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Series Preview: Angels @ Athletics (September rookies)

Angels head out on their last trip of 2016 to the Bay area

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

We know the routine, the A's suck and the Angels aren't much better.  All the matchups between these two teams in 2016 have pretty much been to see how comes out of the cellar.  This game is only slightly different, in that the A's would have to sweep the Angels to send them both in a tie to the bottom.   However, I don't see that happening.  The Angels are doing a perfect year-end buttercup where they build us up and get us excited, but all too late.  It's still fun to watch them play some great ball recently, and even win close games like when the starter goes out in the 2nd (get well soon Shoey!).

The A's were recently pummeled by the Red Sox 27-4 in two games before winning a 1-0 squeaker no Sunday.  Before that, they were swept by the Cardinals.  Billy Bean has a job because they did a movie about him, but he sure hasn't brought the A's a World Series ring or come even close most years.  We are going to see some young Oakland talent in this series (including two of the three scheduled starters) which could go either way for the Angels.

Biggest question: How good will Alex Meyer be??

Game 1

Jered Weaver vs. Raul Alcantara
Monday, September 5th, 2016 @ 1:05PM

Rare Monday day game

Jered Weaver v. Athletics Current Roster (Career)
152 39 .257 12.6 5 4.28
Players/Stats to watch:
Yonder Alonso v. Jered Weaver (Last 5 years)
10 4 0 0 .400
Steven Vogt v. Jered Weaver (Last 5 years)
31 10 4 2 .323

Weaver has had some pretty good back to back starts, allowing only 1 run against the Blue Jays and 2 runs against the Reds.  The Weaver is 1-0 with a 3.20 ERA in 3 starts against the A's in 2016.

Alcantara is a 23 year old Dominican who will be making his major league debut on Monday.  He started 8 games in AAA this year and had a 1.18 ERA and 0.898 WHIP with only 1 homerun allowed in 45 innings.

VERDICT: Cy Rookie always gives the Angels trouble, so this game could go either way.  The Halos have been playing well and play well in Oakland usually.

Game 2
Ricky Nolasco vs. Ross Detwiler
Tuesday, September 6th, 2016 @ 7:05PM
Ricky is back to prove himself.

Ricky Nolasco v. Athletics Current Roster (Career)
64 20 .313 19.7 5 6.44
Ross Detwiler v. Angels Current Roster (Career)
37 10 .270 14.6 2 5.42
Players/Stats to watch:

Andrelton Simmons v. Ross Detwiler (Last 5 years)
11 4 6 2 .364

Yonder Alonso v.
Ricky Nolasco (Last 5 years)
11 4 3 2 .364

Nolasco had one of the best games of his career his last time out and will probably rebound back to reality on this start.  Can he do anything remotely like it in this start?  Nolasco has had a pretty bad year for the Angels so far, aside from the last start.
Detwiler had a 7.25 ERA in 2015 and has a 4.81 so far in 2016.  I guess you could say that's an improvement?  He has only started 5 games so far this year, but he threw 7 innings of 3 hit and 1 run ball against the Astros he last time on the mound.
VERDICT: I don't hold much confidence in Nolasco and I hope I'm wrong.

Game 3
Alex Meyer vs. Jharel Cotton
Wednesday, September 7th, 2016 @ 12:35PM

Rookie battle!

Players/Stats to watch:
Like many Angels fans, I'm pretty exicted to see Alex Meyer pitch.  This is really the guy that we got for Hector Santiago in that trade since he was the target (not Nolasco).  Meyer just threw 4 innings of shutout ball for Salt Lake and he struck out 6 while allowing only 2 hits and no walks.  It's unlikely we'll see him go past 5 innings, but should be able to get a good look at one of our newest prospects.
With a name like Cotton, it's going to be hard for me to not make some Dodgeball jokes about Jharel Cotton.  Cotton has a 4.31 ERA overall this year, but pitched well for Oakland in AAA with 2.82 ERA and 0.913 WHIP through 38 IP.   He has a 155Ks in 135 innings this year in AAA.

VERDICT: This rookie matchup should be a fun battle to watch.  It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for 'em.

OVERALL VERDICT: The Angels should win at least 2 of these games.