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Series Preview: Angels & Dodgers (Freeway Series)

The freeway series has about as much luster as the 405 at 5PM on a Friday

MLB: Spring Training-Los Angeles Dodgers at Los Angeles Angels
Put me in coach!
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Dirty Dodgers from up north on the 5 freeway are rolling with a 10 game winning streak as they greet the Angels in LA on Monday. Despite that mammoth winning streak and being 25 games above .500, they have not met the Team of Destiny yet. Until now.

This will be a 4 game series with the first two games being played in LA and the last 2 at the Big A. The freeway series used to be cool but has become stale and lost it’s luster. Can’t the Angels play the Padres once in a while? It rarely happens and they are only about 90 miles away from each other. But I digress and I bring this up every time the Angels play the Dodgers...

Despite the lack of Mike Trout, the Angels have been holding their own offensively and have had some of the best numbers in the American League during the month of June.

Last year, the Angels beat the Dodgers 3 games to 1 in the freeway series. The Dodgers are heavily favored to win this series but that’s pretty much the way we like it this year. #tod

Series Question: The Doyers are heavily favored to crush this series. Does that matter??


Ricky Nolasco v. Rich Hill
Monday, June 26th @ 7:10PM @ Chavez Latrine

Pitcher vs. Batters

Notable Stats


Ricky vs. Rich. Well this should be fun. Ricky Nolasco has been pretty much good for 5-6 innings with 4-5 runs and at least one homer in every game he’s pitched this year. Aside from Chase Utley, he hasn’t seen a whole lot of the rest of this Dodgers lineup. Perhaps that could be a good thing but I expect at least one homer. Right??

37 year old Rich Hill received a 3 year 48 million dollar contract last off season thanks to an incredible 2016. He turned a 1.83 ERA in 2016 into a 4.73 with a 1.55 WHIP so far this year. I don’t think the Dodgers expected a repeat performance, but they probably didn’t except him to be Nolasco-like (minus the dingerz). Hill has pitched in 9 games and has yet to throw more than 5 innings.

Verdict: This game could honestly go either way but Nolasco will have to keep the big bats quiet to keep the Angels in this one.


Jesse Chavez v. Kenta Maeda
Tuesday, June 27th @ 7:10PM @ Chavez Latrine

Pitcher vs. Batters


Jesse Chavez continues to be up and down this season and he’s only had back to back good starts once this year. He’s also only had back to back bad starts once and he’s coming off lasting only 4 innings against the Yankees on Thursday. In 23 career innings at Dodger Stadium he has a 3.86 ERA.

Kenta Maeda had a solid rookie campaign in 2016 and has been pretty stellar for the Dodgers since the end of April. He tends to not pitch deep into games, but has only given up 4 total runs over his last 3 starts.

Verdict: Tough one for the Halos who will hope to get to Maeda early.


Alex Meyer v. Hyun-Jin Ryu
Wednesday, June 28th @ 7:07PM @ The Big A

Pitcher vs. Batters

Notable Stats


Although not officially listed as a start at the time of this writing, Alex Meyer should be starting the game upon the Angels return to Anaheim. After a string of 4 solid starts, Meyer gave up 5 runs in 3.1 innings in Boston. He is still walking batters at a very high rate and has 14 walks in his 26 IP during the month of June. He has been averaging almost 6 walks per 9 innings this year. Considering the Dodgers lead all of baseball in walks, this could be a rough start for Meyer.

Ryu is another Dodgers pitcher who has been just okay this year but he’s coming off back to back starts where he’s only allowed 2 runs in each game. He’s also averaging just over 1 HR allowed per game.

Verdict: Lots of walks probably. This game could go either depending on how much in control Meyer is and his limiting of damage due to walked batters.


JC Ramirez v. Alex Wood or Clayton Kershaw
Thursday, June 29th @ 7:07PM @ The Big A

Pitcher vs. Batters

Notable Stats


JC Ramirez will have his work cut out for him facing Alex Wood. I saw various reports listing both Wood and Kershaw as the game 4 starters, but either way he is in for a battle. Ramirez has struggled a few times as of late, but pitched a strong 6 innings against Boston allowing only 1 run on 4 hits.

Alex Wood is the best pitcher on the Dodgers staff not named Clayton Kershaw. Missing Kershaw in this series doesn’t really help much when you have to face off against a guy that has a 1.86 ERA and 0.916 WHIP on the season. Wood has had 4 scoreless starts this year and is coming off back to back games of 1 run allowed.

Verdict: Toughest pitching matchup of the series. Ramirez has a 6.84 ERA in June and Wood is sitting at 2.29 and is in legit Cy Young candidate talks. #tod will need to be out in full force here.

Overall Verdict: Stranger things have happened. The Angels are far from the favorites in this series and most odds have them losing all 4 games. But anything can happen in baseball. How about a series split? After all, the Dodgers have to lose eventually.