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Building the dream LA Angels Opening Day starting rotation after MLB lockout

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Sep 11, 2021; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Chris Bassitt (40) is a prime trade target for the LA Angels.
Sep 11, 2021; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Chris Bassitt (40) is a prime trade target for the LA Angels. / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
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Shohei Ohtani, LA Angels
Sep 20, 2021; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

No. 3 starting pitcher in dream LA Angels Opening Day starting rotation: Shohei Ohtani

If Shohei Ohtani enters 2022 as the LA Angels' third pitcher in the rotation, you might be able to hand us the AL West crown before we even play the games. Ohtani really proved that he's an Ace last year; earning the status of being the AL All-Star team starting pitcher.

Ohtani is one of the best pitchers in this league, recording a 3.18 ERA last season with a 1.090 WHIP. Sometimes he took velo off his fastball and proved he could finesse hitters, and sometimes he rocked back and blew the ball by the opposition. Overall, he struck out 10.8 per nine innings and only gave up 6.8 hits per nine frames.

He has the best pitch in baseball in his splitter--even better than Iglesias' fastball. The best part about Ohtani is also that he can hit for himself of course, and being the best hitter in baseball, he's literally unstoppable. We can even keep him in the field after his starts on the mound to get more at-bats for him late in ballgames as we did last year.

The true cheat code in baseball is in his prime, and could potentially be even better this season due to Joe Maddon now having the blueprint for how to use him perfectly.

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