considered the top competitors for the AL Cy Young Award, with Ohtani trailing closely behind as a potential dark horse candidate.
5. Can Ohtani sustain his current level of performance throughout the season?
While concerns about fatigue and injury persist, Ohtani’s assurance of being fully healthy and his recent pitching dominance provide optimism regarding his ability to maintain his impressive form as the season progresses.