So the Angels are now 5-7 since the All Star break and drifting further back in the wildcard race (5.5 games). They head to Toronto to face a team that could have been contenders but have actually faced the facts and have fallen into sell mode. On the season, the Blue Jays have just as lightly worse record than the Angels.
These two teams squared off in Anaheim way back in April and split that 4 games series.
As each day passes, it becomes more and more clear than this Angels’ season is more about enjoying the ride than hanging your hats on any playoff hopes. We are now on a watch to see if Mike Trout can catch Jose Altuve in the MVP race (Judge who), and how much more awesome Andrelton Simmons can get this year. Plus - the revolving door of pitchers should continue over the next few months with Tyler Skaggs next up to the big leagues and Alex Meyer the latest DL victim. Lots going on - just not lots of winning.
The verdicts in this series preview will all be summed up in GIF format.
Series Question: How do YOU get through the dog days of summer?
Parker Bridwell v. J.A. Happ
Friday, July 28th @ 4:07PM
Pitcher vs. Batters
Parker Bridwell has been a pleasant surprise but part of you also wonders if the shoe will drop with the difference between his FIP (5.28) and ERA (3.09). It’s pretty dramatic but maybe he can hang on to that low ERA. Bridwell hasn’t faced the Blue Jays yet in his young career.
J.A. Happ has been pretty decent for the Jays in 2017 with a 4.13 ERA and 1.319 WHIP. He’s had just a few bad starts - the worst of which was against Cleveland in his last outing where he gave up 7 runs over 6 innings.
Yusmeiro Petit v. Francisco Liriano
Saturday, July 29th @ 10:07AM
Pitcher vs. Batters
If you miss bullpen games - they are you in luck! Thanks to a never ending string of pitcher injuries, Yusmeiro Petit will be starting this game and will be limited to 40 pitches which means next up from the pen will take over after 2 or 3 innings. Last time Petit pitched he threw 41 pitches over 3 innings and in his prior outing he threw 30 over 2 IP.
Unless he gets traded prior to Saturday, Francisco Liriano will make this start for the Blue Jays. Liriano hasn’t had a good season but as of this writing, there is increased talk on “progress” in Liriano going to the Royals. The Angels beat Liriano back in April though he only have up 2 runs over 5.1 innings.
Jesse Chavez v. Cesar Valdez (Cy rookie)
Sunday, July 30th @ 10:07AM
Pitcher vs. Batters:
Jessse Chavez beat the Blue Jays back on April 24th, allowing just 1 run through 6 innings. In his last trip to the mound, the Indians gave him a beat down to the tune of 7 runs over 2.1 innings. The Indians are on a roll though, and the Blue Jays - not so much.
32-year old Cesar Valdez is still technically a rookie despite the 20 innings he pitched for the Diamondbacks way back in 2010. He got his shot again this year and in his first start of the year on July 25th, he held the A’s to 1 run over 6 innings of work. He faced the Angels in relief back in April and gave up 0 hits over 1.1 innings.