Los Angeles Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani has set his sights on his second MVP award in three years.
He won the award in 2021 and came really close (a second-place finish) in 2022.
The 2023 campaign represents a golden chance to take back the award, one that he probably felt belonged to him last year.
How are his chances looking?
Very good, actually.
“Checking in on Shohei Ohtani… ERA: 3.23. OPS: .932. 2021 MVP season ERA: 3.18. OPS: .965,” Angels insider Jeff Fletcher tweeted.
Checking in on Shohei Ohtani…
2021 MVP season
— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) May 16, 2023
It’s still very, very early, but it’s fair to say Ohtani is on an MVP pace.
That could change any minute, of course, but it’s the case at the moment.
Nobody does what he does on a baseball field, and no one is having a record-breaking campaign like Aaron Judge had in 2022.
In his MVP season, Ohtani had a 3.18 ERA as a pitcher and a .965 OPS as a hitter.
This year, he is at 3.23 and .932, respectively.
It means he isn’t that far off the pace he established in 2021, and a couple of excellent games like he had on Monday night (he went 4-for-5 with a home run and a triple) or a brilliant start or two can take him closer to what he did two years ago.
Of course, there is an important thing to keep in mind: improving his 2021 numbers won’t necessarily give him the award.
Still, it would help his case a lot in the minds of voters, who will see he was actually better this year than when he won the recognition if that ends up being the case.NEXT: Shohei Ohtani Made Must-See MLB History On Monday