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Series Preview: Angels @ Twins - Keep the hurt on

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An epic and historic losing streak to start the season has put the Twins at 0-9. Hopefully the Angels can roll into Target Field and keep the pain rolling.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Fortunately for the Minnesota Twins, they are still a long way off from the historic horrible start (0-21) of the 1988 Baltimore Orioles.  They are however, already in the midst of their worst start ever (and second worst if you count in the original Washington Senators who had an 0-13 beginning in 1904)

Being born and bred in Minnesota, it pains me a bit to see the home town team struggling so much.  However, I became an Angels fan when I moved to Southern California in 2005 and haven't looked back since.  Now I just hope the Angels can have a part in continuing this horrible start.  Is it too much to ask for back to back sweeps in April?  Maybe.  But one can dream.

Biggest question:  Will the Twins finally win a game in 2016?

Game 1
Garrett Richards vs. Tommy Milone
Friday April 15, 2016 @ 5:10PM

Battle of the lefties on Jackie Robinson Day:

Garrett Richards v. Twins current lineup (last 5 years)
AB H HR BA
58 12 3 .207
Tommy Milone v. Angels current lineup (last 5 years)
AB H HR BA
90 28 2 .311
Players/Stats to watch:
Joe Mauer v. Garrett Richards (last 5 years)
AB H HR BA
10 3 0 .300
Yunel Escobar v. Tommy Milone (last 5 years)
AB HR RBI BA
8 1 3 .500
Craig Gentry v. Tommy Milone (last 5 years)
AB HR RBI BA
7 0 1 .429
Albert Pujols v. Tommy Milone (last 5 years)
AB HR RBI BA
22 0 0 .409
Tommy Milone would probably like to forget about the last time he pitched against the Angels.  The Halos went into Minnesota last September and knocked him out after only 1.1 innings pitched, 4 hits, 3 walks, and 5 runs scored.  Escobar, Gentry, and Pujols have all hit Malone well and Trout has a homer off him in 21 at bats.  Not many on the current Twins roster have seen Richards, or have hit well off him, aside from Mauer.
VERDICT: How bad do the Twins want their first win?  I see them starting the season 0-10 after this game.

Game 2
Jered Weaver vs. Ricky Nolasco
Saturday, April 16, 2016 @ 11:10AM

Weaver hopes to continue proving the critics wrong, and the Twins need to turn it around.  Should make for a great matchup!

Jered Weaver v. Twins Current Lineup (last 5 years)
AB HR K% BA
111 1 13.1 .252
Ricky Nolasco v. Angels Current Lineup (last 5 years)
AB HR K% BA
99 3 16.5 .364
Players/Stats to watch:
Joe Mauer v. Jered Weaver (last 5 years)
AB RBI HR BA
12 1 0 .167
Albert Pujols v. Ricky Nolasco (last 5 years)
AB H HR RBI BA
10 5 2 5 .500
Kole Calhoun is also batting .429 in 7 at bats vs. Nolasco and Mike Trout is 2 for 6 against him.  Weaver has pretty much shut the door on Mauer, so let's hope that trend continues.  Most of the Angels current lineup has hit pretty well against him, aside from Cliff Pennington.  The hungry-for-a-win Twins will be trying to jump on Weaver early.
VERDICT: If Weaver can match his first outing (or come close) and the Angels can continue hitting well against Nolasco, we have the edge here.

Game 3
Nick Tropeano vs. Kyle Gibson
Sunday, April 17, 2016 @ 11:10AM

Tropeano hasn't really pitched to any this Twins roster before (aside from a few at bats)

Kyle Gibson v. Angels Current Lineup (Career)
AB HR K% BA
55 2 19.4 .255
Players/Stats to watch:
Mike Trout v. Kyle Gibson (Career)
AB HR RBI BA
8 1 3 .375
If all goes well up to this point in the series, NiTro will attempt to pitch the Angels into back to back sweeps.  Most of the Twins lineups hasn't seen him, but you can be sure their scouts have and will be feeding that back. Yunnel Escobar is 0 for 7 against Gibson, so look for him to break out of that rut.
VERDICT: I'm going to go out on a limb and say - sweep! Let's get it done Halos.  Take that 4 game momentum and keep rolling over the Twins.
Worst case scenario, I don't see the Angels dropping more than 1 of these games, and they should take the series.