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Series Preview: Angels @ Astros (Blast off or go home)

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Angels need a huge series win against the Astros to stay relevant in 2017

Houston Astros v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Important Game Time Alert!!!
The Angels play a rare Saturday morning game so don’t forget to tune in early (10AM). Also this weekend, the Angels get to play Sunday night baseball at 5PM. Two rare game times all packed in to one fun weekend.

Heading into this series, the Angels find themselves 17.5 games behind the Astros and 2.5 games behind the Twins for the second wild card spot. Without a successful series here, it may be time for the Angels to start making some non-baseball related October plans. The Angels are 6-10 last against the Astros in 2017, though they did take 2 out of 3 from them last time they were in Houston.

In their last 5 games, the Angels have only scored 13 runs. Not exactly the makings of a team bound for the playoffs. On the other side of the diamond, the Astros have scored 23 runs over their last 5 games.

You probably don’t want to know the FiveThirtyEight odds for this series - do you? It’s not pretty. It’s basically 60% Astros for each of these 3 games. Winning a series like this would definitely solidify that whole #tod thing.

Question: How many games back can the Angels drop before you write off the 2017 season??


Garrett Richards (RHP) vs. Justin Verlander (RHP)
Friday, September 22nd @ 5:10 PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Notable Stats


Garrett Richards gets to rematch Justin Verlander whom he faced on September 12th. Richards only gave up 1 run through 5 innings but was on a pitch limit. Despite giving up only a run, the Angels lost because you kinda need to score to win. Crazy, right? in 18 innings this year, Richards has a 2.00 ERA and 0.89 WHIP.

Justin Verlander stomped on the Angels last time he faced them. He allowed just 1 hit and struck out 9 through 8 scoreless innings. This Angels roster has never fared well against Verlander. Just look at those stats above - ouch.

Verdict: Should be a pitching duel and a challenging game for an Angels team that needs win BAD.


Bud Norris (RHP) vs. Charlie Morton (RHP)
Saturday, September 23rd @ 10:05 AM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Notable Stats


It’s another bullpen game. Yay! Last time Bud Norris started a game, he did a pretty good job and threw 2 scoreless innings, allowing 1 hit. However, the last time Bud Norris pitched he did a terrible job and gave up 3 runs and logged only 1 out. Norris had to be rescued by Fernando Salas in that game. That’s gotta hurt!

Our friend Charlie Morton is back. The Angels have faced him twice this year and the first time he gave up zero runs over 5 innings, while the last time the Angels scored 3 runs over 5 innings. In his past 4 starts, Morton hasn’t given up more than 3 runs and he has a 3.69 ERA over the second half this season with a 3.75 ERA overall, so Morton has been pretty consistent all season.

Verdict: The bullpen is gonna have to hold this one together as Norris probably won’t pitch more than 2 or 3 innings.


Tyler Skaggs (LHP) vs Collin McHugh (RHP) (probable)
Sunday, September 24th@ 5:05 PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Notable Stats


Over his past 3 starts, Skaggs has allowed just 5 runs in 19.1 innings. He shut out the Astros over 7 strong innings back on September 13th so hopefully can tap into more of that.

The Astros will “likely” parade out Collin McHugh in game 3. That Collin McHugh who has only started 10 games this year, but also that Collin McHugh who faced the Angels back on August 25th and allowed 1 run on 3 hits over 6 innings.

Verdict: If Skaggs can duplicate his efforts from last time he faced Houston, then the Angels could pull off a win here - but let’s hope McHugh doesn’t also duplicate his last effort against the Halos.

Overall Verdict: At 2.5 games out of the wildcards with 10 to go, this could be the final series the Angels play as a serious contender for that final wild card spot. The odds are not in their favor so they would need to pull off a huge upset to gain in the post season race.