The Los Angeles Angels played an eventful but frustrating game yesterday in Boston. They somehow found a way to win after nearly blowing another lead late. They salvaged the finale at Fenway which is important, and they're now headed to the Bronx to face the Yankees.
Getting back in the win column was great, but the Angels only got two innings out of Ohtani because of a lengthy rain delay following the second inning. Why the Red Sox didn't just start the game a couple of hours later than they did I have no idea as it was dry the rest of the game, but they didn't and Ohtani's start was basically ruined.
The Angels had to go deep in their bullpen and the game was closer than it likely would've been if Shohei was able to pitch his usual six or seven frames. Regardless, what's done is done, and because of the short outing, the Angels are now considering moving Ohtani's next start up. This makes sense only under this one condition.
The LA Angels should only move Shohei Ohtani's start up if he'd face the Yankees
Shohei Ohtani threw just 31 pitches yesterday in his two innings of work. His next start is scheduled for Sunday as of now, and he obviously doesn't need six days of rest after throwing just 31 pitches. With that in mind, moving him up does make sense but only if he can face the Yankees.
Right now, Ohtani is scheduled to pitch Sunday afternoon against the Royals at home. His next start after that would be projected for Saturday in Milwaukee. If the Angels move him up for Friday's game he'd still face the Royals but then instead of Milwaukee, he'd get Oakland at home. No disrespect to the Athletics, but I'd much rather use Shohei against a much more formidable Milwaukee opponent.
If the Angels want to move Ohtani's start up one day to Saturday that's fine as he'd still face the Brewers next, but that doesn't really make much of a difference either way.
What I want is for Ohtani to face the best competition possible. Having his next starts be against the Royals and Athletics doesn't accomplish that. If Ohtani was able to pitch on Thursday against the Yankees, that'd also work.
This would mean his next start would be against Oakland, but at least one of them would be against a tough opponent. Best case scenario, Ohtani is ready to pitch that game. If he's not, just let him pitch on his regular day. The Angels should beat the Royals and Athletics up either way, and let Shohei face the Brewers.
Use Shohei against the good teams when you can. Moving his start up just to he can face the Royals and Athletics doesn't make much sense to me.