The Los Angeles Angels, owners of the best record in the AL West at 15-8, are visiting Boston this week.
Starting on Tuesday and finishing on Thursday, they will play three games against the Sox at Fenway Park.
For a team like the Angels, every game counts: they have to start piling on the wins in a really competitive AL West that also has the Seattle Mariners and the Houston Astros.
That’s why taking this series seriously is very important for them: the Red Sox are a competitive team despite their 9-14 record so far.
Angels manager Joe Maddon is yet to finalize his pitching plans for the three-game set.
Everything is a mystery after that.
The Red Sox Will Definitely See Ohtani
However, there is a good chance the Red Sox have to face Shohei Ohtani on Wednesday or Thursday.
“Joe Maddon said he hopes Shohei Ohtani will pitch in Boston. They have Syndergaard going Tuesday and TBD on Weds and Thursday. (Also, the forecast for Weds is bad.),” Jeff Fletcher, who covers the Angels, tweeted on Monday.
Joe Maddon said he hopes Shohei Ohtani will pitch in Boston. They have Syndergaard going Tuesday and TBD on Weds and Thursday. (Also, the forecast for Weds is bad.)
— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) May 2, 2022
If the weather forecast is not particularly favorable for Wednesday, perhaps it makes more sense to have Ohtani pitch on Thursday instead: that way, the Angels don’t risk losing him to a long rain delay.
But it appears the Red Sox will have to deal with one of the nastiest pitchers in baseball.
Ohtani has a 4.19 ERA in 19.1 innings, but every run-prevention metric suggests he deserves better.
He remains one of MLB’s top pitchers, and Boston hitters will have to deal with his high-octane stuff.