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The MLB: Ohtani’s Hot Start and Other Storylines After Two Weeks of Play

Jeff Lembo, Staff Writer

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The 2018 Major League Baseball season is just two weeks old but has already provided a ton of excitement. There are some teams off to fast starts, stars already showing dominance, and others who will have to pick up the production over the span of the next 150 games.

In Los Angeles, young international prospect Shohei Ohtani is already showing brilliance. The 23-year-old pitcher and slugger, touted for his power at the plate and dominance on the mound, has established himself as the player to watch this season. On the hill, he’s won both of his starts, has posted a 2.08 ERA in 13 innings pitched, and has 18 strikeouts with just two walks allowed. On Sunday, he carried a perfect game into the seventh inning, retiring the first 18 batters he faced. At the plate, he’s been nothing short of spectacular. In 19 plate appearances, he carries a .389 average with seven runs batted in, seven hits, three homers and four runs scored. Ohtani, along with superstar centerfielder Mike Trout, will try to guide the Angels back into the postseason.

In other headlines, Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton has struggled early on. After clubbing two home runs on Opening Day, Stanton has gone cold. In 35 at bats, he has just 7 hits and 15 strikeouts. Stanton, along with fellow sluggers Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, will have to get the bats hot to keep up with the streaking Boston Red Sox. The Sox have won 8 of their 9 games thus far, starting the season with an 8-1 record for the first time in their history. The pitching has been magnificent for Boston, with David Price not allowing a run yet this year and ace Chris Sale displaying the dominance that made him a Cy Young Award contender last year. The Sox face off with the Yankees in an important series this week.

There are many other captivating stories across the league. First-year skipper Gabe Kapler is under fire in Philadelphia after a number of questionable decisions to start the season, including calling a reliever into the game that hadn’t warmed up yet. In San Francisco, Andrew McCutchen is making a splash with his new team, as he drilled a walk-off home run on Saturday night. The Astros received their World Series bling last week and are off to a very hot start to the season (8-2 record). Starter Gerrit Cole has been an excellent addition thus far. Bryce Harper is off to a red-hot start, slugging six home runs already. Finally, sluggers Albert Pujols and Adrian Beltre are approaching and surpassing milestones. Beltre just passed Rod Carew on the all-time hits list for Latin-born players with 3,058, while Pujols is fast approaching the 3,000 hits mark at 2,978.

It’s safe to say that the first two weeks of the MLB season have provided us with a glimpse of an exhilarating and captivating season to come. Keep on watching as your favorite team fights towards history in October! Play ball!

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