Shohei Ohtani will be on the mound and in the batter’s box for the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night against the visiting Kansas City Royals in Anaheim, Calif., putting together another remarkable season in his bid for another MVP.
Ohtani hit two home runs in Tuesday’s 12-11 loss to the Royals, giving him 15 for the season and putting him on pace for 34, below his total of 46 in last year’s MVP season.
On the mound, Ohtani (5-4, 3.28 ERA) will be making his 12th start of the season after going 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA last year. He has made one career start vs. Kansas City, getting a no-decision after allowing one run in four innings in 2018.
Left-hander Daniel Lynch (3-6, 5.19 ERA) will make his 13th start of the season for Kansas City, coming off a victory last Friday in Oakland when he gave up one run and four hits in five innings.
The Royals got a solid performance from starting pitcher Kris Bubic in the first game of the series. But after using nine pitchers in Tuesday’s game, Royals manager Mike Matheny is hoping Lynch can give him quality innings while pitching deep into the game Wednesday.
Starting pitching has been an issue for the Royals, as no starter has an ERA below 4.30 and only Brady Singer (3-2) has a winning record.
“Every time we walk out there, when we have faith in our starting pitching, we believe we can play with anybody,” Matheny said. “These guys are good. They’re showing it. They’re continuing to work through some bumps and still be good, even when they don’t have their very best stuff.”
Lynch has never faced the Angels.
With the Royals throwing a lefty, the Angels’ left-handed hitting Brandon Marsh doesn’t figure to be in the lineup. However, when Marsh had a two-homer game on June 10, one of them came against a lefty, something that impressed Angels interim manager Phil Nevin.
“Watching him get that swing off against the lefty … that was promising for me,” Nevin said. “He’s had some stuff with some lefties, and to get that swing off there was really good.”
Marsh, though, has not hit a home run since, and is hitting .213 vs. lefties this year compared to .250 vs. righties.
–Field Level Media