2023 Rival Preview: All eyes on Shohei Ohtani as the Angels roll into another non-competitive season

Over the next few weeks, we’ll look at each American League team and discuss their 2022 season, their offseason moves, and their 2023 outlook. 

2022 Season Recap…
Although finishing in third place in the AL West, the Angels were four games worse in 2022 than they were in 2021. The Angels missed the postseason for the eighth straight season, even in the face of another set of stellar seasons from their two stars: Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani.
Let’s start with Ohtani, who, if it wasn’t for Aaron Judge hitting 62 homers, would’ve (and should’ve) won his second consecutive AL MVP. Ohtani hit 34 home runs and 95 RBIs, with an .875 OPS and a 145 OPS+. On the mound, Ohtani was 15-9 with a 2.33 ERA. The win total and ERA was a career-best, and his 11.9 K/9 led the American League.
Ohtani was also featured in one of the best matchups played at the Rogers Center this past season; on August 27th, Ohtani and Blue Jays starter Alek Manoah went shot-for-shot, combining for 14 innings pitched, 17 strikeouts, and only one earned run, which was unfortunately given up by Manoah.

This pitchers’ duel was as good as advertised
Shohei Ohtani: 7 IP, 0 R, 2H, 1BB, 9K, up to 100 mph season-high 109 pitches
Alek Manoah: 7 IP, 1 ER, 4H, 2BB, 8K, up to 96 mph, 105 pitches
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) August …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

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