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Series Preview: Rangers @ Angels (Home is good)

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This series kicks off a 10 game home stand against AL West teams

Texas Rangers v Seattle Mariners Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The Angels have a .559 winning percentage at home this year so a 10 game home stand in the midst of a tight wild card race is hopefully exactly what they need.

Over this last 11 games, the Rangers have been on a roll with 8 wins, while the Angels have won 9 of their last 11. This series pits two AL West teams on hot streaks against each other and certainly won’t be lacking in excitement.

The Angels have won 4 of the 9 games the two teams have played in 2017.

Question: Can the Angels gain wild card ground while facing some tough pitchers in this series?

GAME 1

Tyler Skaggs v. Cole Hamels
Monday, August 21st @ 7:07PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Notable Stats

Summary:

Cole Hamels has been a bit of an Angel killer. In 2 games this year, he’s thrown 14.2 innings and allowed just 1 run on 7 hits. Last year he gave up 7 runs in 17 innings vs. the Halos. Hamels has a 1.64 ERA over his lats 3 starts in 22 innings.

Tyler Skaggs faced the Rangers twice earlier this year, giving up 5 runs in 5 innings, followed by 1 run over 5 innings. Skaggs has a 2.98 ERA in his 3 starts since returning from the DL.

Verdict: If the Angels want to win this one, they will have to find a way to get to Hamels or mount a comeback against the Rangers bullpen.


GAME 2

Ricky Nolasco v. Tyson Ross
Tuesday, August 22nd @ 7:07PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Notable Stats

Summary:

Texas has not been kind to Ricky Nolasco this year. He’s given up 13 runs in just 6.2 innings of work, including 8 runs over 1.2 innings in his last start against the Rangers.

Tyson Ross is part of a small group of regular starters who are actually worst than Nolasco this year. He has a 7.02 ERA in 9 starts. However, he beat the Angels back in early July and allowed just 1 run over 5.2 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

Andrew Heaney v. Andrew Cashner (It’s Andrew’s Fault)
Wednesday, August 23rd @ 7:07PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Summary:

Andrew Heaney is a good pitcher, but his debut back from TJ surgery sure didn’t help convince many of that. However, he’s now pitching in a ballpark that’s just about on the opposite end of “HR friendly” compared to Camden Yards.

Last off season I was hoping the Angels would sign Andrew Cashner. Unfortunately, the Rangers signed him and he has been really good. Cashner has a 3.31 ERA and 3.6 WAR so far this year and hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs in a game during his last 7 starts.

Verdict: Cashner has been really good this year and Heaney is still trying to prove himself coming off surgery. Could be a challenging game on both sides.


GAME 4

TBD v. Martin Perez
Thursday, August 24th @ 7:07PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Summary:

JC Ramirez would probably have started this game until he landed on the DL. No official announcement yet, but perhaps Troy Scribner will get another big league start.
Martin Perez has had a bit of a rough year and has given up 6 or more runs in 3 of his last 5 starts. He faced the Angels back on April 30th and gave up 4 runs in 5.2 innings.

Verdict: Hard to say without knowing who the Angels have planned to start. Perez hasn’t been great this year so hopefully that trend will continue in this start.


Overall Verdict: The Angels should at least split this series but they do face some tough pitching. If they can beat Cashner or Hamels, then could win the series and gain some wild card ground.