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Series Preview: Red Sox @ Angels (Test time)

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A big series pitting the two biggest offensive juggernauts against each other

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim  v Kansas City Royals Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images

Well, here is where things get fun. To date, the Angels have been on an absolute tear but have also faced teams in the bottom 1/3rd of the MLB Power Rankings. Up next? The #1 or #2 ranked team depending on which list you follow.

No team has scored more runs than the Angels this season. They have scored 103 which is 14 more than the second place team - The Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox have a lower batting average but higher on base percentage. The Red Sox have almost twice as many doubles as the Angels but half as many home runs.

Pitching-wise, the Angels don’t have to face Chris Sale, however they will still have to face some tough pitching - see below. Let’s look at the bullpen stats. Guess which team is which?

Team 1: ERA 2.45, 5 saves, .213 BAA
Team 2: ERA 4.19, 7 saves, .219 BAA

This should be a fun series and the key to winning it will probably be digging into Red Sox bullpen sooner rather than later in all 3 games.

GAME 1

Shohei Ohtani v. David Price
Tuesday, April 17th @ 7:07PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Relevant Stats

Summary:

If you haven’t heard how Ohtani has been pitching, you certainly haven’t been paying attention. He’s been absolutely elite in his two start and now will face his first huge challenge in the #1 ranked Boston Red Sox.

David Price had issues with sensation in his fingertips but that appears to have passed - and it was in his no throwing hand. Until that problem arose in a game agains the Yankees, he had two back to back scoreless starts of 14 innings. The Yankees, then pounded him for 4 runs in the 1st inning his last time out, though I’m not sure how issues in his non throwing hand affected that.

Verdict: This is going to be one heck of a pitching matchup. Both of these pitchers have been lights out and both offenses have been potent.


GAME 2

Tyler Skaggs v. Rick Porcello
Wednesday, April 18th @ 7:07PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Relevant Stats

Summary:

Skaggs hasn’t always been the most efficient this year but he certainly has done the job. In his 3 starts he’s allowed just 3 runs over 16 innings. He’s also struck out 17. Skaggs hasn’t faced the Red Sox since July of 2016 when he struck out 8 and held them scoreless over 5.1 innings.

Another tough matchup as Rick Porcello has already amassed a 1.1 WAR in only 3 starts. He beat the Rays twice and held the Yankees scoreless over 7 innings on just 2 hits. In 19.2 innings he has struck out 17 and allowed only 4 runs.

Verdict: Pretty much the same as game. Rinse and repeat.


GAME 3

Nick Tropeano v. Eduardo Rodriguez
Thursday, April 19th @ 7:07PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Relevant Stats

N/A

Summary:

Nick Tropeano has only had one big league start this year and he tossed 6.2 scoreless innings on 6 hits with 6 Ks. Tropeano has never faced the Red Sox yet in his career.

Eduardo Rodriguez has had a pair of starts this year and has allowed 4 runs in 9.2 innings with 15 Ks. Rodriguez last (and only time) faced the Angels in 2015 against a much different lineup. Kole Calhoun and Albert Pujols both homered in that game

Verdict: This is another well aligned pitching matchup and like the rest of the series, will be interesting to see which offense breaks out.


Overall Verdict: The biggest test of the Angels young season, this series could easily swing either way. At least the Angels have home field advantage and an a Japanese superstar on the mound to kick this off.