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Series Preview: Angels @ White Sox (One more for the road)

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Angels head out to Chicago for their last road trip of 2017

Chicago White Sox v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

This is the series that was supposed to allow the Angels to gain ground on the Twins, but instead they enter this 4 game set 4.5 games behind the Twins. Is the season over? Not just yet, but pretty darn close. Let’s assume the Indians sweep the Twins and the Angels sweep the White Sox. In this scenario, the Angels end up 1 game behind the Twins as they head to play Seattle next weekend and the Twins play the Tigers (again), who they just finished pulverizing.

If you were to go completely on FiveThirtyEight predications, the Angels would sweep the White Sox and the Twins WOULD get swept by the Indians - putting the Angels 1 game out of a wild card. Of course those same predictions have the Twins sweeping the Tigers to end the season which would all make it a moot point.

Back in May, the Angels swept the White Sox in 3 games, so a sweep is certainly not out of the question.

Prior to the game last night, the Angels had been on a 6 game losing streak and only scored 12 runs over their past 7 games. The White Sox are 4-5 in this last 9 games with 24 runs scored over their last 7 games.

Question: If the Angels sweep the White Sox - will it matter?

GAME 1

Ricky Nolasco (RHP) vs. James Shields (RHP)
Monday, September 25th @ 5:10 PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Summary:

Ricky Nolasco has met his match when it comes to pitchers. He and James Shields have pretty similar starts and both are good at giving up the long ball. Last year in 2 starts, Nolasco gave up 6 runs in 13 innings against the White Sox. He has not yet face them this year.

James Shields is riding a 5.40 ERA and 1.482 WHP with 26 home runs allowed. He may even make Nolasco look good in this game. Shields doesn’t have a single start this year in which he hasn’t given up at least 1 run and he’s allowed 12 over his last 25 IP.

Verdict: I can’t imagine one or both of these pitchers NOT giving up a home run in this game. Could see some good run scoring action on both sides of the diamond.


GAME 2

Parker Bridwell (RHP) vs. Carson Fulmer (probable) (Cy Rookie)
Tuesday, September 26th @ 5:10 PM

Summary:

Parker Bridwell gets to show off his stuff against the White Sox for the first time. He’s been good this year, but over his last 5 games he has given up 19 runs in 23.1 innings (7.40 ERA).

The White Sox pitching rotation is full of newbs, and Carson Fulmer is no exception with 30 big league innings pitched. He’s only tossed 6 games this year (starting August 21st) and has given up 9 ER in 18.1 innings. Fulmer is also prone to the long ball and has given up about 2 per night innings.

Verdict: Bridwell definitely has the edge here, though Fulmer does have two recent 1 run, 6 inning starts to brag about.


GAME 3

Garrett Richards (RHP) vs Reynaldo Lopez (RHP) (Cy Rookie)
Wednesday, September 27th @ 5:10 PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Summary:

Garrett Richards has been pretty amazing in his short season. He has only 24 IP and after this starts, could be leading the pitch staff in WAR. When Richards faced the White Sox last year, he allowed 1 ER over 6.1 innings.

Reynaldo Lopez is basically another Cy Rookie even though he pitched last year (only 85 total innings over 2 years). Lopez has given up 9 runs over his last 19.1 innings and 3 starts.

Verdict: Richards has a ridiculous 1.50 ERA this year and could drive that even lower here. The Angels need to hit Cy Rookie and if they do, should be able to handle this game.


GAME 4

Bud Norris (probable) vs Dylan Covey (RHP) (Cy Rookie)
Thursday, September 28th @ 5:10 PM

Summary:

Dylan Covey has been pretty terrible and in 17 games (11 starts), he has a 7.83 ERA and 1.725 WHIP. He’s allowed 12 runs over his last 3 starts and 15.1 innings. Covey REALLY likes to admire home runs because he’s allowed 19 of them in only 64.1 innings which amounts to almost 3 HR per 9 innings. Trout, Upton, Pujols dingerz anyone??

Bud Norris started crapping all over the mound as a reliever back at the end of July, but as a starter he’s been pretty good. Granted, it’s only 2 games, but Norris was stretched out to 3.1 innings and 46 pitches his last time out and perhaps he goes 50-60 here.

Verdict: Taters, bombs, moon shots. All of those things. If the Angels don’t get at least one or two of them against Covey, then they are doing something wrong.


Overall Verdict: In reality, the Angels should/could get a sweep here even though it may not matter at the end of the season. But until your elimination number is zero, you keep fighting.