Coming off a dominant 11-strikeout effort against the Twins, Ohtani was superb on the mound again and the 23-year-old has now yielded just three earned runs and posted a phenomenal 20:3 K:BB over his last 15 innings, bringing his ERA down to 3.35 and his WHIP to 1.07. It's stating the obvious at this point, but the fact that he's putting up those numbers as a pitcher while also slashing .321/.367/.619 at the plate is nothing short of ridiculous and a show of prolonged two-way dominance that is simply unprecedented in the modern era. His ability to play both roles at a high level is established - the main question now is whether the Angels will eventually decide to rest him less frequently and give him more at-bats between pitching starts, which would allow him to make even more of a fantasy impact at the plate.
Ohtani is out of the lineup Saturday against the Rays.
Ohtani is scheduled to pitch in Sunday's contest, so he won't be the designated hitter Saturday, following the same system the Angels have used all season. The team (and Ohtani's fantasy owners) would probably love him to hit more often, as he's hitting .321/.367/.619 with six homers in 90 plate appearances. It's remained a sacrifice worth making in order to allow him to pitch, however, as he's also recorded a 3.58 ERA and a 32.8 percent strikeout rate through his first six starts on the mound.
Ohtani is tentatively scheduled to start in the series finale against the Rays on Sunday, Jeff Fletcher of The Orange County Register reports.
It would be the third straight Sunday start for Ohtani as the Angels continue with the six-man rotation, and have yet to start him on less than six days of rest. The 23-year-old is coming off a quality start against the Twins in which he allowed only three hits and racked up 11 strikeouts. Ohtani should see plenty of at-bats prior to Saturday's rest day. He is batting second for Tuesday's game against the Astros.
Ohtani struck out 11 Twins over 6.1 innings Sunday, allowing one run on three hits and two walks. He did not factor into the decision.
He was utterly dominant for most of the start, but was forced to turn the game over to Cam Bedrosian after reaching 103 pitches (69 strikes) midway through the seventh inning. Bedrosian promptly allowed an inherited runner to score, making it a 1-1 tie after seven frames. Four of Ohtani's six MLB starts have been quality, and he has now struck out 11-plus twice -- he fell one strikeout shy of tying his career high. He will start next weekend at home against the Rays.
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