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Series preview: Angels & Rays ( .500 team mirror match)

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The Angels, 23-23 on the year so far, are in Tampa Bay to face off against the 23-23 Rays. Two .500 teams enter, only one leaves (above .500).

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Angels are three games in to their big 10-game east coast roadie, and while they came into New York pretty hot, they left the Big Apple with a tough series loss. The good news? Well, they had one heck of a day at the plate yesterday, smashing four home runs and racking up nine walks.

Meanwhile, the Rays are not too tough, right? They are 23-23 in 2017 so far, exact same record as the Angels. So let’s all send some good mojo out to Florida, and maybe these Halos can keep the momentum going and get some Ws out of this jaunt to Tropicana Field.

Question: Will the Angels come out of this four-game series ABOVE .500? Below .500? Or none of the above?

(Matchup info/data courtesy of Baseball Savant)

GAME 1

Summary:

J.Cy. Ramirez had an interesting outing when we last saw him, against the White Sox. The starting pitcher upstart didn’t flash that flamethrower strikeout power like we’ve seen before, but instead he was economical with amount of pitches thrown and ended up going 7.0 IP with only two runs on five hits. After the game, Ramirez commented that he was trying to not pitch like the old cliche of “working hard, not smart”, which, going off what we saw, is A-OK by me.

Meanwhile, the current Angels lineup features a man named Mike Trout, who has somehow found more and more ways to blow our minds, as well as some other hot hands (Cameron Maybin, heat check time once again?). I think they should get to Odorizzi just fine.

Verdict:

The Angels will win this baseball game, or they will lose. (Thanks, TAME)


GAME 2

Summary:

Matt Shoemaker vs Alex Cobb...I’ll take The Cobbler in this matchup, and that’s because of the date. This game is played on May 23rd, and as you’ve probably seen, Shoemaker has been getting better and better out there, working his way up to the beast we saw for most of last season. I’ve made note a few times that we saw Shoemaker take off after his May 21st start in 2016, and he’s been heating up recently, so I can therefor assume that we’re in Shoemaker PRIME territory now.

I feel sorry for the Rays, they don’t even know what’s about to hit them. Speaking of hits, though...look at those Cobb numbers vs. the current Angels lineup!

Verdict:

I expect this one to be a fun game to watch...if you’re an Angels fan.

GAME 3

Summary:

Ricky Nolasco will hopefully abstain from giving up any home runs. If he can do that, then we’ll be happy Halos fans. If not, then we’ll need to depend on some firepower of our very own, which may end up happening regardless.

Who is Erasmo Ramirez? Well, according to the Rays’ SB Nation site, he’s the Ben Zobrist of pitchers! Your mileage may vary on whether or not that’s a positive or negative comp.

Verdict:

This one could go either way, but I’ll take Nolaco FTW.

Game 4

Summary:

So, which Alex Meyer will we see on Thursday’s getaway game? The 6.0 innings, lotta Ks, few walks Meyer, like we saw two starts ago? Or will this be the Meyer we saw against the Mets, who could only muster up 4.0 IP and gave up a hefty amount of runs in the process? That’s the key question here, especially considering he’s barely faced anybody on this Tampa Bay team. Meyer giveth and Meyer taketh away...nothing new there. One of these days, perhaps we’ll get some much-needed consistency out of his starts, but until then, might as well flip a coin.

Verdict:

The Angels are going to win this game by a score of 6-1, Mike Trout will go 3-4 with a double and two home runs. You can bet on it. That’s my stone cold lock of the century of the week.


Overall Verdict: Ever since the Tigers series back at the Big A on 5/11, and on through this 10-game road trip, the Halos were supposed to be facing off against some easier teams, and we at HH were hoping it’d be a catalyst for them getting on a tear, and adding a bunch of wins to their record. So far, it hasn’t been what we were wishing for, but with the Rays and the Braves on the horizon...there’s still time.

I like the Angels taking three out of four in Tampa Bay, but then again I’m a total homer.