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Series Preview: Angels @ Rangers (On the cusp)

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The Rangers have the West pretty much locked up, but the Angels could prevent them from celebrating at least over the next 3 days.

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

These two teams met last just 8 days ago when the Rangers took the Angels two games to one.  Despite Texas' being way out in the front int he AL West, the Angels have split their matchups this year 8 games to 8.  It was 2013 the last time the Rangers won the overall series matchup for the year - can the Angels takes 3 years in a row against a team ready to clinch the AL West title?  This year against the Rangers at home, the Angels are 4-2.

The Rangers currently have a magic number is 5, so depending on how this series shakes out, and how the Astros and Mariners play, we could see a Rangers clinch during this series.  Oh joy.

Biggest question: Can the Angels hold off the Rangers from celebrating a win of the AL West during this trip?

Game 1

Jhoulys Chacin v. Martin Perez
Monday, September 19th, 2016 @ 5:05PM
Jhoulys Chacin v. Rangers Current Roster (career)
AB H BAA K% HR FIP
93 26 .280 17.6 2 3.70
Martin Perez v. Angels Current Roster (career)
AB H BAA K% HR FIP
95 28 .295 11.6 1 4.65
Players/Stats to watch:
Carlos Gomez v. Jhoulys Chacin (Last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
13 4 4 1 .308
Jonathan Lucroy v. Jhoulys Chacin (Last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
14 5 1 0 .357
Yunel Escobar v. Marin Perez (Last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
11 5 2 0 .455


Jhoulys Chacin has logged 12 innings against the Rangers this year in 3 different appearances.  In those games he has a 3.00 ERA.  Chacin has spent a lot of time in the pen recently but had a good start his last time out with just 1 run allowed on 3 hits against the Mariners.

Martin took the loss last time he faced the Angels when he gave up 7 runs over 6 innings.  He faced the Angels two other times this year, shutting them out over 6 innings in May and he gave up 3 runs in 6 innings during his April loss to the Halos.  Perez has been a bit up an down all year as his 10-10 record pretty much shows.

VERDICT: Tough game to call.  Let's see if Chacin has two back to back quality starts in him.

Game 2
Daniel Wright v. A.J. Griffin
Tuesday, September 20th, 2016 @ 5:05PM
Daniel Wright v. Rangers Current Roster (career)
AB H BAA K% HR FIP
20 6 .300 8.3 2 9.15
A.J. Griffin v. Angels Current Roster (career)
AB H BAA K% HR FIP
66 16 .262 10.8 4 6.72
Players/Stats to watch:

Mike Trout vs. A.J. Griffin (Last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
19 5 3 2 .263

Daniel Wright is pretty green in 2016 and hasn't been all that great with a 7.04 ERA and only 11 Ks in 23 innings.  He faced the Rangers on September 10th and gave up 4 runs in 5 innings.
A.J. Griffin has given up 8 runs in 11 innings against the Angels this year.  He had one of his two best starts of the season his last time out against the Astros.  He's given up a lot of homeruns this year, but well under half of them at home.  In fact, he's been much better in general at home and his home ERA is a full point lower than it is on the road.
VERDICT: Another toss up game, but Wright may have trouble with Rangers bats.

Game 3
Jered Weaver v. Cole Hamels (probable)
Wednesday, September 21st, 2016 @ 5:05PM
Jered Weaver v. Rangers Current Roster (career)
AB H BAA K% HR FIP
298 72 .242 14.9 12 4.64
Cole Hamels v. Angels Current Roster (career)
AB H BAA K HR BB
159 30 .189 32 4 20
Players/Stats to watch:

Shin-Shoo Choo v. Jered Weaver (Last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
42 17 6 1 .405
Jered Weaver's previous high total home runs allowed in a season was 27.  This year, he is already at 36 with a few more starts to go.  It's just been a plain bad year for the Weave, but yet he has still managed some good starts here and there, including his last start against the Rangers where he pitched 6.2 innings and allowed only 2 runs while striking out 8.  Weaver has actually beat the Rangers both times he faced them in 2016 and he had a 1-1 record against them in 2015.  Over the past two years he has pitched 24.2 innings and allowed just 5 runs against Texas.
Hamels has been pretty dominant against the Angels and Angels hitters.  If he is the one that gets the start, this could be a tough game.  He's beaten the Angels twice this year and not many Halo hitters have had much success against him.
VERDICT: Could actually be a pitching battle if Hamels gets the nod, but Weaver may be due for another stink fest.  Let's hope for the former.

OVERALL VERDICT: The Angels have their work cut out for them if they want to take this series.  It's an uphill battle for sure and the Rangers are fighting to clinch the West this week.