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Series Preview: White Sox @ Angels (Back in action)

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Let's get this second half under way!

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Angels and White Sox split their 4 game series way back in April on the backs of pitching gems by Hector Santiago and Jered Weaver.  They also suffered the wrath of a surprisingly hot Mat Latos (who has since been released by the White Sox), and a nearly always hot Chris Sale.

Going into the break, the Angels offense was red-hot, and in July they had the second highest batting average and runs scored in the American League.  At 70 runs during the month of July, they nearly doubled the White Sox output which was 37.

Over the past month, the Angels have out-paced the White Sox with 143 runs to 120 and outhit them .286 to .267.  Also over the last 30 days, the Angels are last place in ERA and pitching WAR, while the White Sox are #5 in both.

I actually think the Angels could sweep the White Sox, and at least pull of a series win coming out of the break.  Winnings the series would be great since we have a tough matchup against the Rangers to start next week.

Biggest question(s): Will the Angels start off the second half with a bang?

Game 1
Hector Santiago vs. Miguel Gonzalez
Friday July 15, 2016 @ 7:05PM

Santiago faces his former team.

Hector Santiago v. Chicago White Sox (2015-2016)
G IP ER HR SO BA ERA
2 12.1 3 1 14 .140 2.23
Miguel Gonzalez v. Current Angels Roster (career)
AB H HR BB% K% BA FIP
19 86 4 18.3 13.5 .221 5.46

Players/Stats to watch:
Mike Trout v. Miguel Gonzalez (last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
16 3 5 3 .188
Mike Trout only has 3 hits off Miguel Gonzalez, but all 3 of them have been home runs.  Can he do it again?  Gonzalez gives up about 1 HR per 9 innings and he has a 4.39 ERA.  In his last start, he threw 7 scoreless innings against the Yankees.
Santiago has gone 6 or more innings in his last 5 starts, including 7 scoreless against the Rays before the break.  He's given up 0 or 1 run in all 5 of those games, except for the 6 he gave up against Oakland.  Santiago has been pretty lights out in his last two starts (this year and in 2015) against his former team.
VERDICT: Assuming Santiago is on, this game should go to the Angels.

Game 2
Matt Shoemaker vs. James Shields
Saturday, July 16th, 2016 @ 6:05PM

No one messes with da splitter.

Matt Shoemaker v. Chicago White Sox (2015-2016)
G IP ER HR SO BA ERA
2 12 9 5 8 .306 6.75
James Shields v. Angels Current Lineup (career)
AB H HR BB% K% BA FIP
120 31 5 3.2 20.6 .258 4.06
Players/Stats to watch:
Albert Pujols v. James Shields (last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
6 3 0 0 .500
Andrelton Simmons v. James Shields (last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
5 2 3 0 .400
Melky Cabrera v. Matt Shoemaker (last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
7 4 0 0 .571
Todd Frazier v. Matt Shoemaker (last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
3 2 1 1 .667
Brett Lawrie v. Matt Shoemaker (last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
15 6 1 1 .400
Shoemaker's stats against the White Sox don't look so hot, but most of that was from a really bad game in 2015.  He shut them down pretty well back in April and he's been pitching even better since then, though his last two starts have been a bit shaky.
James Shields was traded from the Padres to the White Sox back in June after the owner called him out directly and called the team a "miserable failure".  Ouch.  The writing was on the wall that he'd be on the chopping block.  Shields had a horrible June, but has gone 6+ his last two starts before the break, allowing only 2 runs in each game.
VERDICT: Could be a tough one if Shields is on, but if he's not, I expect some long balls off him.

Game 3
Jered Weaver vs. TBD
Sunday, July 17th, 2016 @ 12:35PM

Weaver's death glare is still on point.

Jered Weaver v. Chicago White Sox (2015-2016)
G IP ER HR SO BA ERA
2 13.1 1 1 7 .174 0.68
Players/Stats to watch:
Brett Lawrie v. Jered Weaver (last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
17 5 5 2 .294
Weaver has been dominate in his last two starts against the White Sox, including 6.1 scoreless innings last August and 7 strong innings back in April when his only run allowed was on a Melky Caberra Homerun.  Poor Weaver hasn't had the best year, but I'm not sure the Mercury News was correct in naming him the least valuable player on the team.  I'd think we would have plenty of those to go around.  Weaver generally doesn't go less than 6 innings and it's usually a slug fest or a fairly spectacular performance.  I'd like to think we'll get the later this time around.
VERDICT: I'm gonna go Angels on this one.  Who know what scrub the White Sox will pair up with against Weaver, but our offense will either pound him or make him look like Cy Young.

OVERALL VERDICT: Angels will likely come out of this with at least a series win.