The Chicago White Sox saw Shohei Ohtani at the plate earlier this season at Guaranteed Rate Field.
They are lined up to see the two-way star on the mound during their upcoming West Coast trip.
The Sox begin a three-game series Monday against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif., and the 2021 American League MVP Ohtani — who has 16 home runs this season — is slated to pitch Wednesday.
The Sox are off Thursday and then have three games at Oracle Park against the San Francisco Giants, who just called up former Sox Yermín Mercedes from Triple-A Sacramento.
Here’s what to watch for as the Sox try to build off Sunday’s 4-3 win against the Baltimore Orioles.
Monday-Wednesday: At Los Angeles Angels
The teams split a four-game series April 29-May 2 at Guaranteed Rate Field.
A lot has changed since then for the Angels, who fired manager Joe Maddon on June 7 after losing 12 straight games. The skid ended at 14.
The Angels are 8-11 since Phil Nevin became the interim manager.
Through the shakeup, Ohtani and Mike Trout have continued to produce.
The Sox limited Ohtani to two hits in 13 at-bats in the first series. He had one home run, two RBIs and scored three runs.
While Ohtani didn’t pitch in that series, the Sox faced him once last season. He allowed three runs, one earned, on two hits while striking out seven and walking five in 4⅔ innings on April 4, 2021, at Angel Stadium.
Ohtani has a .261/.339/.493 slash line this season with the 16 home runs and 47 RBIs. On the mound, he is 6-4 with a 2.90 ERA and 90 strikeouts in 12 starts.
“Who else can do that?” Sox manager Tony La Russa asked April 29 before the first series this season. “A lot of people have power, but it’s not just the fact that he’s got a good arm. He’s got an assortment of pitches that are quality. He’s unique.”
Ohtani homered twice and drove in eight June 21 and then struck out a career-high 13 the next night against the Kansas City Royals.
Trout, a three-time AL MVP, is on a tear. He’s slashing .340/.444/.943 with nine homers and 17 RBIs in his last 15 games.
Trout is tied for second in the Amerian League with 22 home runs and leads the league with a .658 slugging percentage.
One thing to keep an eye on with the Angels: potential suspensions after they were involved in a wild benches-clearing brawl with the Seattle Mariners on Sunday. Eight were ejected, including Nevin and Angels pitchers Raisel Iglesias, Andrew Wantz and Ryan Tepera.
La Russa indicated the Sox could get starting third baseman Yoán Moncada back from the injured list Tuesday. Moncada has been out with a strained right hamstring.
“Be nice to get Yoán in there, get some muscle in the middle of that lineup,” La Russa said Sunday.
Friday-Sunday: At San Francisco Giants
A pair of former Sox are having big seasons with the Giants.
Starter Carlos Rodon, who signed a two-year deal with the Giants in Marchis 6-4 with a 2.70 ERA and 101 strikeouts in 14 starts.
The left-hander’s next start is Tuesday against the Detroit Tigers. The team is off Thursday before welcoming the Sox, likely hurting the odds of a reunion matchup.
The Sox selected Rodon with the No. 3 pick in the 2014 draft. He went 42-38 with a 3.79 ERA in 121 appearances (116 starts) in parts of seven seasons with the team.
“Playing with the White Sox was a pleasure,” Rodón said after a March 24 Cactus League start against them.
Outfielder Luis González was named the National League Rookie of the Month for May after slashing .368/.410/.500 with eight runs, 28 hits, seven doubles, a home run, 13 RBIs, five walks and three stolen bases in 23 games . Overall, he is slashing .302/.361/.447 in 49 games.
He was placed on the 10-day injured list retroactive to Wednesday with a low back strain.
The Sox drafted González in the third round in 2017. He went 2-for-9 with three walks and three runs in nine games over two seasons for the Sox. The Giants claimed him off waivers on Aug. 11, 2019.
There’s a chance the Sox could see Mercedes, a former designated hitter with the team, during the weekend.
He had a big impact early in 2021 with the Sox, becoming the first player since at least 1900 to begin a season with eight consecutive hits. He was named the AL Rookie of the Month for April but cooled off and was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte on July 2.
Mercedes was designated for assignment earlier this month, and Giants claimed him off waivers June 18.