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Series preview: Angels @ Marlins (This one’s gotta be a series win, right?!?)

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MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Miami Marlins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Angels keep trudging along on their 10-game road trip, with the Rays in their rear view, and one more stop to make before they can head back to Anaheim. The remaining destination is Marlins Park. You’d think that a series against the Marlins may be just what this team needs right now, but that’s assuming the Halos can put a hurtin’ on those guys, and as we’ve learned in 2017, you can’t assume anything about the Angels.

Question: Can the Angels...I dunno...win a series on this road trip, or what?!

GAME 1:

Summary:

Dan Straily is probably the best starter the Marlins have right now, but like the Angels, that particular compliment doesn’t really tell us much because the Marlins’ starting pitching situation isn’t all that enticing to begin with. Still, if the Marlins were to have a good chance at winning against Mike Trout and the Halos, it’d be with Straily on the mound.

We last saw Jesse Chavez pitch in New York, when the Angels put up huge offensive numbers against the Mets but Chavez, and the three HRs he gave up, made the game closer than it needed to be. Yes, the Angels have had two starters give up three HRs in a game on two separate occasions in the last seven days (Ricky Nolasco vs. Rays on Wednesday). That is sad.

Verdict:

Chavez still has the advantage in this matchup, I reckon, since the Marlins have seen him a good deal less than the current Angels lineup has faced Straily, and I expect Mike Trout to continue to do amazing things on the field, and the Angels tend to win games when Mike Trout does amazing things on the field. Usually.

GAME 2:

Summary:

J.Cy. Ramirez gets his first crack at the Marlins, which is probably like Christmas in May for a starting pitcher. I think Miami is going to have one confounding AB after another in this one, which bodes well for the Halos, of course.

Of course, the Angels aren’t really sure who they’re squaring off against on Saturday, which DOES NOT bode well for the Halos. Yes, it could be yet another entry into the Angels Make Newbie Pitcher Look Like Cy Young category of rough games. This would normally be a day that Tom Koehler got the nod, but he has been so terrible that Miami sent him down to the minors after his last start. Koehler has a 7.04 ERA and LOVES to give up dingers. Again, why couldn’t we have seen that dude!?

A couple names thrown out as probables for Saturday’s game are Jeff Locke and Justin Nicolino. The latter has pitched just 10.0 innings in 2017, and has a 6.13 FIP to show for it, while the former, Locke, has pitched 11.0 innings with a 2.87 RIP and one W under his belt. I’ll take Nicolino, please and thank you.

Verdict:

J.C Ramirez FTW!

GAME 3:

Summary:

Matt Shoemaker is back to his mincemeat-making ways, carving up and pulverizing batters with impunity, which is good because the Angels need some SHOEMAKER PRIME right now if they’re to stay competitive. He doesn’t have a ton of experience facing the current Marlins lineup, but what guys he HAS faced, he’s done quite well against.

Jose Urena, the Miami starter on Sunday, is going to be tricky. Urena’s average fastball velocity is around the 97 MPH range, so the guy’s got some heat, and his changeup and slider are consistently improving, according to the Miami beat writers. He’s also gaining confidence, despite the lack of run support his teammates typically provide. He’s got four starts in 2017, in which he’s accrued a 3.08 ERA and 4.87 FIP, which is not jaw-dropping by any means but the Angels shouldn’t sleep on this guy’s skills, otherwise they’re going to be in for a possible rude awakening.

Verdict:

Sunday’s game might be a close one, but give me SHOEMAKER PRIME all day, errrr day.


Overall verdict:

Look, it’s the Marlins. They are not that good...at all. But I never know what Angels team is going to show up: The dominant, exciting Angels or the Three-Stooges-In-Baseball-Uniforms Angels. This SHOULD be a series that they take handily and use to pad their W-L record, but I can’t emphasize that “SHOULD” enough. If I had to bet, though, I’d say the Halos take two out of three in Marlins Park and then it’s on to face Atlanta back at the Big A.