Last week was long. It was drawn out. It was draining. And it was frustrating! It did not start well with the broom sticks being taken out. So what is being throw at the Halos this week? Folks, let's buckle up and take a look!
After a rough
second first two weeks to the season, the Angels are certainly looking to turn to a new page in the 2013 book. And just as they did last summer, they held a closed door meeting. A week spent at the Big A did not deliver what was really warranted. So the Halos are packing their bags and heading up to Minnesota.
The pitching staff in Minnesota is not one that will make you and I feel intimidated. Take a look at the numbers, and you still won't be intimidated. The Twins' starting rotation core consists of Vance Worley, Kevin Correia, and Mike Pelfrey. Still, nobody is going to flinch when facing them. But when you look at their bullpen, that's when the Twins turn it around with their pitching staff. If their starters get a little sloppy, the bullpen picks up the pieces. Jared Burton has been tearing through batters with four strikeouts, no earned runs, and just one hit allowed in more than three innings to set up Glen Perkins to close. When a starting pitcher becomes shaky early on, they have been able to revert to Anthony Swarzak. Fortunately/Unfortunately, the Angels have been clamoring for an offensive explosion and if there's a time for it to happen this week, it would be in Minnesota. The ball hasn't had a great lift in Target Field this season but the Halos can definitely change that.
The Angels' pitching will no doubt need to clean up their act right now. Jered Weaver is not coming back for some time so C.J. Wilson needs to really buckle down. Personally, now is not the time I want to see this from C.J. and I would much rather prefer a win from him (as would everyone else). And the Twins lineup will not be considerably nice to them. Joe Mauer, Chris Parmelee, and Justin Morneau certainly want to be colder to the Angels than the weather in in Twin Cities.
Tigers at Angels (April 19 7:05pm, April 20 12:05pm, April 21 12:35pm)
After being away for one series, the Halos will come back to the Big A for a three game set against the Tigers. The Tigers' hitting is... well... the Tigers' hitting. Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder lead the way for a team that is currently ranked first for batting average (over .300) and on base percentage (over .350). Both of which are be expected when Fielder and Cabrera combine for more than twenty-eight RBIs and, our former franchise leader, Torii Hunter is continuing to do his Torii Hunter things (but really, Torii's consistency amazes me). The Angels' pitching staff is going to need all hands on deck because the Tigers' lineup is one of, if not, the best lineups in Major League Baseball. There is a reason this team was in the World Series last year.
The Tigers' starting rotation is just as sturdy as their lineup. The Angels will likely face Anibal Sanchez, Doug Fister, and Max Scherzer. As you may tell there is no break, even when Justin Verlander is not in the mix. Sanchez posts an outstanding ERA with a sub-one WHIP and two earned runs in twelve innings. Last season, the Halos went 5-5, breaking even, against the Tigers; however, that was when the rotation had some consistency (albeit, if it was an average consistency).
If the Angels want to win this series, then their bats will need to rise to the occasion just like the rotation has had to do for the whole season. It's time to wake up.
Projected Starting Pitchers -- Sanchez/Richards, Fister/Wilson, Scherzer/Blanton
Note: Some statistics and other numbers may be slightly off because of the time of the writing. I do my best to consistently update this article leading up to it's launch.