Guess where the Angels go after this 4 game set against the Royals? NYC. Yep. After the Angels take care of business with the Royals, they will be heading to the Bronx for 3 games then Fenway for 3 more before returning home to play in a 4 game freeway series with the Dodgers.
The Royals swept the Angels in 3 games back in April but that was also back when they had Nate Karns and Danny Duffy. It was also before Kennedy’s recent struggles. The baby blue team has not been that great this year. However, they beat the Indians in a series earlier in May, split with the Astros, and beat the Padres and Giants in their last two series. Not exactly tough opponents though in those last 5 games.
On May 29th, Mike Trout injured his thumb AND Buttercup died as the 7th inning stretch song. Since then, the Angels have gone 9-6. Eric Young Jr. has done an INCREDIBLE job filling in for Mike Trout, plus the death of Buttercup HAS to have to something to do with the recent success - right??
Last series Question: Can the Angels pull a double upset in back to back series?
This series Question: Will Eric Young Jr’s streak stay hot?
Ricky Nolasco v.
Cy RookieMatt Strahm
Thursday, June 15th @ 7:07PM
Pitcher vs. Batters
Ricky Nolasco is coming off his second best start of the season. Despite giving up only 2 runs in 7 innings twice this year, Nolasco has lost both of those games. Last time out he held the Astros to just 2 runs and zero walks over 7 innings while throwing a season high 106 pitches. Nolasco hasn’t faced the Royals since April 10th of last year when he allowed only 1 run over 7 innings.
Thanks to Royals pitching woes, reliever Matt Strahm will get the start in game 1. Erik Skoglund has been struggling and otherwise may have gotten the nod, plus the Royals are dealing with injuries to Nathan Karns and Danny Duffy. Strahm will be limited to 70 pitches. He did start 11 games in A ball back in 2015, but hasn’t started the past few years and never at the big league level where he only has 44 innings of total experience. So far in 2017, Strahm has a 4.50 ERA and 26Ks in 22 innings of work. He has not ever faced the Angels in a game.
Verdict: The Royals have one of the worst bullpens in baseball this year and with a 70 pitch limit for Strahm, they are going to be needed this game. Edge goes to Nolasco.
Jesse Chavez v. Ian Kennedy
Friday, June 16th @ 7:07PM
Pitcher vs. Batters
Jesse Chavez took a beating on Saturday at the hands of the Astros, giving up 6 runs in just 3.2 innings. It took him 74 pitches just to get that far. He hasn’t faced the Royals since early in 2015.
Ian Kennedy nearly pitched a complete game against the Angels back on April 12. he threw 8 innings of 2 hit ball, striking out 10 and allowing zero runs. He hasn’t been all that good as of late with 6 straight games in which he has allowed either 4 or 5 runs and has made it through the 6th inning only once in those games. Pujols has 4 hits against Kennedy and 3 of them have been homers. Ding!!!
Verdict: I’m going with a Chavez rebound in this game and Kennedy continuing to struggle.
Alex Meyer v.
Cy RookieJake Junis
Saturday, June 17th @ 5:15PM
It’s a mystery matchup with both pitchers having NEVER faced any batters from the opposing team.
Alex Meyer had a couple of good back to back starts then he only last 4.2 innings against the Yankees. He’s struggling still with high pitch counts and walks and has averaged 18 pitches per inning on the season. Against the Yankees, he averaged 22 pitches per inning and walked 5 batters.
He’s a Cy Rookie, but Jake Junis really hasn’t been good this year. His best start was against the Padres (yea those guys) when he threw 7 innings and gave up 3 runs (all solo dingerz). Junis has started 3 games now and in those games he has a 5.28 ERA, .297 BAA and 1.696 WHIP. He’s also given up 4 homeruns in just 15.1 innings.
Verdict: The Angels should have the win here. Meyer matches up better than Junis and the Angels have a better bullpen. Let’s see if things go according to plan.
JC Ramirez v. Jason Vargas
Sunday, June 18th @ 12:37PM
Pitcher vs. Batters
J.Cy bounced back a bit in his last start with 6.2 innings and only 2 runs allowed. He also threw a career high 111 pitches. It was a good showing against the Yankees after a pair of bad starts prior to that game. Back on April 14th, Ramirez started his first game of the year and gave up 5 runs to the Royals over 5 innings, but a lot has changed since then.
Remember when Jason Vargas had a 1.0 ERA? Good times. We all knew it would level out but he still has an impressive 2.10 ERA on the season and he’s really one had 1 bad start out of 13 games. Vargas hasn’t pitched in Anaheim (or against the Angels) since April 10th of 2015.
Verdict: Ramirez is probably going to have to be really good to keep the Angels in this game. Vargas has been hard to beat this year and this will be a tough win to achieve.
Overall Verdict: Thanks to a surging Angels offense and troubled Royals pitching staff, the Angels could pull off a series win here or at least a series split.