Dave Roberts Prefers Dodgers Face Shohei Ohtani As Hitter Than Pitcher

The Los Angeles Dodgers snapped a three-game losing streak with a 2-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels in the opener of the Freeway Series, but now have a tough task in facing Shohei Ohtani on the mound.

Ohtani is having an MVP-caliber season at the plate as he enters play Wednesday leading the Majors in home runs (24) and RBI (58). However, the two-way star has been just as dominant as a pitcher, which can be easy to overlook at times.

Ohtani has gone 6-2 with a 3.29 ERA, 4.07 FIP, 1.05 WHIP and 11.5 strikeouts per nine in 82 innings pitched across 14 starts this season. Wednesday is Ohtani’s first career outing against the Dodgers during the regular season.

“That’s a great question. Given the choice, I’d probably rather him just hit because it’s only four at-bats,” manager Dave Roberts said when asked if he’d rather have the Dodgers face Ohtani as a hitter or pitcher. “Where you’re looking at 110 pitches, that’s pretty daunting.”

Ohtani went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts against the Dodgers on Tuesday, which has been a rarity this season. The 28-year-old is batting an overall .295/.379/.623 with 41 extra-base hits and 10 stolen bases in 327 plate appearances over 73 games.

Ohtani has been on another level this month, hitting .377/.476/.884 with six doubles, one triple, nine home runs and 20 RBI in 18 games. He was just named American League Player of the Week.

“Yeah, I have,” Roberts answered when asked if he has seen what Ohtani has done at the plate recently. “It’s just pick your poison with that one.”

Will the Dodgers sign Shohei Ohtani?

Ohtani is in the final year of his contract with the Angels and has largely dodged questions about his future so far. However, the expectation around the league is Ohtani will become a free agent this offseason and spark one of the most anticipated bidding wars in sports history.

While the Angels will make every effort to retain their star, the Dodgers and San Diego Padres are currently considered co-favorites to sign Ohtani.

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