The best starting pitcher on the LA Angels so far may not be Shohei Ohtani

Patrick Sandoval, LA Angels
Patrick Sandoval, LA Angels / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Sandoval has been absolutely electric for the LA Angels this season. He already improved quite a bit last season, but he's even taken a bigger jump in 2022. He even has rivaled the effectiveness that Shohei Ohtani has shown on the bump.

Both pitchers have three wins (all stats in article are as of what they were after each of their first seven starts), and Sandy only has one loss (Ohtani has two). They've both given up just 30 hits on the year. Sandoval hasn't allowed a single home run this year, while Ohtani has given up three.

Ohtani is playing at an MVP level again this year. For Sandoval to be on a similar level to him is insane. Has he been better than ShoTime on the bump in 2022? Well, it's unclear. After all, Ohtani does have more strikeouts (53 compared to Sandy's 38) and has nearly half the walks (nine walks given up compared to Sandoval's 17 given up).

The debate can go back and forth. Ohtani has a better FIP than Sandoval. His FIP is 2.15 compared to Sandoval's 2.57. ShoTime also has a better SIERA than Sandy, at 2.45, as opposed to Sandoval's 3.96 SIERA. Sandoval, however, has a better ERA. His ERA is at 1.79. Ohtani's is 2.82.

Shohei Ohtani and Patrick Sandoval are pushing each other to be the best they can be on the LA Angels.

The best part about being an LA Angels fan, though, is that it doesn't matter. Shohei Ohtani and Patrick Sandoval are BOTH performing like Aces.

With Ohtani, everyone already knew he was an Ace, and with him performing better, watching him play tastes even sweeter. With Sandoval, Halo fans knew how good he would have been if he didn't get hurt and miss the end of the year last year, and to see him fully realize that potential has been tremendous.

I don't know who I'd take when it comes to Ohtani or Sandoval for this season. Obviously, if I needed somebody to take the ball in Game 7 of the World Series, it would of course be Ohtani. He's far more proven and has been doing this since 2018.

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As for specifically this year, however, they've both been great. There's no need to have an answer to the question of which one has been better in their first seven starts. The important thing is that Sandoval has so far entered the same conversation that Ohtani has been in for a while on the mound, and that's a great conversation to be in.