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Series Preview: Phillies @ Angels (Can haz a sweep?)

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The Angels should sweep or win the series if they hope to gain wildcard momentum

Philadelphia Phillies v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The last time the Phillies came to town, Jered Weaver was on the bump, Josh Hamilton was playing left field, David Freese was at third base, and the double play combo consisted of Erick Aybar and Howie Kendrick. What a difference 3 years makes. These two teams have only faced 11 times in their history and the Phillies have only managed 1 win. The Phillies probably won’t gain much (or any ground) this year either since they come into this series with the worst record in baseball. HOWEVER - the Phillies have been played some good baseball lately so don’t count them out. In their last 4 series, they took 2 from the Marlins, 2 from the Brewers, lost to the Astros, and swept the Braves in 4 games. The Phillies are 10-4 their past 2 weeks.

The Phillies have had a rough year though, and even compared to the Angels lethargic offense this year they are -28 runs, -47 SB, and -2.2 WAR.

Angels bats have been heating up as they have scored 35 runs over the past week and 23 alone in the series against the Blue Jays.

Question: Will the Angels roar into August like a lion or whimper in like a lamb?

GAME 1

Ricky Nolasco v. Aaron Nola
Tuesday, August 1st @ 7:07PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Summary:

Ricky Nolasco only gave up 3 runs in 6.2 innings during his last start. He had a 5.72 ERA for the month of July which was his second worst month (5.91 in May). Nolasco hasn’t seen this Phillies roster much, but the good news is - of those who he has pitched against - none have (yet) hit a homer off him.

Guess which pitcher is on a roll?? That would be Aaron Nola. Since June 1st, 8 of his 10 starts have been quality and he has been lights out. In the month of July, Nola had a 1.32 ERA and struck out 43 over 34 innings with only 2 home runs allowed.

Verdict: If you wanted to bet on this game, please don’t put your money on Nolasco. With the way Nola has been pitching lately, Nolasco may as well be going up against (a healthy) Kershaw.


GAME 2

JC Ramirez v. Jake Thompson
Wednesday, August 2nd @ 7:07PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Summary:

With all his ups and downs this year, JC Ramirez still has a respectable 4.29 ERA. In his last 4 starts he hasn’t gone less than 6 innings, He’s been struggling with control lately and walked 17 batters in 29 innings during the month of July. He has allowed just 3 runs in his last two starts in 12.2 innings of work.

Jake Thompson is basically a Cy Rookie even though he started 10 games in 2016. Thompson has only made 1 big league start this year, spending most of his time down in AAA where he had a 5.36 ERA and 1.52 WHIP in 18 games. In his start against the Braves last week he gave up zero runs and 5 hits over 5 innings.

Verdict: This one definitely leans Angels but we’ve all seen what Cy Rookie has done to us in the past, so hang in there!


GAME 3

Parker Bridwell v. Jared Eickhoff
Thursday, August 3rd @ 7:07PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Summary:

Parker Bridwell is making the Orioles look stupid (for letting him go) and making Eppler look like a genius. Eppler has made some shrewd pitching deals and this one ranks right up there with the best of them. Bridwell has a 5-1 record, a team best 3.04 ERA, and he’s only allowed more than 3 runs in a start once in his 9 games.

Jerad Eickhoff has been semi-respectable for the Phillies this year. He has a 4.56 ER and 1.48 WHIP. In 3 of his last 4 games, he’s only allowed 2 or fewer runs. Of the few Angels hitters who’ve faced him, Ben Revere and Andrelton Simmons each have a hit.

Verdict: This game should lean Angels and hopefully will continues to see Bridwell evolve as one of the team’s best pitchers.


Overall Verdict: The Angels should take at least 2 out of 3 here. They could sweep - but then again they should have swept the Blue Jays. Too soon??