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Series Preview: Angels @ Rangers (Whole new look)

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Angels head out on their second to last road trip of the season with a re-tooled offense

Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

The Texas Rangers have fallen below .500 with their Thursday loss to the Astros. More bad news hit them with Adrian Beltre straining his hamstring. He’ll likely be out for this series and it’s not yet known how severe his injury is. In their last 10 games, the Rangers are 5-5 but 3 of those wins came at the expense of the Angles last week.

On the season, the Rangers have taken 8 out of 13 games with 6 games left to play between these two teams.

The Rangers sure were busy scoring runs last month and their 156 runs was good for 3rd place in the AL. For their part, the Angels sat in 6th place with 142. The new additions of Phillips and Upton should help give the Angels a much needed boost in offense and runs as they make their final wild card push this month.

No team in the AL was all that close to matching the Angels 2.18 bullpen ERA. The Astros came in second place with 2.51 and the Rangers were at 3.56. This solid bullpen has helped keep the Angels in games late and give them a chance to come back from any starting pitching deficits (I’m looking at your Nolasco).

Question: Can Justin Upton and Brandon Phillips make the difference in the Angels being able to a take a series against Texas?

GAME 1

Tyler Skaggs vs. Angels killer Cole Hamels
Friday, September 1st @ 5:05PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Notable Stats

Summary:

Tyler Skaggs has faced the Rangers 3 times this year and has given up 10 runs over 15.1 innings. He was bested by Cole Hamels just 10 days ago so has a chance at redemption in this rematch.

Cole Hamels has been just plain mean to the Angels in 2017 (and to many other teams). He’s held the Angels to only 3 runs over 21.2 innings. He’s vulnerable though, at times, and gave up 6 runs to the A’s his last time out

Verdict: Tough game 1 for the Angels having to face Cole Hamels. He’s been real hard on the Angels so a victory here would be a huge.


GAME 2

Ricky Nolasco v. A.J. Griffin
Saturday, September 2nd @ 4:15PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Notable Stats

Summary:

Ricky Nolasco again? Unfortunately the pending return of Garrett Richards next week bumps Scribner out of the lineup so we are left with hoping Nolasco has a few goods starts left in him for September. Nolasco has faced the Rangers 3 times this year and he’s given up 5 runs over 5, 8 runs over 1.2 and 1 run over 4.2 for an ERA of 11.45. Ouch. Let’s hope he has more in him from his last start when he allowed only 1 run - even if he can only throw 4 or 5 innings.

AJ Griffin spent June and July on the DL and has only pitched against the Angels once in 2017. Back on April 12th he won the game and allowed 3 runs over 6 innings. He’s yet to throw more than 93 pitches since coming back from the DL and has a 4.48 ERA since returning over 5 starts.

Verdict: The outcome of this game relies mainly on Nolasco being able to limit the damage done by the Tigers offense.


GAME 3

Andrew Heaney v. Martin Perez
Sunday, September 3rd @ 12:05PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Notable Stats

Summary:

Andrew Heaney was spectacular in his last start. Being gone from TJ surgery and recovery is no joke and it’s hard to jump right back in and be the way you were before you went out. Heaney’s last game was his 3rd start this year and he struck out 10 over 6 solid innings while allowing just 2 hits.

Martin Perez has been just alright for the Rangers this year. However, the last time he faced the Angels (last week), he threw 7 shutout innings. Back in April he was not as sharp and gave up 4 runs over 5.2 Perez is coming off two back to back solid 7 inning starts but was beat up twice in August by the White Sox and Twins (13 runs in those 2 games).

Verdict: Heaney should have the edge here and if he can throw like he did last game, the Angels can win the anchor game of this series.


Overall Verdict: Game 3 probably brings the best odds of winning in this series with game 1 being the most difficult. If the Angels can take game 1, then can probably take the series.