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Series Preview: Athletics @ Angels (Rematch)

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The Angels face the A’s in their first series rematch of the year

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Oh how times have changed since the Angels first split the 4 games series opener with the A’s to start the season. The A’s are coming off a rest day as well as winning 5 of their last 6 games. The Angels have only one 3 of their last 13 games (2 of their last 4) and despite a couple of recent wins, they are still struggling offensively.

Over the past week, the A’s have scored 30 runs in 6 games to the Angels 23 runs in 7 games. The A’s are also batting .275 with 9 HRs, 45 Ks, and 7 GDPs. The Angels are batting .230 with 5 HRs, 54 Ks, and 13 GDPs.

The clear winner in terms of starting pitching, is the Angels whose starters have posted a 2.70 ERA, 8.1 K/9, and 23.1% K rate compared to the A’s 3.58, 6.9 K/9, and 18.4 K rate.

Angels relievers, however, had the second worst ERA in the league (5.40) over the past 7 days which is nearly 2 points higher than the A’s 3.80. The Angels bullpen has also been tops in HRs allowed with 7 in 7 games while the A’s pen has given up 2 in 6 games.

It’s clear where the Angels have room for improvement going into this last home series before they hit the road for a bit.

Question: Can the bullpen step up in this series?

GAME 1

JC Ramirez v. Jesse Hahn
Tuesday, April 25th @ 7:07PM

Ramirez looks to continue improving in his new starter role

Pitcher vs. Batters

Notable Stats:

None

Summary:

JC Ramirez made some good progress in his last start, striking out 9 Astros and allowing 3 runs over 5.1 innings. The A’s are also a high strikeout team so Ramirez should be able to rack up some more Ks if his stuff is working.

Jesse Hahn has yet to allow more than 3 runs in his 3 starts this season. He has only given up 1 HR and struck out 14 in 18 IP. Hahn faced the Angels just in 2016 and lasted only 4 innings - giving up 5 runs. Ji-Man Choi went deep twice in that game against Hahn.

Verdict: Tough one but Hahn doesn’t give up a lot of runs (yet) so Ramirez will have to keep the score down for the Angels to have a shot.


GAME 2

Matt Shoemaker v. Sean Manaea
Wednesday, April 26th @ 7:07PM

Exact pitching rematch from April 4th game

Pitcher vs. Batters

Notable Stats:

Summary:

Matt Shoemaker gave up only 2 runs in 5 innings against the A’s on April 4th, but didn’t get the decision. Ryan Healy and Jed Lowrie both homered early in that game. Shoey is coming off a dominate 3 hit, 7 inning performance against Houston last week.

Sean Manaea gave up 4 runs in 6 innings of work against the Angels back on April 4th. He’s coming off back to back games where he has allowed only 1 run. Manaea has had some control issues and has given up 12 walks in just 22.1 innings pitched, BUT he has also struck out an impressive 26 batters.

Verdict: Shoey is back. I expect an Angels win here.


GAME 3

Ricky Nolasco v. Jharel Cotton
Thursday, April 27th @ 7:07PM

Dingerz?

Pitcher vs. Batters

Notable Stats:

Summary:

Jharel Cotton battled Garrett Richards just a few weeks ago and only lasted 4.1 innings. He gave up 8 hits, 2 walks, and 5 earned runs - earning his first loss of the season. Since then, the 25 year old has been up and down between good and bad starts. He was pretty dominant against the Royals and had a great start against the Mariner’s on his last trip to the mound.

Ricky Nolasco is tied with 3 others (including Jered Weaver) for most homeruns allowed at 7. The A’s are decent homerun hitting team so that could be a problem for Nolasco. In 4 starts, Nolasco has pitched around 6 innings each time. He has a 4.76 ERA and 1.32 WHIP on the season.

Verdict: I’m calling at least 3 homeruns in this game (counting both teams). Could swing swing either way.

Overall Verdict: Game 1 may be the toughest. Angels could take 2 but probably no sweep.