MLB Postseason: 3 bounce-back starters who will make an impact

HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 02: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches in the first inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on September 2, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 02: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches in the first inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on September 2, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

MLB Postseason: 3 bounce-back starters who will make an impact

Shohei Ohtani (0 games pitched in 2019)

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The Los Angeles Angels were the most active team in free agency when it comes to the American League West.  Not only did the Angels add two veteran innings eaters in Dylan Bundy and Julio Teheran, but the Angels signed World Series champion and star third baseman Anthony Rendon to bolster their offense.  Despite the additions of Bundy and Teheran, the Angels still lack an ace and a true top of the rotation starter.

The Angels lost 90 games in 2019 and in order to make a sudden jump into playoff contention, it will take much more on the pitching side.  The Angels had the second-worst starting pitcher ERA last year at 5.64.  The only team that had a worse starting pitcher ERA was the Colorado Rockies who pitch 81 games in a pitcher’s nightmare.

Shohei Ohtani will get back on the mound for the 2020 season and look to provide the Angels with an elite starting pitcher option.  Ohtani underwent Tommy John surgery at the end of the 2018 season and did not take the mound during the 2019 season.  Shohei did return to action in May and play out most of the season as a designated hitter but the Angels will look for a boost on the mound from Ohtani in 2020.

During his tenure with the Angels, Ohtani has made ten starts for the Angels which all came during the 2018 regular season.  Ohtani pitched well as he allowed an opponent’s average of just .203 and struck out 63 batters in 51 plus innings.  If Shohei can post an ERA of 3.31 as he did in 2018, he should finish with the best stats of any starting pitcher in the Angels’ rotation.

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The American League West is suddenly a competitive division with the Astros likely to take a step back due to losing Gerrit Cole and playing the game on an even playing field.  The Oakland A’s will be a playoff contender and the Angels may finally make that jump into playoff contention in 2020 if Shohei Ohtani bolsters the top of the Angels’ rotation.  Ohtani is one of the few two-way stars in MLB, and in 2020, the Angels will look to ride the arm of Ohtani into an MLB postseason appearance.