clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Series Preview: Astros @ Angels (Like it was yesterday)

New, 15 comments

Angels are set tp rematch the Astros who swept them last week in Houston

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Last week is a week most would like to forget.  Especially the series that kicked off Monday in Houston.  The Astros rolled over the Angels in 3 games and were in the midst of a 7 game winning streak until the Royals took them down on Sunday.

Houston finds themselves in a (distant) second place after their recent hot streak (but only 1.5 games out of a wild card spot), while the Angels find themselves with a worse record than all but 3 other teams in MLB.  A shot in the arm isn't going to help when the Halos are 17 games behind the first place Rangers.

The Astros had the best offense in all of baseball last week, scoring 48 runs on 12 HR, 31 walks, and a .328 team average.  The free swinging Astros even cut down on their strikeouts.  Their pitchers also put up the 3rd best ERA in the American League over the past 7 days.  In short, they have been playing some great baseball and are 32-19 since May 1st.

In the past 7 days, the Angels had the worst pitching WAR in all of MLB, the 2nd fewest strikeouts by pitchers, and the 2nd most walks allowed.  They also were 11th in the AL in AVG and Runs scored.

Angels vs. Astros in June:

Runs Scored: 103 to 114
AVG: .265 to .261
Walks: 57 to 99
ERA: 4.85 to 3.33
Pitcher Ks: 192 to 149

Biggest question(s): Can the Angels slow the Astros roll, especially Jose Altuve?

Game 1
Matt Shoemaker vs. Collin McHugh
Monday, June 27th, 2016 @ 7:05PM

No one messes with da splitter.

Matt Shoemaker v. Houston Astros (2015-2016)
G IP ER HR SO BA ERA
4 25.2 11 4 29 .250 3.93
Collin McHugh v. Anaheim Angels (2015-2016)
G IP ER HR SO BA ERA
4 27.1 11 3 22 .250 3.65
Players/Stats to watch:
Jose Altuve v. Matt Shoemaker (last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
14 6 2 2 .429
Colby Rasmus v. Matt Shoemaker (last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
13 5 2 1 .385
Albert Pujols v. Collin McHugh (last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
8 4 2 2 .500
Kole Calhoun v. Collin McHugh (last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
23 7 0 0 .304
Shoemaker's 2015 vs. 2016 splits against the Astros are vastly different. Both years he has faced the Astros twice. In 2015 he had 5.40 ERA and .237 BAA along with 11Ks in 10 innings.  This year, Shoemaker has been a different man vs. the Astros and his 2.57 ERA and 18Ks in 15.2 innings would be the proof.  Altuve and Rasmus have had pretty good success against Shoe, and Altuve hit a dinger off him just last week.  Altuve is on a major hot streak and over the past 4 weeks, he has a .396/.472/.582 slash line. Keeping him off base in this game, and during the whole series will be the biggest challenge as he currently is sitting on a 29 game on base streak.
McHugh has gone 7+ innings in 3 of his last 4 starts against the Angels, including last week when he held the Angels to just two runs.  He pitches well vs. the Halos, but hasn't been great this year and has a 4.70 ERA and 1.435 WHIP which are his worst stats since his first full season in 2014.  He does give up some long balls and has allowed 11 so far in 84 innings.  It's going to be hot in Anaheim Monday, so the ball may fly (pending no marine layer).

VERDICT: Angels best shot at winning and avoiding a sweep is in this game right here.


Game 2
Tim Lincecum vs. Lance McCullers
Tuesday, June 28, 2016 @ 7:05PM

Freak on, freak off.  Which version do we see for his third outing?

Tim Lincecum  (2016)
G IP ER HR SO BA ERA
2 9 5 1 4 .297 5.00

Lance McCullers v. Anaheim Angels (2015-2016)
G IP ER HR SO BA ERA
5 30.2 8 2 27 .224 2.38

Players/Stats to watch:
Jett Bandy v. Lance McCullers (Career)
AB H RBI HR BA
3 3 0 0 1.000
Albert Pujols v. Lance McCullers (Career)
AB H RBI HR BA
11 4 1 1 .364

Lincecum is still trying to regain his old form and struggled his last time out.  He has a lot riding on this year since he's trying to end up with a shiny new contract at the conclusion of the season.  He hasn't faced many of the hard hitting Astros in his career, so this will be a good test for him, and hopefully one that he will pass.

McCullers only threw 5.2 innings against the Angels last week, but it was enough for him to allow only 2 runs and notch a win.  Calhoun, Escobar, Bandy, and Robinson went 10 for 17 that game, but our #3 - #7 batters didn't get a single hit (6 of those 10 hits were off McCullers).  Bandy owned McCullers last week, so it will be interesting to see if he gets to catch this game, and what he can do.

VERDICT: Tough to call.  Lincecum is still an unknown and McCullers shut down the Angels last week.  Flip a coin on this one.


Game 3
Jered Weaver vs.  Dallas Keuchel
Wedsday, June 29th, 2016 @ 12:35PM

Weaver pitching is off, but his death glare is still on point.

Jered Weaver v. Houston Astros (2015-2016)
G IP ER HR SO BA ERA
6 32.2 13 5 24 .260 3.63
Dallas Kechel v. Anaheim Angels (2015-2016)
G IP ER HR SO BA ERA
5 33.1 7 3 32 .185 1.90
Players/Stats to watch:
Mike Trout v. Dallas Keuchel (last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
34 11 2 2 .324
Jose Altuve v. Jered Weaver (Career)
AB H RBI HR BA
30 10 2 0 .333
Jason Castro v. Jered Weaver (Career)
AB H RBI HR BA
23 6 6 3 .261
Carlos Correa v. Jered Weaver (Career)
AB H RBI HR BA
8 3 3 1 .375
George Springer v. Jered Weaver (Career)
AB H RBI HR BA
15 7 2 1 .467
Weaver allowed 4 runs, incuding a 2-run homer when he lost to the Astros on May 28th.  The Astros have him well recently and history tells us Castro has a 50% of hitting a homerun if he gets a hit.  Dallas Kuechel pitched against Weaver back on May 28th and won that duel.  Weaver has been up and down all season, and when he's off, he gives up a lot of runs.  It's a roll of the dice pretty much any time he steps on the mound.
Despite Kuechel bested the Angels about a month ago, Mike Trout hit a long ball off him and has generally done well against Kuechel.  Not be left out, Pujols also hit a home run off him that game.  Kuechel has pretty much owned the Angels the past two years and only allowed 3 hits last time out (the other was to Johnny G).

VERDICT: This one probably goes to the Astros unless Weaver pulls off one of those magic games.

OVERALL VERDICT: Astros probably win the series and likely have a chance at a sweep if they take game 1.