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Series Preview: Athletics @ Angels (Buttercuping)

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The Angels have a shot at a series win or even a sweep and could buttercup their way out of a top 10 draft pick for next year

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Well, here we are - the last week of the season for our Angels, and we face familiar foes in the cellar-sharing Oakland A's.  While the Angels were busy almost sweeping the Astros, the A's last week dropped all 3 games to them and two more to the Rangers.

These two teams have been fairly evenly matched all year, and the Angels are up 9 games to 7.  The A's are one of the things standing between the Angels and a higher draft pick - and probably the only thing standing between the Angels and their first cellar dwelling finish in the Mike Scioscia era.

Can Weaver, Nolasco, and Meyer save Soth from the ultimate embarrasment?  Can Mike Trout hit 30 homeruns and steal 30 bases this year?  Stay tuned friends - same time, same bat channel.

Biggest question: Will the Angels buttercup their way out of a top 10 draft pick for 2017?

Game 1

Jered Weaver v. Sean Manaea
Monday, September 26th, 2016 @ 7:05PM
Jered Weaver v. Oakland Athletics (2016)
IP H BAA K HR ERA
23.2 24 .270 10 2 4.56
Sean Manaea v. Angels Current Roster (career)
AB H BAA K% HR FIP
21 6 .286 13.0 2 8.40
Players/Stats to watch:
Steven Vogt vs. Jered Weaver (Last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
33 10 4 2 .303
Jered Weaver has managed a .500 record to this point in 2016 which is better than the team as a whole can say.  He may have just two starts left in his as a Halo.  Weaver is finished the season "strong" and is 4-1 in his last 6 starts and a 4.21 ERA.  The A's beat up on him a couple times this year, but he also had a 3-hit shutout again them back in June.

Manaea has only allowed 1 run in his last 21.1 innings.  The good news is the Angels beat him up last time they faced him with 5 runs in 5.2 innings including homeruns by Jett Bandy and Jefry Marte.

VERDICT: Weaver is pitching like his career depends on it (because it probably does), so I'm gonna lean Angels on this game.

Game 2
Ricky Nolasco v. Daniel Mengden
Tuesday, September 27th, 2016 @ 7:05PM

Rollie fingers Jr. takes the mound.

Ricky Nolasco v. Athletics Current Roster (last 5 yeras)
AB H BAA K HR BB
79 17 .215 13 4 6
Players/Stats to watch:
Yonder Alonso vs. Ricky Nolsco (Last 5 years)
AB H RBI HR BA
13 4 3 1 .308

Don't look now, but Ricky Nolasco has had two back to back scoreless starts and he hasn't allowed a run in his last 13 innings against Toronto and Houston.  That now makes 3 of Nolasco's 10 starts where he hasn't allowed a run.  He has shown a record of struggling when the pressure is on so hopefully the Angels can get him some early insurance runs.  He's faced Oakland twice as an Angels and in 13 innings has given up 8 runs and 3 homers.

This 23 year old is not having a great season with a 5.74 ERA.  He gave up 4 runs to Houston his last time out.  Mengden has yet to face the Angels in his very young career.

VERDICT: I'm going Angels on this one, assuming Nolasco can give us a good start.  He should outlast the kid.

Game 3
Alex Meyer v. Sonny Gray
Wednesday, September 28th, 2016 @ 7:05PM
Sonny Gray v. Anahiem Angels (2016)
IP H BAA K HR ERA
12.1 12 .255 9 0 3.65
Players/Stats to watch:

Oakland Athletics  v. Alex Meyer (2016)
AB H RBI HR BA
11 1 0 0 .091
Alex Meyer's Angel debut was against the A's on September 7th and he allowed 1 run over 3.1 innings while striking out 5.  He's been looking strong during his last few starts but still struggling a bit with control.
Sonny Gray is 0-2 against the Angels this year despite only giving up 5 runs over both his starts and 12.1 innings.  During the month of July, Gray gave up 7 runs in three different games.  Gray will be making his first start since going on the disabled list August 6th with a forearm strain.
VERDICT: Neither pitcher will probably last deep into this game and I think Meyer is starting to heat up so I'm giving the edge to the Angels.

OVERALL VERDICT: The Angels could take this series with an a shot at a sweep if their pitching holds up.