Shohei Ohtani’s bat improves Angels line-up, protects Trout

The Angels have been playing inspired ball as of late and one of the big reasons is the return of Shohei Ohtani to the Angels line-up.  Ohtani again came up big on Sunday with a two-run homer that gave the Angels the lead but the Astros rallied for an 11-10 extra-inning win.

Shohei Ohtani has been on fire as of late for the Angels and it has made the whole line-up that much better. Aside from his increased production, he has helped Mike Trout as well by giving him protection in the line-up.  In the last month Ohtani is hitting .390 with 11 homers and 24 RBIs and he has hit over .413 (19 for 46) in his last 15 games.  Ohtani hit a two-run go-ahead homer in the third inning as part of a five-run inning that erased an early 2-0 deficit.

During this same time period Mike Trout is hitting .304 with 13 homers and 28 RBIs in the last month.  Trout hit his fifth home run of the week in the 6th inning to pad the Angels lead. Then two innings later Trout hit another two-run shot to give the Angels a short-lived 10-8 lead. Trout now has an Angel record 28 homers in the first-half of the season to go along with 67 RBIs.

As a whole the Angels are 30-26 with Ohtani and 15-19 without him. The Angels are averaging 5.3 runs per game with Ohtani and 4.5 runs per game before Ohtani was in the line-up.  Ohtani’s numbers are impressive in only 194 at-bats has hit 14 homers and driven in 38 RBIs with a .307 batting average and a .936 OPS.  If you equate this out to 500 at-bats this season Ohtani would have 36 homers and 98 RBIs.

Those numbers are certainly eye-popping and are a great addition to the Angels line-up.  Now with Justin Upton and Andrelton Simmons back in the line-up and Kole Calhoun heating up as well the Angels offense is firing on all cylinders.  If this trend can continue after the All-Star Break and the pitching can come together this could be a special second half of the 2019 season.

In the game Sunday David Fletcher was great in the lead-off spot going 3 for 5 with two runs scored and Andrelton Simmons went 3 for 6 with a run scored. Jonathan Lucroy also went 2 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI. Luis Rengifo went 2 for 3 with 2 runs scored from the 9th spot.

The production from the Angel line-up has been great this week which has led to a 3-3 record against division rivals who the Angels are chasing in the playoff race.

Yes, Shohei Ohtani has been a huge factor for this Angels tea this year and if he can keep it up the Angels may be in the hunt for a Red October for the first time in five years. It could happen.