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Series preview: Angels @ White Sox - Redemption time

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The Angels head to Chi-town to gain redemption for going winless in Minneapolis.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

American League Central first place team, the Chicago White Sox will be hosting the Angels for a 4 game series.  Of course the Angels hope to rebound from a nausea-inducing sweep by the Twins and fans everywhere hope Mike Trout starts to show up, along with most or the rest of the Angel's bats.  This will be no small task, given we are about to face the best pitching staff in the AL (in terms of team ERA and opponent batting average).

The White Sox have already swept both the Padres and the Twins in 2016, on their way to a somewhat impressive early trip to the top of their standings.  The Angels, on the other hand were hot off a sweep of the A's before slamming the brakes on full stop this past weekend against the Twins.

If would sure be nice to the Angels to return home on Friday on the positive side of this current road trip which would require taking at least 3 of this series.  A series split would put them at .500.

Biggest question:  Will the real Mike Trout show up?

Game 1
Hector Santiago vs. Carlos Rodon
Monday, April 18, 2016 @ 5:10PM

Another lefty battle as Santiago faces off against his former team while Rodon looks to continue his beatdown of the Angels from 2015 :

Hector Santiago v. White Sox Current Lineup (2014-2015)
AB HR K% AVG
76 2 27.7 .211
Carlos Rodon v. Anaheim Angels (2015)
G IP R HR SO BA ERA
2 15 2 2 16 .160 1.20
Players/Stats to watch:
C.J. Cron v. Carlos Rodon (2015)
AB H R HR BA
6 4 1 1 .667
Previous stats-wise, there is not a whole lot to talk about since there are not much in the way of significant stats against both pitchers.  Rodon shut the Angels down last year as a rookie and Santiago only pitched one game vs. the White Sox.  Perhaps the only stat of note is that the ONLY Angel who hit well against Rodon in 2015 was C.J. Cron so if he can't bust of his slump this week - then when will he?
VERDICT: I don't see a lot of runs scored in this game unless Santiago struggles early.  Both pitchers have been doing well this year and both offenses are not overwhelming.  Probably a slow, low scoring game with the winning run(s) coming after inning 5.

Game 2
Matt Shoemaker vs. Mat Latos
Tuesday, April 19, 2016 @ 5:10PM

Latos was pretty much horrible for the Angels and Dodgers last year, so it figures that he has been great in his first two White Sox starts.  Shoemaker hopes to return the phrase "Fear the Beard" into our regular vocabulary.

Matt Shoemaker v. White Sox Current Lineup (2014-2015)
AB HR K% BA
58 3 32.2 .379
Mat Latos v. Angels Current Lineup (Last 5 years)
AB HR K% BA
56 0 10.8 .304
Players/Stats to watch:
Brett Lawrie v. Matt Shoemaker (2014-2015)
AB H SO HR BA
12 6 4 1 .500
Andrelton Simmons v. Mat Latos (Last 5 years)
AB RBI BA
9 2 .556
Pujols and Trout are a combined 2 for 14 against Latos and with their current struggles, that doesn't leave much room for optimism.  At least Simmons seems to have no problems with him and perhaps from his brief time on our roster last season we have learned enough about him to be effective. Wishful thinking perhaps but why not?  About have our lineup have never seen Latos,
VERDICT: This is a tough one to call and really depends on what version of Shoemaker shows up since he has been unpredictable.  If Latos continues his early success we will probably struggle (yet again) to score runs.

Game 3
Garrett Richards vs. Chris Sale
Wednesday, April 20, 2016 @ 11:10AM

Oh good! Our 0-2 ace matches up against the dominating Sale who is off to a blazing start.

Garrett Richards v. White Sox Current Lineup (Career)
AB HR K% BA
77 1 18.8 .260
Chris Sale v. Angels Current Lineup (Career)
AB HR K% BA
75 4 22.6 .227

Players/Stats to watch:
Brett Lawrie v. Garrett Richards (Career)
AB H SO HR OBP
14 6 2 0 .471
Jose Abreu v. Garrett Richards (Career)
AB H SO HR BA
6 4 1 1 .667
Cliff Pennington v. Chris Sale (Career)
AB H SO HR BA
7 3 0 0 .429
Both of these pitchers got the win when they faces the opposing team in 2015 but obviously they didn't face each other until now.
Mike Trout and Albert Pujols have each hit a HR off Chris Sale and I was fortunate enough to be at the game in 2014 when Trout took Sale deep for a game tying grand slam in the bottom of the 8th.  That's some vintage Mike Trout right there that we would love to see again soon.  Pennington, if he plays, has had the most success (though limited) against Sale in terms of actually getting on base.
VERDICT: If Sale has a good day, Richards could be starting at an 0-3 start to his season.

Game 4
Jered Weaver vs. John Danks
Thursday, April 21, 2016 @ 11:10AM

Danks has been horrible in two starts and Weaver has been on both sides of the battle:

Jered Weaver v. White Sox Current Roster (Career)
AB HR K% AVG
121 2 19.5 .198
John Danks v. Anaheim Angels (2015)
G IP R HR SO BA ERA
2 14.1 5 2 5 .189 3.14
Players/Stats to watch:
Brett Lawrie v. Jered Weaver (Career)
AB HR BA
14 2 .286
Yunel Escobar v. John Danks (Career)
AB RBI BA
11 1 .364
Johnny Giavotella v. John Danks (Career)
AB RBI BA
14 1 .357
Danks was 1-1 agains the Angels in 2015, pitching well both times aside from  Calhoun and Pujols both taking him deep in inning 1 of their second matchup.  Escobar and Giavotella have hit well off Danks.
Interesting enough, for Angel J.B. Shuck is 2 for 3 off Weaver so it will be interesting to see if he gets any at bats Thursday.  Weaver has great career stats vs. the White Sox and notched the win when he faced them just once in 2015.
VERDICT: This is probably the best break out potential game the Angels have this week, especially since Danks has had the worst 2016 of all the White Sox pitchers we face in this series.