LA Angels Series Preview: Mariners return in AL West Rematch
By Ryan Falla
Brand new Bash Bros
Shohei Ohtani is starting to wake up and Mike Trout is seeing all the benefits of having an actual threat behind him in the lineup. Over the last seven games we’ve seen Ohtani slash a line of .276/.371/.586 with 3 HR’s and 9 RBI’s, though he did suffer from 9 K’s in that span. Over that same stretch Trout has hit to a .393/.541/.857 with 4 HR’s and 11 RBIs as well as a lone double. At this point opposing pitchers can’t keep employing the “unintentional intentional walk” in which they just throw junk off the plate and if Trout swings he swings and if not he takes a walk. With someone who boasts actual power and hitting ability in Ohtani sitting behind Trout we’re seeing opposing pitchers being made to throw actual strikes to Trout and not just intentional junk.
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The success of Ohtani has a ripple effect across the entire team, with his big bat sitting behind Trout the Angels ability to create runs increases tenfold. This is no longer a lineup you can pitch lazy too and get free outs. This isn’t the Justin Bour/Zack Cozart Angels that has most of the lineup sleep walking through at-bats.
Mike Trout is finally getting the chance to really take over because he has a real support system now. It isn’t just Ohtani either; with Tommy La Stella and David Fletcher providing some of the best offense from the 2B spot we’re seeing across all of the MLB.
If the Angels are going to succeed in this series and make their way up the Wild Card ladder it’s going to happen off the backbone of Trout and Ohtani. That isn’t to diminish the contributions of others, in fact it’s those contributions from others that allow Ohtani and Trout to see more opportunities to seize success. This Angels team is really starting to gel with their chemistry, I know it’s been a long road these last two months but it really seems like they’re going to finally hit that groove we’ve all been waiting for.
At this point it’s just a matter of time.