Gregor Chisholm: Guerrero Jr. vs. Ohtani, the sequel: Last year’s top two MVP candidates square off Thursday

The way Vladimir Guerrero Jr. explains it, this is just another series. One that presents an opportunity for the Blue Jays to add a few more to the win column and for a potent lineup to get back on track after a slow start.

That doesn’t mean we have to believe him. The stakes are at least a little bit higher than that.

The Jays roll into the Los Angeles area for the start of a four-game set against the Angels on Thursday night and this is shaping up to be anything but a run-of-the-mill affair. This is appointment viewing, featuring two of the game’s superstars in a rare head-to-head matchup.

Guerrero vs. the two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani. The top two vote getters in last year’s race for the American League most valuable player award squaring off for just the second time in their careers. With Ohtani set to take the mound in the series opener, eyes from across the baseball world will be focused on the happenings in sunny Anaheim.

“We all know Ohtani is one of the best, a great pitcher,” Guerrero told reporters through an interpreter following Tuesday’s 8-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. “But I faced him last year, so it’s kind of normal to me. Like I always say, I’m going to continue going out there and give the best I can for my team.”

Except, there wasn’t anything normal about the last time…

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