No Way, Shohei 


By: Jeff Yoder

Good Morning,

All 30 MLB teams were in action on Tuesday, but that didn’t stop one man from stealing the show. At this point, Shohei Ohtani might be entering the conversation for best athlete on the planet. We’ll give it time before launching a polarizing G.O.A.T. debate. Plus, the NHL Draft is tonight and the top pick is pegged as a generational talent.

 Holiday Schedule: The Sportsletter team will be off next week (Monday, July 3 — Wednesday, July 5) to observe Independence Day.

Letter Rip!


No Way, Shohei!

Image via Giphy

Angels’ Shohei Ohtani Joins Exclusive Company With 2 HRs, 10 Ks in Historic 2-Way Performance

It seems like every time Shohei Ohtani takes the mound, he creates magic. The man who keeps rewriting history books did it again on Tuesday night. Ohtani tossed a gem (6.1 IP, 4 Hits, 1 ER, 10 Ks) while dominating the plate (3-for-3, 2 HRs). It was the first time he had multiple home runs on a night where he also pitched, and the legend of the two-way superstar keeps growing. His start was cut short by a cracked fingernail in the seventh or he might’ve added some strikes to the total. It didn’t stop him from bashing his second homer in his next at-bat.

Ohtani has opened a sizable advantage in the home run race (28) with only Matt Olson (25) and Pete Alonso (24) even in the ballpark. The Angels beat the White Sox (4-2), and Ohtani joined an exclusive list as just the sixth player in MLB history with a multi-homer, 10-strikeout game since the mound was moved back in 1893. What can’t this guy do?

Players With 2+ HRs & 10+ Ks (MLB History)

Milt Pappas (BAL) — 1961

Pedro Ramos (CLE) — 1963

Rick Wise (PHI) — 1971

Madison Bumgarner (SF) — 2017

Zack Greinke (ARI) — 2019

Shohei Ohtani (LAA) — 2023

Watch: Shohei Ohtani Smashes 2 HRs, Tosses 10 Ks in Historic Night

MLB Quick-Hitters

Braves Bombers in JuneThe Braves beat the Twins (6-2) to grab their league-best 19th win in June (19-4 this month). It was the third time this month Atlanta hit five-or-more home runs, including a pair from Ronald Acuna Jr.

Naylor’s 360 Rocket: The Guardians held off the Royals in a defensive battle (2-1), and one of the best defensive plays of the season came via Cleveland catcher Bo Naylor — a wild 360 throw to catch a runner stealing second.

Reds Rock O’s: If Cincinnati’s rookie class didn’t have enough juice, they do now. The Reds’ No. 5 prospect, Andrew Abbott, made his fifth start in the majors and made the red-hot Orioles look average. The Reds won (3-1), and Abbott retired 12 of the 13 batters he faced over six innings.



NHL Draft Primer: Top Picks & Prospects

Photo: Dave Sandford / Getty Images

Key Notes, Draft Order & Top Prospects for the 2023 NHL Draft (Tonight, 7:00 pm ET)

It’s been three weeks since the Vegas Golden Knights hoisted the Stanley Cup, and the offseason rush is underway. The NHL has already seen a number of trades and contract moves ahead of tonight’s NHL Draft, but the bottom-dwellers will have the chance to land a franchise-altering prospect. The top of the draft is likely to be heavy on offense with the nine highest-rated players all at center or wing positions. Connor Bedard is the expected No. 1 pick by the Blackhawks — a 5-foot-9 center who is viewed as a generational talent. Chicago recently hit the reset button, and Bedard is their future. Another intriguing prospect is Matvei Michkov, but the 18-year-old Russian is signed in the KHL through 2025-26. That leaves a question mark for risk-averse general managers. Here’s a look at the top of tonight’s draft and the best players going early.

NHL Draft Order

1. Chicago Blackhawks

2. Anaheim Ducks

3. Columbus Blue Jackets

4. San Jose Sharks

5. Montreal Canadiens

6. Arizona Coyotes

7. Philadelphia Flyers

8. Washington Capitals

9. Detroit Red Wings

10. St. Louis Blues

Full NHL Draft Order (All 224 Picks)

Top Prospects

1. C Connor Bedard (WHL)

2. C Adam Fantilli (Michigan)

3. C Leo Carlsson (SHL)

4. C Will Smith (USA)

5. RW Matvei Michkov (KHL)

The NHL Draft begins tonight at 7:00 pm ET with Round 1. Rounds 2-7 will take place tomorrow (11:00 am ET).

Read More

The Athletic: NHL Mock Draft 2023: Bedard, Fantilli, Smith Lead Final Predictions

Yahoo! Sports: Projected No. 1 Pick Connor Bedard Talks About NHL Draft

Washington Post: In the 2023 NHL Draft, Matvei Michkov is the Ultimate Wild Card

ESPN: Kings Acquire Pierre-Luc Dubois From Jets in Pre-Draft Deal



 Jets End Up on ‘Hard Knocks’

The HBO series ‘Hard Knocks’ has featured a different NFL team’s training camp grind each season with the help of NFL Films. Despite not being interested in any more distractions, it appears Aaron Rodgers and the Jets are set to be this year’s spotlight. (CBS Sports)

 The Dry Paris Olympics

Fans who attend the 2024 Paris Olympics will not be able to drink alcohol at competition venues − unless they’re VIPs. The ban on booze stems from a 1991 law prohibiting alcohol in sports establishments, but there are different rules in VIP and hospitality suites. (USA Today)

 NBA Free Agency Waves

Can the Miami Heat afford to just run it back? Where might Fred VanVleet end up? And what is Houston’s plan this summer? We run through nine of the biggest storylines ahead of what promises to be an exciting NBA free agency period. (The Ringer)





Tonight’s Must-Watch List

NHL Draft

Round 1 (7:00 pm ET)

Concacaf Gold Cup

Jamaica vs. Trinidad & Tobago (7:30 pm ET)

USMNT vs. St. Kitts & Nevis (9:30 pm ET)

Giants at Blue Jays (7:07 pm ET)

Brewers at Mets (7:10 pm ET)

Phillies at Cubs (8:05 pm ET)

Rays at Diamondbacks (9:40 pm ET)


Sparks at Sky (Noon ET)

Dream at Mystics (7:00 pm ET)

Download The Sportsletter’s Must-Watch Calendar



Poll Results

Yesterday, we asked: Which July sports event are you most excited for? A bunch of readers replied to offer the Tour de France as a write-in. Can’t hate the passion, but it’s golf and soccer for the win.

1.  Open Championship — 28.9%

2.  Women’s World Cup — 27.7%

3.  Wimbledon —19.9%

4.  MLB All-Star Weekend & HR Derby — 18.2%

5. 🚲 Tour de France — 5.3%