When you think of Shohei Ohtani, you think of one of the premier talents in MLB today, both on the mound and at the plate. But the Texas Rangers aren’t shying away from the challenge of facing arguably the sport’s biggest star.
The Rangers defeated the Angels in Anaheim 2-0 Thursday night in the first of a four-game set between two AL West rivals. Ohtani started for the Angels and went six innings and striking out 11 batters over six innings, but also permitting eight hits and two earned runs over that span, ultimately taking the loss. Spencer Howard was on the winning end for Texas, tossing five shutout innings in a positive development.
Texas Rangers beat Shohei Ohtani for the third time in 2022
But the larger point about the Rangers and Shohei Ohtani is this: the former isn’t afraid of the latter. In fact, Texas is pretty comfortable facing off against the two-way star, as evidenced by these stats:
Texas Rangers are unfazed by Shohei Ohtani on the mound, unlike most of MLB
That’s impressive considering the Ohtani has better competition than the Texas Rangers even just within the AL West, including the Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros. But the Rangers appear to be unfazed by the challenge of having to face off against the dual-threat when he’s on the mound. Who can forget Jonah Heim’s April slam against Ohtani, after all?
That was the first grand slam allowed by Ohtani in his MLB career, by the way.
Having that divisional familiarity helps, but for a team like Texas that has otherwise had issues winning the games they probably should win, they are at least able to take care of business against a top-flight starter in the league. That’s just how baseball go, you know?
Of course, we wouldn’t be sad if the Angels managed to trade Ohtani away, either.