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Series Preview - Cardinals @ Angels (No rest for the weary)

The Redbirds fly into town to kick off 16 straight games for the Halos

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Angels kick off a string of 16 straight games Tuesday with a weary and weak pitching staff.  These 16 games may likely make or break the rest of the season.  It's going to become increasingly more difficult to attract fans to games when your on-field product is falling apart by the minute.  Thank God for Mike Trout - right Angels marketing team??  I mean, they don't even have a giveaway again until May 20th, unless you count all the double plays.  Thanks, I'll be here all week.

I'm so confused about this upcoming series because the Angels are trending toward losing to bad teams and beating the good teams.  So when the .500 Cardinals hit the field tonight, what is going to happen?  One thing I know for sure, is struggling Adam Wainwright doesn't get to use our team as a turn-around outing.  He's not scheduled to pitch against us, so we have that going for us.

Part of the Angels offensive problems has been that they are REALLY good and NOT hitting the ball REALLY good. You want want to skip over this next section if you are prone to depression.

GIDP = 1st (by a long shot)
Avg Exit Velocity = 29th (87.7MPH)  Thanks for being last Reds!
Avg Ball Distance = 30th (204.4')
ISO = 29th (.142)  Yay the Braves suck more!
BABIP = 30th (.271)
SLG = 29th (.434)  Mike Trout keeps us from hitting the bottom here

Couple this with our blown up pitching staff and the results are not pretty.

Note to Mike Scioscia:  Putting the ball in play doesn't mean crap if you are hitting it like 9-year-old playing their first little league game.

Biggest question:  Will the good or mediocre Cardinals show up for this series?

Game 1
Hector Santiago vs. Mike Leake
Tuesday, May 10th, 2016 @ 7:05PM

Santiago pitched poorly his last outing.  Looking for a nice rebound here!

Mike Leake v. Angels Current Lineup (Career)
48 1 7.3 .333
Players/Stats to watch:
None.  Simmons has a career .439 AVG against Leake in 16AB but he won't be playing.  Soto is 0 for 9 career.
Leake has faced Simmons, Robinson, Escobar, Nava, Soto, Pennington, and Pujols on the Angels current roster.   Santiago has only faced Brandon Moss and Ruben Tejada a few times but not enough to be significant.
MIke Leake has been struggling so far in 2016 with a team leading 6HR allowed and a 6.03 ERA.  The only Cardinals pitcher worst than him in 2016 is, surprisingly, Adam Wainwright.
VERDICT: The baseball gods seem to hate us, but we should win this game if Santiago rebounds well.

Game 2
Matt Shoemaker? vs. Jaime Garcia
Wednesday, May 11th, 2016 @ 7:05PM

Shomemaker or Rasmus will start this game.  I'm betting on Shoemaker.

Matt Shoemaker v. Cardinals Current Lineup (2013-2015)
53?? 1 13.6 .356
Jaime Garcia v. Angels Current Lineup (Career)
23 0 18.5 .217
Players/Stats to watch:
None.  We don't yet know who is pitching for the Angels.  Neither Cory Rasmus nor Matt Shoemaker have ever faced the Cardinals before and Jaime Garcia has limited experience with the Halos hitters.
As of this writing, no call has been made on our starting pitcher and no moves have yet been made.  Likely, Shoemaker and an infielder will get called up soon with Richards and Simmons hitting the DL.
I don't have high hops on this matchup with either Shoemaker OR Rasmus going against a tough Garcia.
VERDICT: Garcia has been good so far this year and our offense may have a really tough time getting much out of him.

Game 3
Jered Weaver vs. Carlos Martinez
Thursday, May 12, 2016 @ 7:05PM

Weaver has been a bit of a surprise this year, but also has been unpredictable.

Jered Weaver v. Cardinals Current Lineup (Career)
33 0 20.5 .242
Players/Stats to watch:
None.  Most of the Angels haven't faced Martinez before, and the Cardinals that have faced Weaver only have a few AB, with the exception of Brandon Moss who is .125 against the Weave with 16AB.
Weaver has had 3 good outing and 3 bad ones.  He's yet to put together two good back to back starts. Could it be time?
Martinez has been a stud for the Cardinals this year with a .261 ERA and a .190BAA.  He's been the best starter they have so this makes for a tough battle.
VERDICT: We may get blown out of this one but I hope I'm wrong.