Shohei Ohtani (29-LA Angels) is cruising toward his second Major League Baseball (MLB) Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. But he has a nemesis. It’s Clayton Kershaw (35) of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Ohtani is eligible for free agency after this season. Amid speculation of a record-breaking $500 million (647 billion won) price tag, there’s an interesting hypothesis that Ohtani could avoid his nemesis if he chooses to join the Dodgers.
This seems to be more than just a possibility. There are only a handful of teams with deep pockets that could afford to take on Ohtani, who has an astronomical price tag, and one of those teams is the Dodgers.
This sentiment seems to be widespread within MLB as well. The Athletic conducted a poll of 96 MLB players on Nov. 21 (KST) on where they think Ohtani will play next season. According to the poll, the Dodgers were the favorite, with a whopping 57.2 percent of the vote. This is in contrast to only 11.4% who thought he would stay with the Angels.
Ohtani has been incredible this season. On the mound, he has a 6-2 record with a 3.29 ERA in 14 games and 82 innings pitched. He also has 105 strikeouts, a 1.05 walks per inning allowed (WHIP), and a .178 batting average.
His batting stats are even more impressive. His .295 batting average is the highest of his big league career, and he has 24 home runs and 58 RBIs. Considering we’re not even halfway through the season, he’s on pace to break his career highs of 46 home runs and 100 RBIs. He leads the entire big leagues in home runs, RBIs, on-base percentage, and OPS (1.002).
That’s why it’s all the more mysterious that he gets smaller when facing Kershaw. Ohtani went 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout against the Dodgers on April 21. In 11 career meetings, he is 1-for-11 with a walk and four strikeouts against Kershaw. It also ended his 15-game hitting streak.
A three-time winner of the Cy Young Award, which recognizes the best pitching performance of the year, Kershaw will be looking to repeat this season. He leads the National League (NL) in wins with a 9-4 record and a 2.72 ERA.
The thought of a fully rejuvenated Kershaw and Ohtani together is enough to make any baseball fan excited. Even if it’s not to erase the Kershaw trauma, the chances of Ohtani joining the Dodgers are still high.
Global sports outlet ESPN published an article titled “5 Reasons Why Ohtani Could Stay with the Angels,” which is a flip side of the same argument.
The article cites the Angels’ reluctance to send Ohtani to another AL rival, Ohtani’s desire to play for a team that can win, and the fact that he loves living in Southern California and feels at home there.온라인카지노
But on the flip side, it’s also a perfect fit for the Dodgers. The Dodgers are in the same division as the Angels, can contend for a championship at any given time, and aren’t even in the AL.
The fact that more than half of the big leaguers polled are favoring Ohtani to the Dodgers means that it wouldn’t be surprising to see this become a reality. The baseball world will be keeping a close eye on Ohtani to see if it becomes a reality next season or during this season’s trade deadline.