Here's what the stats don't tell you about Shohei Ohtani's 2022 performance

Shohei Ohtani, LA Angels
Shohei Ohtani, LA Angels / Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

So far this season, Shohei Ohtani has been off to a bit of a slower start at the plate for the LA Angels. He'll be fine, as he's still scored 14 runs through just 20 games that the Halos have played; proving that even when his slash line isn't up to par, he still finds a way to score runs for this team.

On the mound, however, his numbers REALLY deceive. Ohtani certainly has passed the eye test as a pitcher this year, and has most certainly shown up in big games for the Halos this season. His overall stat line, however, consists of a mediocre 2-2 record, a mediocre 4.19 ERA, and an awful 89 ERA+.

Those numbers couldn't be much more deceiving, however, when considering the trajectory he's on right now. In his first two starts, Ohtani surrendered a 7.56 ERA, went 0-2, and allowed a .278 batting average. These numbers were a result of a disastrous 3.2 IP, 6 ER start against Texas where he walked two and gave up six hits.

In his last two starts for the Angels, however, Shohei Ohtani has looked like the ShoTime baseball fans know and love.

Shohei Ohtani has looked like the ace LA Angels fans expected this year in his last two outings. He's totaled 11 innings with just two earned runs allowed. That's a 1.64 ERA, and he's walked just two in that span. He only gave up six hits. Keep in mind that he gave up six hits in that one lackluster Rangers start alone.

He's already got himself back on track--the one start just forces his overall stat line to look disappointing. Ohtani has allowed just a .154 batting average since that start ended, and has struck out 16.

Outside of his one bad start in Arlington, Ohtani has thrown 15.2 innings and only allowed three earned runs. He's only walked three, and only given up 10 hits. Besides, look at some more advanced numbers: Ohtani has a 2.08 FIP and a 1.94 SIERA. Those are two career-bests for Ohtani.

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Sure, Ohtani isn't blowing anyone away when looking at the surface-level stats that are always next to a pitcher's name. When digging a little deeper though, it's evident that he's on a great trajectory, his stats are inflated due to one bad start, and his underlying numbers suggest that he may even be the best he's ever been.