Last week started slow against the Minnesota Twins. The Angels lost the first two games of the series and the third was postponed due to rain. But, that didn't stop the Halos from dominating the Tigers in their next series. So what does this week bring?
Rangers at Angels (April 22 7:05pm, April 23 7:05pm, April 24 7:05pm)
The Rangers are coming into town after the Angels played them back in Arlington during the first week of the 2013 season. Back then, Texas won the series and the Halos only walked away with one win. If you would have asked someone then where we would be today, they would have said these two teams would be neck-and-neck. Well folks, they're not. They essentially pose opposite records. The Angels have scored a decent amount of runs and let up a lot of runs. The Rangers, however, have scored a decent amount and have not given up many runs.
The Rangers pitching staff boasts a 2.89 ERA that is second in the MLB and its powered by Yu Darvish, Alexi Ogando, and Derek Holland. Right, the guys that are probably going to pitch in Anaheim. Darvish and Holland have WHIPs below .80 and Ogando has been efficient for the back-end of their rotation. The Angels are going to need to read Yu Darvish as best as they can because he can go 94mph on a fastball and slow it down to a 75mph curveball. Not an easy arsenal to face when you've been inconsistent at the plate (although the Halos are now working the Run Factory). I'm sure Josh Hamilton will want to showcase the baseball town he's in, known as Anaheim, to the Rangers.
The Angels hitting may very well be ahead of the Rangers hitting. Batting average? The Angels are second in the league. The Rangers? Ninth. On base percentage? The Angels nix them there too. Albert Pujols has definitely showed signs of returning to form. The hits, average, and strikeouts are low. All good things for an Angel fan like you and I.
Projected Starting Pitchers -- Holland/Blanton, Ogando/Vargas, Darvish/Hanson
Angels at Mariners (April 25 7:10pm, April 26 7:10pm, April 27 6:10pm, April 28 1:10pm)
The Mariners are certainly not all that and a bag of potato chips. But yes, that are playing decent baseball. A familiar face, Kendrys Morales, will face his former team at Safeco Field. The Mariners hitting is certainly not flaunting themselves in any particular category; however, their pitching has been worth a note. Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma are leading the way in Seattle with excellent ERAs and WHIPs. It seems the Mariners may have found someone else to lean on, rather than applying all of the pressure to King Felix. Oh, by the way, Joe Saunders is on the Mariners now. And the Halos will likely face him, so it should be interesting to see if they can hit him the same way others hit him in his final Angel season (that was a mouthful).
Get your popcorn ready! For the third game of this series. And for all the wrong reasons. Joe Blanton will likely take the hill for that game so the ball will be flying! Also, Felix Hernandez is pitching! That game is sure to have more emotions thrown at you than a soap opera!
Projected Starting Pitchers -- Richards/Lowe, Wilson/Harang, Blanton/Hernandez, Vargas/Saunders
In The Comments: PICK YOUR JOE! Joe Blanton OR Joe Saunders