Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels has all but clinched his first career home run title.
His pursuer, Chicago White Sox’s Luis Robert Jr. (26), has been placed on the disabled list (IL) with an injury one week away from the end of the season.
“토토사이트Luis Robert has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a slight strain of the medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his left knee,” the White Sox announced on Sunday ahead of their game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Robert was removed from the game against the Boston Red Sox on Sept. 25 with knee soreness after leading off the first inning with a walk and stealing second base.
Robert, who made his Major League debut in 2020, has been a regular in center field this season, batting .264 (144-for-546) with 38 home runs, 80 RBIs, 90 runs scored and an OPS of .857 in 145 games. He is second in the American League (AL) in home runs, six behind Ohtani, whose season ended after hitting 44 home runs.
Chicago White Sox rookie slugger Luis Robert Jr. is out for the season with a knee injury. AP
Texas Rangers’ Adolis Garcia hits a solo home run during the third inning against the Seattle Mariners in Seattle, Washington, Monday, Aug. 25. AFP
However, Ohtani’s 44th home run came in the first game of a doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds on Aug. 24. Over the next 35 days, Robert and his pursuers were unable to close the gap. In particular, Robert hit his 33rd home run of the season on August 20 against the Colorado Rockies and then added five more in 28 games before going on the DL that day.
While Robert’s ranking on the AL home run leaderboard may drop in the coming days, Ohtani is certain to remain atop the list.
Third-place Texas Rangers’ Adolis Garcia, who was placed on the IL on Sept. 9 with a right knee patella tendon injury and returned on Sept. 19, has added three more home runs to bring his total to 37. Just one behind Roberts.
The New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge is fourth with 35 homers. It’s virtually impossible for Garcia and Jersey to catch Ohtani. Both Texas and the Yankees have five games left.
This is the first time Ohtani has won an individual title since joining the major leagues in 2018. The unanimous AL MVP hit 46 home runs in 2021, but finished third in the league in home runs behind the Toronto Blue Jays’ Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the Kansas City Royals’ Salvador Perez (48).
Japan’s Kyodo News broke the news of Robert’s IL placement earlier in the day, stating, “Shohei Ohtani’s first career home run title is effectively within reach as Robert Jr. was placed on the 10-day IL today to end his season,” and “Garcia has hit two home runs in his last three games to extend his lead to 37, but Texas has only five games left.
In 135 games as a designated hitter this season, Ohtani is batting .304 (151-for-497) with 44 home runs, 95 RBI, 102 runs scored, 91 walks, a .412 slugging percentage, a .654 on-base percentage, a 1.066 OPS, and 325 RBI. His on-base percentage and OPS lead all of baseball, while his home runs, walks, slugging percentage, and RBI lead the AL. He’s on pace to hit triple digits for the first time in his career and is a lock to win the home run title.
Ohtani leads the league in both bWAR (10.0) and fWAR (9.0), so he’ll likely be the unanimous choice for AL MVP, just like he was two years ago.