MLB Team of the Week: Shohei Ohtani can't stop making history
By Ben Verlander
FOX Sports MLB Analyst
On Tuesday night, the reigning AL MVP hit not one, but two three-run home runs, one of which came as a game-tying home run in the ninth inning. He ultimately wound up with eight RBIs, a career-high for him.
The following day, he happened to be the Angels' starting pitcher, and he went eight innings on the mound, allowing only two hits and striking out a career-high 13 batters. In back-to-back nights he recorded two separate career highs. Additionally, Ohtani became the first player in history with eight or more RBIs and 10 or more strikeouts in back-to-back nights — no other player in history has accomplished both of those at any point in their careers.
Ohtani seemingly does things every week that have never been seen before; this past week was no different.
Welcome to my MLB Team of the Week, where we highlight the players who had standout performances over the past seven days, led this week by none other than Ohtani at two different positions: designated hitter and starting pitcher.
On the week, Smith hit .423 with three homers and six RBIs. He's also sporting an eight-game hitting streak, which includes four multi-hit games. After a bit of a sluggish start, Smith seems to be heating up.
Freeman had a total of five home runs in the first 64 games of the season. In his past seven games, he added three and drove in 11 runs on top of that to the tune of a .417 batting for the week.
At one point last week, Paredes had five home runs in 12 at-bats over three games. He also became the first Rays player in franchise history to hit a home run in four straight at-bats. He ended the week hitting .471 five home runs and eight RBIs.
Bregman is heating up at the plate for the Astros with three straight multi-hit games last week. He hit .400 on the week with two home runs and five RBIs. One of those home runs kicked off that massive Astros-at-Yankees series in the first inning.
What a week it was for Baez, who is currently one of the streakiest hitters in baseball. He had been cold for most of the season, but he's now starting to hit just about everything. Last week, Baez had a grand slam and hit .478 with three total homers and seven RBIs. When Baez is hot, watch out.
Winker has reached base in seven consecutive games, but that streak will almost certainly come to an end as he's facing a suspension after the massive brawl in Anaheim on Sunday. Before that, Winker hit .450 with two homers and six RBIs for the week.
Robert is one of eight players with 30-plus hits in June so far, and he leads the White Sox with 69 hits this season. Robert is coming off another great week in which he hit .375 with eight RBIs.
OF: Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros
So far in June, Alvarez leads MLB in batting average (.411), on base percentage (.488), slugging percentage (.822), OPS (1.310), and RBIs (26). On the season, he leads all players in OPS. And once again, he had another great week for the Astros.
Entering the week, Jorge Lopez has had 14 straight appearances without allowing an earned run. He has been very good for the Orioles this season and tallied three more saves this week while only giving up one hit.
Ben Verlander is an MLB Analyst for FOX Sports and the host of the "Flippin' Bats" podcast. Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Verlander was an All-American at Old Dominion University before he joined his brother, Justin, in Detroit as a 14th-round pick of the Tigers in 2013. He spent five years in the Tigers organization. Follow him on Twitter @BenVerlander.