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Series Preview: Yankees @ Angels (No mo A-Rod!!!)

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The Angels were swept by the Yanks when they played them in the Bronx back in early June

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

29-14.  That was the total score of the Yankees vs. Angels in their 4 game set back in June.  It was a painful sweep, as any loss against the Yankees is.  The Angels are only 2-8 vs. the Yankees over the past two years which is pretty miserable.

The great UCL hope, Masarhiro Tanaka, is pitching the series opener.  His non-surgical survival from a UCL tear gives us hope that Garrett Richards can come back to pitch in 2017.  Tanaka is a little bit different since he throws like 85 different pitches and doesn't rely on a high 90s fastball.  But I digress...

Aside for Tanaka, the Angels will be facing two young (Cy Rookie) pitchers during this series.  The Yankees have been busy with minor league call-ups this year.

Unlike the Angels, the Yankees have been playing some pretty good baseball and are two games over .500.  The Yankees are out hitting the Angels by about 30 points in August and out pitching them by just a little bit.

Biggest question: Can we beat the freaking Yankees??

Game 1

Jered Weaver vs. Masahiro Tanaka
Friday, August 19th, 2016 @ 7:05PM

UCL tear survivor on the mound

Jered Weaver v. New York Yankees (2015-2016)
G IP BAA K HR ERA
2 11 .360 4 5 10.64
Masahiro Tanaka v. Angels Current Roster (Career)
AB H BAA K% HR FIP
35 9 .257 15.0 0 2.83
Players/Stats to watch:
Albert Pujols & Yunel Escobar v. Masahiro Tanaka (Last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
10 5 1 0 .500
Jacob Ellsbury v. Jered Weaver (Last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
18 6 1 1 .333
Weaver hasn't exactly pitched well against the Yankees these past two years.  They hit 2 home runs and scored 6 off him in his loss on June 8th.  In his last 3 games, Weaver has given up 3, 4, then 5 earned runs.  Let's hope that trend starts reversing and goes back down to 3 or 4.  Weaver has a 5.32 ERA in 2016 and a 1.504 WHIP - both of which are career highs.
Tanaka beat the Angels back in June and allowed only 2 runs over 7 innings.  The Angels have only faced him one other time before that, and it was way back on April 27th, 2014 when he also got the win.  Tanaka is having a pretty good year with a 3.40 ERA and 9-4 record.  He has given up 11 ER in his last three games though.  Tanaka is usually good for 6-7 innings and does give up some homeruns.
VERDICT: Probably have to lean Yankees on this one with a great pitcher on the mound and Weaver struggling against them the past few years.
Game 2
Ricky Nolasco vs. Luis Cessa
Saturday, August 20th, 2016 @ 6:35PM
Cy Rookie alert.

Ricky Nolasco v. New York Yankees (2014-2016)
G IP BAA K HR ERA
3 15 .367 8 2 5.40
Players/Stats to watch:
Didi Gregorius v. Ricky Nolasco (Last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
19 10 3 0 .526
Chase Headley v. Ricky Nolasco (Last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
12 6 0 0 .500
Brian McCann v. Ricky Nolasco (Last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
29 8 9 3 .279
Ricky Nolasco has pitched pretty decently his last two outings with 11.1 innings and 5 runs allowed.  He's not going deep into game, but he's not blowing up the game either.  He lost to the Yankees while on the Twins back on June 18th, despite giving up only 2 runs over 7 innings and striking out 5.  A couple of the Yanks have really owned him the last few years as you can see above.
The Angels often have issues with unknown rookie pitchers, and they have never seen Cessa.  This 23 year old has pitched in 8 games this year, but will be making his first big league start on Saturday.  in 18.2 innings he has a 5.30 ERA and has allowed 5 homeruns.  Let's hope it's not a heavy marine layer night and the Angels can hit some long balls.
VERDICT: I'm gonna go out on a limb here and even though it's Cy Rookie pitching, say the Angels are going to win and knock him out by the 5th inning.

Game 3
Jhoulys Chacin vs. Chad Green
Sunday, August 21st, 2016 @ 12:35PM

Cy Rookie alert, part 2.

Jhoulys Chacin v. Yankees Current Roster (Career)
AB H BAA K% HR FIP
62 14 .226 13.7 0 3.83
Players/Stats to watch:

None
Jhoulys Chacin has still not shown himself to be a viable starter.  He was knocked out after 4.2 innings his last time out and only lasted 1.1 in the start before.  The Yankees scored 5 off him in 5.1 innings back in June.  As a starter this year, Chacin has a 6.62 ERA and .306 BAA.
Chad Green will be making his 6th career start on Sunday.  He has a 4.05 ERA this year but it's 5.63 as a starter.  In his 5 starts, Green has last 6 innings twice and 3.2-4.1 in his other three starts.  Green is a fireballer with a high 90s fastball and he struck out 11 Blue Jays in his last start while allowing only 2 hits.
VERDICT: Chacin can't start a game and our bullpen has been a mess, so I'm leaning Yankees on this one.

OVERALL VERDICT: Series win will be tough.  We should be able to pick up at least one win but have a chance to be swept - again.