MLB Baseball

Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Chi White Sox0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 1 450
LA Angels2 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 3 7103
  W: R. Iglesias (1-0)   L: J. Ruiz (0-1)
5:37 PM PT6:37 PM MT7:37 PM CT8:37 PM ET20:37 ET0:37 GMT8:37 5:37 PM MST7:37 PM EST8:07 PM VEN4:37 UAE (+1)6:37 PM CT, April 4, 2021
Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, California  Attendance: 12,396

Shohei Ohtani set to pitch, hit against White Sox

According to STATS
According to STATS

Chicago White Sox at Los Angeles Angels

  1. The Angels won 10 of the 14 meetings with the White Sox in 2018 and 2019. Chicago has won the season series with the Angels just once in the last decade (2015) -- they had not done that prior since 2010.
  2. Chicago snapped its 11-year playoff drought before losing in three games to the Athletics in the Wild Card round. The White Sox's .583 win percentage last season was their best since going 99-63 (.611) in 2005.
  3. Lucas Giolito will start Opening Day for the White Sox after posting a .184 opponent batting average last season, third best among AL qualifiers behind Shane Bieber (.167) and Kenta Maeda (.168). Giolito ranks fourth in the AL with 11.75 K/9 over the last two seasons (min. 200 innings); he had just 6.49 K/9 in 2018.
  4. Last season's AL MVP, Jose Abreu, was the first White Sox player to win the award since Frank Thomas in 1993 and 1994. He led MLB with 60 RBI, the most by any player through 60 team games since Miguel Cabrera had 67 in 2013.
  5. The Angels' 26-34 (.433) record last season was their worst since going 70-92 (.432) in 1999 and marked their third straight fourth-place finish. It also marked manager Joe Maddon's worst win percentage since going 66-96 (.407) with the Devil Rays in 2007; the Rays won the AL pennant the following season.
  6. Mike Trout is slashing .320/.469/.634 in 54 career games against the White Sox -- his 1.104 OPS against Chicago is the third-highest all-time against the South Siders (min. 150 plate appearances) behind Babe Ruth (1.152) and Lou Gehrig (1.106).
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 4/1/2021 thru 4/4/2021

Shohei Ohtani's prowess at both the plate and on the mound makes him unique in the majors, but the Los Angeles Angels' two-way player will do something Sunday against the Chicago White Sox that even he hasn't accomplished.

For the first time in his major league career, Ohtani will hit in the lineup in the same game he pitches. Unlike pitchers in the National League who bat ninth, Ohtani will bat second in the order.

With the Angels since 2018, Ohtani has not batted in games he pitched, and he also wouldn't play in games the day before he pitched. But he was in the lineup Saturday against the White Sox, going 1-for-4.

Playing for manager Mike Scioscia in 2018 and '19, Ohtani likely had little say in how he would be used in such situations. But current manager Joe Maddon is letting Ohtani assess and decide for himself.

"To me, it's up to him," Maddon said. "When I spoke with him in the preseason in Arizona, he was very precise in regards to what he wants, when he thinks he's going to want to do it and when he's not. And a big part of that is just how well rested he feels.

"I think maybe being that it's the early part of this season, he feels pretty well rested. Every time he goes through the rotation, we will communicate to try to figure out what he needs in regards to rest, and then we'll make our schedule accordingly."

Ohtani often batted and pitched in the same game while in Japan, so it isn't new to him. In fact, he says, it makes him better.

"One of the reasons why is because if I can help my own cause and score some runs for myself, it's going to lead to confidence," Ohtani said. "I'll be able to attack the hitters more and be less passive."

Ohtani went 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA in 10 starts in 2018, but elbow surgery has limited him to just 1 2/3 innings in two games in the past two seasons, both appearances coming last year.

Ohtani is healthy now, but he was not sharp in the spring, putting up a 12.19 ERA in 10 1/3 innings. He has never faced the White Sox.

Yermin Mercedes is expected to get his third start in a row as the White Sox DH after not playing on Opening Day. Mercedes had five hits in Friday's game, then homered, singled and doubled in his first three at-bats on Saturday. He flied out in his fourth at-bat.

Mercedes, 28, played in 617 minor league games before getting one major league at-bat last season. Friday was his first major league start, getting the five hits.

"I just want to cry every time when I see I'm in the majors right now," Mercedes said. "I just want to cry because it's a long time. I've got a big history.

"It's about time, but it's hard for me because just looking around, I'm like, 'It's real. I'm here.'"

Right-hander Dylan Cease, who was 5-4 with a 4.01 ERA in 12 starts last season, will be on the mound for the White Sox. He is 0-1 with a 6.48 ERA in two career starts against the Angels.

--Field Level Media

Updated April 4, 2021

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