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Series Preview: Angels @ Rangers - Win or lose, no draw

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The Angels head to Arlington in hopes of continuing their hot streak they started with the Royals

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

It's not even the end of April and already the Angels are set to head into their first series rematch of the season.  This series was a 2-2 split just a few weeks ago in Anaheim, but this time, with a 3 game series, there is only a win or lose - no draw.  Hector Santiago gets the nod for the series start, while Richards once again lines up with the other team's ace - Cole Hamels.

The Rangers sit atop the AL West, a mere 1 game ahead of the Angels with a 12-10 record.

An interesting set of stats to consider for this series:

  • The Angels have lowest strikeout rate in the AL - they are making contact - but...
  • The Angels also have highest GDP rate in the AL
  • The Rangers have highest # of DP in the AL

During the last 4 game series, The Angels hit into 8 double plays - including 3 in one game - twice.  In short, the Rangers are really good at turning DPs on the Angels.

Biggest question:  Can we cut down our #$&*!@#$ GIDP?

Game 1
Hector Santiago vs. Colby Lewis
Friday, April 29, 2016 @ 5:05PM

Fun fact: every matchup this weekend is a lefty vs. righty battle.  Game 1 is probably the most favorable pitching matchup of the whole weekend.

Hector Santiago v. Texas Rangers (2015)
G IP ER HR SO BA ERA
6 34.1 8 3 25 .175 2.10
Colby Lewis v. Anaheim Angels (2015)
G IP ER HR SO BA ERA
5 25.2 25 2 23 .346 8.77
Players/Stats to watch:
Kole Calhoun v. Colby Lewis (Career)
AB H RBI HR BA
28 11 5 1 .393
Albert Pujols v. Colby Lewis (Career)
AB H RBI HR BA
25 8 7 3 .320
Mike Trout v. Colby Lewis (Carrer)
AB H RBI HR BA
30 16 11 4 .400
Roughned Odor v. Hector Santiago (Career)
AB H RBI HR BA
19 9 4 1 .474

Santiago pitched pretty well against the Rangers back on April 7th, a game in which he got a no decision with 6 IP, 2ER and 7K.  For his part, Santiago has pretty much owned the Rangers (outside of Roughned Odor), while our 3, 4, 5 hitters have pretty much owned Colby Lewis, though we'd yet to face him in 2016.
On paper, this game looks like a done deal, but it never is with the Angels - is it?
VERDICT: The Angels SHOULD win this game.  Rangers have home field advantage and that's about it.

Game 2
Matt Shoemaker vs. Derek Holland
Saturday, April 30, 2016 @ 5:05PM

Shomemaker has been less than a fan favorite as of late, while Holland is off to an okay start.

Matt Shoemaker v. Rangers Current Lineup (2013-2015)
AB HR K% BA
53 1 13.6 .356
Derek Holland v. Angels Current Lineup (Last 5 years)
AB HR K% BA
143 6 16.3 .246
Players/Stats to watch:
Albert Pujols v. Derek Holland (Last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
25 8 4 3 .320
Mike Trout v. Derek Holland (Career)
AB H RBI HR BA
35 11 9 3 .314
Shoemaker got shelled back on April 8th, when he only last 3 innings and gave up 6ER against the Rangers.  He also gave up a HR to Roughned Odor.  Holland worked hard for a no decision back in early April, throwing almost 100 pitches through 5 innings and giving up just 4 hits.  Surprisingly, the only current member of the Rangers to hit a HR off Shoemaker has been Odor.  However, that sample size is only 53 at bats.  Good thing Arlington has a big ball park.
VERDICT: Really hard to say.  Hopefully the core of our lineup can get to Holland early and get some runs for Shoemaker.

Game 3
Garrett Richards vs. Cole Hamels
Sunday, May 1, 2016 @ 12:05PM

This is an exact rematch for only about 3 weeks ago.  Richards pitched well, but Hamels shut down the Angels and gave Richards the loss.

Garrett Richards v. Texas Rangers (2015)
G IP ER HR SO BA ERA
4 26.2 8 1 18 .215 2.70
Cole Hamels v. Angels Current Lineup (Last 5 years)
AB HR K% BA
123 3 17.0 .154
Players/Stats to watch:
Adrian Beltre v. Garrett Richards (Career)
AB H RBI HR BA
30 9 7 3 .300
Yunel Escobar v. Cole Hamels (Last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
11 4 1 1 .364
Richards got the short end of the stick back on April 9th.  He only gave up 2ER but got the loss anyway since the Angels could only put 1 run on the board.  Richards gave up 4 runs total, thanks to some errors and stuck out 6 over 6.2 innings.  Hamels got the win in that game and only gave up 4 hits and 1ER.
So much needs to happen in this game, like the Angels offense showing up, Richards keeping the score low, many Angels busting out of their slumps (and slumps against Hamels).  Hardest matchup of the series for sure.
VERDICT: The hope here is that Hamels is not fully recovered from his recent groin strain.