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Series Preview: Blue Jays @ Angels (Offense Anyone?)

The offensively struggling Blue Jays come to town to play the offensively struggling Angels in a wrap-around series

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Los Angeles Angels Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Guess who has scored less runs than the struggling Blue Jays over the past week? Yep. The Angels - who have scored a mere 10 runs in their past 7 games. For their part, the Blue Jays have scored 22 runs over their last 7 games. Stretching that to the whole season doesn’t get much better, despite the great first week the Angels had. Over the season so far, the Angels are 12th in the AL with total runs (56) scored while the Blue Jays are 14th (44).

Last season, the Angels took 4 out of 7 games against the dudes from Canada, splitting a 4 game set at home and taking 2 of 3 in Toronto.

Surprisingly, FiveThirtyEight has the odds on the Angels winning all 4 games (which gives them an advantage for playing at home).

Question: When will the Angels offense move from feast or famine mode?


Alex Meyer v. Mat Latos
Friday, April 21st @ 7:07PM

Hello again Mr. Latos

Pitcher vs. Batters

Notable Stats:


Meyer pitched a strong 5 shutout innings against the Blue Jays last September, allowing just 2 hits and striking out 7. He mowed down Bautista, Martin, Pillar, and Tulowitzki in that outing. For Salt Lake this year, Meyer has thrown 3 starts of 5 innings each and allowed 3, 2, and 3 runs while striking out 18 and walking 5 in those starts.

Remember when Mat Latos was on the Angels for about 2 minutes? Good times. Remember when Mat Latos started 2016 with the White Sox and shut out the Angels over 6.1 innings? Not such good times. Latos is making his first big league start of 2017 and has been hard on everyone except for Simmons in this lineup. 100+ plate appearances and not one homerun allowed. Latos has thrown 9 innings in AAA this year and allowed 7 hits and 1 ER while striking out 9.

Verdict: Both Latos and Meyer are a bit of a wildcard. Meyer can have a good start if he keeps the walks down. The free swinging Blue Jays should rack up some Ks against him.


Tyler Skaggs v. Casey Lawrence
Saturday, April 22nd @ 6:07PM

Cy rookie alert

Pitcher vs. Batters

Notable Stats:



Lawrence hasn’t seen the Angels at all yet and Skaggs has just limited work against the Blue Jays. He face 20 batters last August in a 4 innings loss, allowing 4 runs and 5 walks. But Skaggs is coming off a super impressive performance last week when he blanked the Royals for 7 strong innings.

Casey Lawrence is making is his first big league start on Saturday. He has thrown 2 innings in relief so far this year, allowing 3 ER on 5 walks and 3 hits. He is getting his first taste of the big leagues at 29 years old. Lawrence pitched 87 innings in AAA last season and put up a 3.83 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. He has a low 90s fastball, occasional slider and a changeup he throws about 25% of the time.

Verdict: I think Skaggs is gonna have a good start and Lawrence will get a taste of the Angels offense that we all know is there. Well to the big leagues “kid”.


Jesse Chavez v. Marcus Stroman
Sunday, April 23rd @ 12:37PM

Bombs away?

Pitcher vs. Batters

Notable Stats:


Jesse Chavez is coming off a great start against the Astros, going 7 innings and allowed just 1 earned run on 7 hits. Texas beat him up the game prior and in his first start he also allowed only 1 run. Which Chavez will we get in this start? Chavez hasn’t faced the Blue Jays since 2015, back when Cliff Pennington and Ben Revere were on the team.

Marcus Stroman was hammered by the Red Sox in his last start. He gave up 11 hits and 6 runs in just 4.2 innings. He had been good his two prior starts and pitched a compete game victory against the Brewers. Stroman lost to the Angels back in September, even though he only gave up 2 runs.

Verdict: Stroman’s beating against the Red Sox is a rarity which makes this a tough game for the Angel’s offense to get much going early.


Ricky Nolasco v. Francisco Liriano
Monday, April 24th @ 7:07PM

Pitcher Rematch

Pitcher vs. Batters

Notable Stats:


Ricky Nolasco has been just okay so far this year, but has given up 7 homeruns in 4 starts. That stat is just a bit scary with a struggling Toronto team waiting to flex their muscle. Nolasco, however, who bested Liriano last September, shut down the Blue Jays in that game with 6 scoreless innings and 7 Ks.

Francisco Liriano has been really good since he joined the Blue Jays, but he was destroyed in his first outing of 2017. Who has a 135.00 ERA after one game?? Don’t let that fool you though because Liriano has been back to his old ways his last few starts allowed only 2 runs in 11.3 innings with 16 Ks.

Verdict: Tough matchup again. Hopefully Nolasco keeps the ball in the park.

Overall Verdict: Best shot at Angels wins are games 1 and 2 I think. Could be a split series if all goes well.