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Series Preview: Angels @ Mariners (Last time for Seattle in 2016)

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The Angels are looking to take their winning momentum into Seattle and their losing ways

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Mariners swept the Angels in their early August series and have won 7 of their 13 matchups this year.  Seattle isn't exactly tearing up the league with their 176 runs since All Star break, which is 13th in the AL.  The Angels are 10th with 189. The Mariners are also toward the bottom in AVG and homeruns - the later of which they share 13th place with the Angels.  Only the Royals and White Sox have hit less homeruns than the Angels and Mariners since the break.

Also since the break, the Angels have a team ERA of 4.24 which is good for 12th place.  Surprisingly, the Mariners are in 13th place with a 4.52 ERA.  Both teams have pretty even records in the second half with the Angels sitting at exactly the .500 mark and the Mariners are two games over.

The Mariners have been pulling a page out of the Angels playbook lately, and have lost 8 of their last 9 games, including a 14-1 pummeling by the Rangers on Wednesday.

Biggest question: Can the Angels keep the Mariners to their recent losing ways?

Game 1

Brett Oberholtzer vs. Ariel Miranda
Friday, September 2nd, 2016 @ 7:10PM

Southpaw showdown

Brett Oberholtzer v. Mariners Current Roster (Career)
AB H BAA K% HR FIP
58 15 .259 15.9 1 3.55
Ariel Miranda v. Angels Current Roster (Career)
AB H BAA K% HR FIP
14 3 .214 11.1 0 4.76
Players/Stats to watch:
Chris Iannetta v. Brett Oberholtzer (Last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
9 4 3 1 .444

Oberholtzer is still not stretched out very far, but he did allow just 1 run in 3 innings on 59 pitches in his last outing; and first start as an Angel.  Oberholtzer was rocked in his first appearance as an Angel, but since then in 3 games he has allowed just 1 run in 7.1 IP.  The 26 year old shut-out Seattle over 8 strong innings when he faced them back in 2015 as an Astro.

27 year old Miranda only has 23.2 big league innings under his belt but has yet to give up more than 3 runs in a start (as few as he's had).  He gave up 3 runs in 5 innings when he faced the Angels a few weeks back.

VERDICT: This game depends on the Angels bullpen since it's unlikely Oberholtzer goes more than 4 innings (5 at the most).  Probably leans Angels.

Game 2
Tyler Skaggs vs. Taijuan Walker
Saturday, September 3rd, 2016 @ 6:10PM
Another pitcher that Trout owns!

Tyler Skaggs v. Mariners Current Roster (Career)
AB H BAA K% HR FIP
60 21 .350 22.1 3 5.05
Taijuan Walker v. Angels Current Roster (Career)
AB H BAA K% HR FIP
55 14 .255 25.0 2 3.12
Players/Stats to watch:

Chris Iannetta v. Tyler Skaggs (Last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
4 3 1 0 .600

Robinson Cano v. Tyler Skaggs (Last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
9 5 3 0 .556

Kyle Seager v. Tyler Skaggs (Last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
10 5 1 1 .500

Mike Trout v. Taijuan Walker (Last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
10 8 5 2 .800

Skaggs had a great bounceback start last week when he shut out a strong Tigers team over 6 innings and struck out 6 while allowing just 2 hits.  The Mariners beat up on him on a few weeks back and knocked him out after just 3.1 IP and 4 runs allowed.
Mike Trout loves Seattle pitching and he completely owns Felix Hernandez and Taijuan Walker.  Walker has had an okay year, but he's allowed 14 runs in his last 3 starts though 17 IP.  In 10 of his 19 starts this year, he's allowed 4 or more runs.  The Angels trashed him a few weeks back when they scored 6 off him through only 4 innings.
VERDICT: I think Skaggs will have another strong start and the Angels will beat up on Taijuan again.

Game 3
Matt Shoemaker vs. Hisashi Iwakuma
Sunday, September 4th, 2016 @ 1:10PM
Matt Shoemaker v. Mariners Current Roster (Career)
AB H BAA K% HR FIP
140 36 .257 18.1 8 4.93

Hisashi Iwakuma v. Angels Current Roster (Career)
AB H BAA K% HR FIP
183 36 .197 17.4 6 3.75
Players/Stats to watch:
Leonys Martin v. Matt Shoemaker(Last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
19 8 3 1 .421

Nelson Cruz v.
Matt Shoemaker (Last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
20 7 5 2 .350

Seth Smith v.
Matt Shoemaker (Last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
17 6 2 2 .353

Matt Shoemaker has been back on his game lately, has thrown less than 6 innings in his last 8 starts and has only given up 4 ER in his last 3 starts through 20 innings.  He's faced the Mariners 3 times in 2016 and aside from his horrible start in April, he's pitched 14 innings his last two times on the mound vs. Seattle and allowed 5 runs and 2 walks.
Iwakuma is having a bit of a down year with a 4.01 ERA and he is 2-1 in 3 starts vs. the Halos.   Against the Angels, he's given up 8 ER in 21.1 IP over those three starts.  Iwakuma has been pretty consistent this year but was beat up bad by the Rangers his last time out and only lasted 3 innings and gave up 5 runs.

VERDICT: I think Shoemaker should out duel Iwakuma

OVERALL VERDICT: The Angels have a good shot at winning the series, maybe even a sweep.