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Series Preview: Twins @ Angels (No more brooms)

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Angels will be looking for payback from their sweep in April

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Twins had been on a 9-game losing streak when the encountered the Angels back in April and ended up sweeping us right out of Minnesota.  Can the Angels exact some revenge at home this week?

There are only 5 teams worse than the Angels this year, and the Twins are certainly one of them.  They are 14th in the AL in runs scored, 13th in OBP, 3rd in total Ks, 15th in team ERA, and 15th in BAA.  That puts them near the bottom of many important stat categories.  Despite all that, the Twins have won 1 more game than the Angels during the month of June.  That makes you feel good, right?  The Twins are also a bit better than the Angels in stealing bases and hitting homeruns.

The Angels had the second worst team ERA over the past week, trailing the Twins by a mere 0.22.  They also tied for the worst pitching WAR and are dropping like a rock in power rankings.  It's been a tough past 7 games for the Halos.

Biggest question: Will it be pitching or offense that suffers during this series?

Game 1

Jered Weaver vs. Ricky Nolasco
Monday, June 13, 2016 @ 7:05PM

Kicking off the series with the Weave.

Jered Weaver v. Twins Current Roster (Career)
AB H AVG FIP K% HR
134 37 .276 3.76 12.9 2
Ricky Nolasco v. Anaheim Angels (Career)
AB H AVG FIP K% HR
93 40 .430 5.18 10.1 3
Players/Stats to watch:
Albert Pujols v. Ricky Nolasco (Last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
13 5 5 1 .385
Yunel Escobar v. Ricky Nolasco (Last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
7 4 2 0 .571
Trevor Plouffe v. Jered Weaver (Last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
7 8 8 1 .412
The Twins threw Nolasco against the Angels back on April 16th.  He ended up with 7IP, 4ER, 2BB, 3Ks, and a no-decision.  Nolasco has struggled a bit his last 3 years with the Twins (not that he pitched much in 2015).  So far in 2016 he is 5-7 with a 5.17 ERA and 1.304 WHIP.  He's given up 5 or more ER in 4 of his 2016 starts, including the 5 he gave up his last time out against the Marlins.  He's given up a lot of hits against the current Angels roster in his career.  Though some of them only have a at bats against Nolasco, six Angels players have an AVG of .300 or higher against him, including Calhoun, Cron, Escobar, Pujols, Simmons, and Trout.
Jered Weaver is well, Jered Weaver.  It's pretty much a toss up if he's going to blow up the game or surprise us all and mow down the Twins.  He has the most quality starts on the Angels this year but has been knocked around bad more than a few times, including the 6ER he gave up against the Yankees last week, and the 4ER he gave up in 4.1 innings against the Twins in April.
VERDICT: Might be a higher scoring game.  Weaver may have a bounceback outing against the Twins and could pick up his 6th win.  He has yet to have back-to-back bad outings this year.

Game 2
Jhoulys Chacin vs. Ervin Santana
Tuesday, June 14, 2016 @ 7:05PM

Former Halo Santana takes on Chacin

Jhoulys Chacin v. Twins Current Roster (Career)
H AB AVG FIP K% HR
0 22 .000 1.95 35.7 0
Ervin Santana v. Angels Current Roster (Career)
H AB AVG FIP K% HR
17 69 .246 3.84 19.7 2
Players/Stats to watch:
Mike Trout v. Ervin Santana (Last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
7 3 1 1 .429
The Twins haven't really ever seen Chacin pitch, and those that have are currently hitless against him. Chacin had his worst start as an Angel against the Yankees last week when he gave up 5ER in just 5.1 IP.  He's been pretty good for the team so far, including an incredible complete game against the Tigers.  However, in his two starts since that game, he hasn't pitched through the 6th inning.
Once upon a time, Santana was pretty good.  He was pretty good when he pitched his way to an All Star appearance in 2008 while with the Angels.  His career was tainted recently when he served a suspension for PEDs.  This year he is 1-6 with a 4.77 ERA.  In his last 4 starts, Santana has given up 19 ER in 23 innings, including 4 HRs, 7 walks, and 31 hits.  The last time he faced the Angels (July 23, 2016), he shut them out on 4 hits over 8 innings.  His PED effects have likely mostly worn off by now, right?
VERDICT: Tough game to call, especially given the rough past few games both pitchers have had.  I say flip a coin on this one, but probably leans Angels.

Game 3

Hector Santiago vs. Tyler Duffey
Wednesday, June 15, 2016 @ 7:05AM

Hopefully Santiago can make it past the 3rd inning

Hector Santiago v. Minnesota Twins (Career)
AB H AVG K% FIP
55 22 .400 9.5 6.65
Tyler Duffy v. Anaheim Angels (Career)
AB H AVG K% FIP
14 2 .143 35.7 0.70
Players/Stats to watch:
Eduardo Nunez v. Hector Santiago (Last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
5 3 4 2 .600
Kurt Suzuki v. Hector Santiago (Last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
6 4 1 0 .667
Brian Dozier v. Hector Santiago (Last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
12 5 1 0 .417
The Angels don't have a lot of stats against Duffey as you can see above, mostly because he is a rookie who made his major league debut last season.  Duffy has had a rough time this season and over his last 5 games, he's pitched 28 innings and allowed 26 earned runs.  He's only given up less than 4 runs 3 times in his 9 starts this year.

Santiago has been a complete mess lately.  In 4 of his last 5 starts, he hasn't even made it past the 3rd inning.  His ERA is 12.18 through those starts.  I might have to close my eyes during this game.  Let me know when it's over.  If he pitches another turd, he needs a trip to Salt Lake or something...

VERDICT: Both of these pitchers have been pretty horrible lately.  If they both stay in the game long enough, the score could end up something like 16-18 with the winner going to either side.  This potentially high scoring affair is a toss up in my book.

OVERALL VERDICT: FIveThirtyEight thinks the Angels will sweep the Twins, but I'm not so sure.  We could come out of this with a series win though, which would be the first one since the Pirates on June 3-5th.