Shohei Ohtani set to remind Angels fans exactly what they lost in Freeway Series

Kansas City Royals v Los Angeles Dodgers
Kansas City Royals v Los Angeles Dodgers / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages
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It's never not a good time for Dodgers fans to make fun of the Angels. The Dodgers are, by far, the best team in the NL West, while the Angels are languishing in fourth place in the AL counterpart behind the Rangers and Astros, both of whom have losing records. Mike Trout isn't making great progress with his knee injury, and noted baseball player who hates baseball Anthony Rendon appeared in a grand total of 19 games on the season before hitting the IL again before being transferred to the 60-day in May.

But now, Dodgers fans have even more of a reason to gloat about when it comes to the Angels, and he'll be batting leadoff in Chavez Ravine as the Dodgers and Angels head into a two-game Freeway Series.

Of all of the embarrassing things that have happened to the Angels over the past few years, losing Shohei Ohtani may be one for the ages. Ohtani was clearly fond of the organization (there was a reason he chose them over the Dodgers when he first came over to MLB), and reporting suggests that he could've been an Angel for life if Arte Moreno had just coughed up the money Ohtani was asking for.

But he didn't, and Ohtani went up the road and sealed his fate to retire as a Dodger on a record-breaking contract. Friday and Saturday's games will be the first time he faces his old team since leaving, and he's almost guaranteed to do something that will give Angels fans even more to cry about.

Shohei Ohtani will face the Angels for the first time since signing with the Dodgers this weekend

Ohtani hit his version of a slump at the beginning of June, which was really just to say that his OPS fell below 1.000 from June 1-19. It never went below .947, and his batting average never dipped below .305, but Ohtani sets his own curve and is judged entirely in a league of his own. He still leads the Dodgers in OPS, home runs, and stolen bases, and fWAR — and that's as a pure DH. With Mookie Betts out for up to two months with a fractured hand, Ohtani has a serious shot at NL MVP and is a shoo-in to make the All-Star team.

He was always an extraordinary player with the Angels, but he's hitting better at this point in the season with the Dodgers than he was this time last year with the Angels. Although it's always hard to tell if that kind of success will be sustainable, he only got better in the second half of the season with the Angels in 2023 and is giving the Dodgers every reason to believe he'll do the same this year.

All signs point to Ohtani crushing the Angels' depleted rotation over these next few games. No doubt he'll be humble about it, but it'll surely give Dodgers fans ammo to trash the Angels yet again.

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