A unicorn is usually defined as “a mythical animal generally depicted with the body and head of a horse with long flowing mane and tail and a single often spiraled horn in the middle of the forehead.”
Or, they could’ve just gone with “A unicorn is Shohei Ohtani.”
In this space, we’re going to discuss (and try to analyze) what mind-boggling efforts and accomplishments the Los Angeles Angels’ two-way star puts together on a week-to-week basis — because it’s the right thing to do.
Yes, we must highlight the greatness that is unfolding before our eyes. The world doesn’t deserve Shohei Ohtani, but he somehow exists — and we should be talking about him as much as possible.
What did Shohei Ohtani do on Tuesday? Steal his 16th base of the season
Among the endless list of Ohtani’s stats and accomplishments we have to track, his stolen base count seems to fall by the wayside. Nonetheless, the unicorn stole his 16th bag of 2021 after an intentional walk (you can count on Ohtani trying to steal if you walk him).
So, to reiterate: Among everything else we have to track, now we have to fathom Ohtani potentially delivering a 40-20 season with the bat, and a 100+ strikeout and a sub-3.00 ERA one on the mound.
I’m running out of superlatives.
What did Shohei Ohtani do on Wednesday? Hit his 38th home run of the season
It was Ohtani’s first homer of August, and it was a shot:
40 home runs seems all but guaranteed — so at what point do we start thinking about 50?
In the meantime, let’s hope for more fireworks in this series featuring the apparent MVP favorite and the apparent MVP runner-up. And luckily for us, Ohtani will face Vladdy Jr. with the former on the mound on Thursday.
What did Shohei Ohtani do on Thursday? Defeat his MVP race rival on the mound
Ohtani didn’t have his absolute best stuff on Thursday night against the Toronto Blue Jays — he threw 99 pitches (three walks) in six innings — but those 99 pitches proved to be enough to get the victory. He allowed two runs on three hits and struck out six.
More importantly, one of those strikeouts was against Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who has been the only real threat to Ohtani’s AL MVP claim this season:
Unless Vlad Jr. goes on a tear (which he very well may do) and takes back the home run lead (and then some), we might look back on this pitching performance when Ohtani wins the award, if he does.
What did Shohei Ohtani do on Saturday? All but guarantee a 40+ homer season
On Saturday evening, in a loss against the Houston Astros, Shohei Ohtani hit his 39th home run of the season, a rocket to right field.
At the start of this piece, I lowballed the unicorn, saying his chances were high to deliver a 40-20 season.
Now, 50 home runs don’t seem so crazy.
Yep, Ohtani’s MVP odds are -1000. It’s the middle of August.
Is it a lock? Can we call it a lock yet?
All I know is, everyone who picked up a ticket back when his odds were, oh, I don’t know, +1400 … well … they’re looking like Scrooge McDuck diving into a pile of money.
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