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Series Preview - Orioles @ Angels ( Boomstick Cometh)

Mark Trumbo and his boomstick are returning to Anaheim

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Manny Machado, Chris Davis, and Mark Trumbo have led the Orioles to the top of the HR charts (second now actualkly since TB has 1 more) with 57 team home runs, which is 21 more than the Angels who sit at the bottom of that stat int he AL.  Trumbo has been good this year.  Scary good.  Chalk up one more ex-Angel whose careers seems to boom when they leave town.  Good?  Bad?  He's the one with the bat.  Isn't that groovy?  One thing for sure, he's not coming to Anaheim to give us any sugar.  (two points if you get those references)

The Orioles sit atop the AL East right now for good reason.  Not only are they #2 in all of MLB in homeruns, they are #2 in the AL for AVG and OBP, which shows they aren't just all power.  Their pitching staff is 5th from the bottom in ERA, but are 5th from the top in fewest runs allowed, and #1 when it comes to NOT allowed homeruns against them.  Strength comes from the bullpen, especially in Zach Britton, who has been a lights out closer to the tune of a .588WHIP, 1.59ERA and is 11 for 11 in saves.  The Orioles #1 starter, Chris Tillman, started Wednesday, so we won't see him this series, thankfully.

Suddenly, the Angels offense is a bit less offensive and they've scored 42 runs over their last 7 games. Johnny G is hot.  Pujols is hot.  Trout is, well Trout, which is a level about 5 times past hot.  In fact, nearly the entire team is batting over .300 these last 7 games (Perez just missed, and Cron Petit, Robinson, and Ryan are bringing up the rear)

Team batting stats over last 7 days:
AVG (2nd)
RUNS (3rd)
Walks (3rd)
BABIP (1st)
GDP (3rd)  Yep.  We are still doing that a lot - but we aren't first!!!

Certainly a far cry away from when we were near the bottom of pretty much all offensive categories about 8 days ago.

Biggest question(s):  Will Ryan get a hit and can Bandy steal the catching job?  Also - WTF with Ryan Eppler? You've made some good moves, but this one is a head scratcher so far.

Game 1
Hector Santiago vs. Mike Wright
Friday, May 20th, 2016 @ 7:05PM

Santiago pitched a career high 8 innings his last time out. The ONLY other time he went that deep in a game was in June of 2013 while pitching for the White Sox.  Will we see it again?  I'd settle for 7 strong innings.

Mike Wright v. Angels Current Lineup (Career)
15 0 13.3 .200
Hector Santiago v. Orioles Current Lineup (Career)
48 4 30.8 .292
Players/Stats to watch:

Adam Jones & Manny Machado v. Hector Santiago (last 5 years)
17 7 2 1 .412
Santiago hasn't been fooling Machado and Jones, but at least Mark Trumbo is 1 for 8 off him (though that 1 hit IS a home run).  Since Santiago is really good at giving up homeruns (though not as good as Shoemaker and Weaver who also pitch in this series), it'd be great if we could get some marine layer effect at the Big A tonight.  Santiago had his best outing of the year on Sunday and hopes to stay hot.  He hasn't been as consistent this season as we would like to see, giving up 4ER in 3 of his 8 starts.  Santiago has yet to pitch a home game in 2016 where he hasn't given up a home run.
Wright has given up 2 or more runs in every start this year, but is coming off a really hot start of his own on Saturday when he pitched 7 innings against the Tigers and only gave up 3 hits and 2 runs.  Most of the Angels have had limited experience against him, which given his only 81 big league innings, is not a huge surprise.
VERDICT: The trend all weekend will be to keep the home runs down.  Santiago should be able to out pitch Wright if he can buck his trend of not giving up dingers at home.

Game 2
Matt Shoemaker vs. Kevin Glausman
Saturday, May 21th, 2016 @ 7:05PM

Oh Shoey.  We quake in our flip flops whenever you start a game.

Matt Shoemaker v. Orioles Current Lineup (Career)
24 2 32.0 .125
Kevin Glausman v. Angels Current Lineup (Career)
39 1 9.5 .333
Players/Stats to watch:

Yunel Escobar v. Kevin Glausman (2013-2014)
10 6 1 0 .600
Chris Davis & Manny Machado v. Matt Shoemaker (last 5 years)
10 0 0 0 .000
Adam Jones v. Matt Shoemaker (last 5 years)
6 2 4 2 .333
We have another pitching performance that could benefit greatly by some thick marine layer Saturday night.  Shoemaker and his 2.2 HR/9 are heading into a matchup against the power hitting Orioles.  What could go wrong?  Plenty.  If I were in the bullpen on this one, I'd start stretching in the 2nd inning.  Shoemaker has had a tough season and his 8.49 ERA is probably evidence enough of that, even without throwing in that 2.2 HR/9 and 1.85 WHIP.  He's also walking batters at a much faster clip than he ever has. A silver lining is here perhaps, since Davis and Machado have been thus far unable to hit off the Cobbler.  Unfortunately, every time Jones hits off Shoey, he hits a home run (yea it's only 2, but still).
Kevin Glausman is having a much different season than Shoemaker.  He's only pitched 5 games, but has a 3.00 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and a .6 HR/9 rate.  Escobar has owned Glausman in his 10 at bats to the tune of a .600 average so hopefully Escobar stays on the front end of that battle.
VERDICT: Probably the toughest game of the series for the Angels and could come down to how deep of a hole Shoemaker digs (if any) before he exits the game.

Game 3
Jered Weaver vs. Ubaldo Jimenez
Sunday, May 22, 2016 @ 12:05PM

"A lot of other people would’ve shut it down, that’s not who I am." - Jered Weaver

Jered Weaver v. Baltimore Orioles (2015)
2 12.1 3 1 10 .163 2.19
Ubaldo Jimenez v. Anaheim Angels (2015)
2 15 2 0 12 .185 1.20

Players/Stats to watch:
Adam Jones v. Jered Weaver (Career)
23 7 6 2 .304
Yunel Escobar v. Ubaldo Jimenez (Career)
23 8 2 1 .348
The Angels won both games against the Orioles last year in which Weaver started, a 5 inning start that was won in extra innings, and a 7 inning 3 hit gem he won last May.  As you can see from his stats above, he mostly shut down the Orioles in 2016, and one of his 3 ERs came from a homerun.  The 2016 Weaver isn't all that different from the 2015 version, other than his ERA being a bit higher.  Weaver pitched well against Kershaw his last time out, going 7 innings, but 2016 has been all over the board for him.
Jimenez split the games he pitched against the Angels in 2015, but last August he blanked the Angels for 8 innings and only allowed 2 hits.  The good news is that he might be having a worse season than Weaver so far in 2016, which bodes well for this matchup.  Jimenez has an ERA of 5.60 and a 1.756 WHIP.  Most of his outings have been quick, aside from 7 innings against the hapless Twins on April 7th and 8 innings against the boys from Oakland on May 7.
VERDICT: Weaver, aided by the rock pile during a day game may outlast Jimenez on this one, if he can keep the ball in the yard from the smashers in orange.
OVERALL VERDICT: Angels are hot right now.  Hopefully they can keep it rolling at take at least 2 out of 3.