The 2022 MLB All-Star Game will air on Tuesday night, and will be played at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
It will be a special night for baseball: the local crowd will get to watch Kershaw, a hero in Los Angeles, start the game, and the whole baseball universe is eager to see what Ohtani can do at the plate.
And while Kershaw has been extremely impressive from a run-prevention standpoint – his ERA is an incredible 2.13 – Ohtani is known more for his strikeout prowess from the mound.
A Good Ol’ Ohtani Stat To Warm Us Up For The All-Star Game
There is a marked disparity between them.
“Clayton Kershaw will throw the first pitch of tomorrow’s All Star Game. Shohei Ohtani will be the hitter who digs in to face him. How crazy is it that the AL leadoff hitter has piled up almost 50 more strikeouts on the mound this year (123-75) than the NL’s starting pitcher!” senior MLB writer Jayson Stark tweeted.
Clayton Kershaw will throw the first pitch of tomorrow's All Star Game.
Shohei Ohtani will be the hitter who digs in to face him.
How crazy is it that the AL leadoff hitter has piled up almost 50 more strikeouts on the mound this year (123-75) than the NL's starting pitcher!
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 18, 2022
Of course, we have to understand the fact that Kershaw lost some time with an injury, but it’s mind-blowing that the first hitter he will see tomorrow night has struck out many more hitters than him.
It’s part of the Ohtani experience: he has 19 home runs and an OPS well over .800 as a hitter, yet he also has a strong 2.38 ERA and a whopping 123 punchouts in 87 innings as a hurler.
The MVP race is much closer this year than last, but even with that being the case, Ohtani should be considered the leading candidate to take home his second straight award.