Remember when the Angels gave Derek Jeter a sufboard on his farewell tour? Well, now it's David Ortiz's turn and teams have been giving the cheater gifts as he makes the finals rounds to each field. Who says cheaters never prosper? Houston gave him a cowboy hat, San Francisco gave him a bell from a cable car, and Atlanta gave him a framed picture of Ted Turner (actually not - they gave him a video on the scoreboard which isn't much better). Will the Angels repeat the gift theme and give Big Papi a surfboard? Jeter's board had pinstripes, so will Big Papi get an HGH branded ride? Time will tell...
Aside from the Big Papi story, the OTHER big story is the trade deadline which happens August 1st. It's been a pretty quiet trade deadline in general, but so quiet for the Angels, you could hear a pin drop. Is Eppler wheeling and dealing behind the scenes or holding steady with the status quo?
The Angels faced the Red Sox in early July, and lost the series, but began their recent offensive dominance when they crushed and embarrassed the Red Sox in Fenway by beating them 21-2. In 2014, and 2015, the Angels beat the Red Sox 5 games to 2 (each year) and swept them in 4 games at home in Boston in 2014, followed by a 4 game sweep of them in Anaheim in 2015.
During the month of July, no one has scored more runs (126) than the Red Sox, unless your team is the Angels, who have scored 140 runs. The Red Sox are also playing some great ball and have out hit the Angels in July with a .302 average compared to the Angels lowly .296 in second place. The Angels and Red Sox have both won 13 games in July, and the Angels pitching staff has bested the Red Sox in ERA with a 3.86 compared to a 4.64 for the Red Sox which placed them 25 out of 30 teams. The Red Sox picked up Drew Pomeranz to help shore up their pitching for a playoff run and he will face the Angels on Saturday.
Biggest question: Is The Freak DOA?
Jered Weaver vs. David Price
Thursday, July 28th, 2016 @ 7:05PM
Battle of the "Aces"?
Tim Linecum vs. Rick Porcello
Friday, July 29th, 2016 @ 7:05PM
Hector Santiago vs. Drew Pomeranz
Saturday, July 30th, 2016 @ 6:05PM
Pom, pom, pom - Pom, Pom-eraz...
VERDICT: Pomeranz and Santiago have both been mostly solid lately. Probably a toss up game that may be low scoring.
Tyler Skaggs vs. Steven Wright
Sunday, July 31st, 2016 @ 12:35PM
Tyler Skaggs vs. Steven Wright
"I got a new dog. He’s a paranoid retriever. He brings back everything because he’s not sure what I threw him." - Steven Wright
Tyler Skaggs came out of the gate strong in his first major league start since 2014. He threw 7 scoreless innings of 3 hit ball with only 1 walk and he had 5 Ks. He'll look to continue his revival at home this time around.
Steven Wright gave up 4 runs in his win against the Angels earlier in the month. He's had a pretty strong season with a 3.12 ERA and a 12-5 record. Last time he was on the mound, the Tigers beat him up with 8 runs in 4.2 innings.
VERDICT: Skaggs is looking superb and may give the Angels their best shot at a win during this series.
OVERALL VERDICT: Doubtful the Angels can get a series win and will probably be hoping for a split at best.