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Series Preview: Indians @ Angels (No place like home)

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Home opener time and the newly made-over Big A

MLB: Spring Training-Los Angeles Angels at Cleveland Indians Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the A’s series is out of the way, the Angels face their first real test of 2018 when the Cleveland juggernaut comes to town. Let’s ride high on that first series victory for just a bit though, shall we? The Angels outscored the A’s 22-14. I mean, they are the A’s, but this Angels team is definitely going to be scoring more runs this year.

The Angels are certainly off to a fast start and they’ll need to tap into all that mojo for this upcoming series.

GAME 1

J.C. Ramirez v. Mike Clevinger
Monday, April 2nd @ 7:07PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Relevant Stats

Summary:

J.C. Ramirez had a bit of a rough spring with 4 home runs in 13 innings. Last July he faced the Indians and went 6.2 innings with only 2 runs allowed but he walked 6 and gave up a home run to Carlos Santana. Hopefully he can keep the ball in the yard this game.

We all know that story that Jerry Dipoto traded away Mike Clevinger for Vinnie Pestano and every time Clevinger faces the Angels, it’s a painful reminder. He had a 0.84 WHIP this spring, but was prone to home runs with 4 allowed. Thankfully, the Angels beat up on Clevinger when they faced him last June and knocked him out after he allowed 9 hits and 5 ER in 4.1 innings.

Verdict: If Ramirez can bounce back from a rough spring, he can give the Angels a good shot at taking game 1.


GAME 2

Garrett Richards v. Josh Tomlin
Tuesday, April 2nd @ 7:07PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Relevant Stats

Summary:

In his last outing, Richards was great. Until he wasn’t. He’ll be looking at going much deeper into this game. Historically he’s been really solid against the Indians, however, that’s a bit grain of salt-y since he hasn’t faced them since 2015.

Tuesday will be Josh Tomlin’s debut. He had a so-so spring, much like his so-so 2017 season. He faced the Angels once last year and held them to 2 runs over 5.1 innings.

Verdict: Clearly Richards is the better pitcher here so if he can keep the Indians bats quiet, this might be their best win shot if everything goes to plan.


GAME 3

Tyler Skaggs v. Corey Kluber
Wednesday, April 2nd @ 1:07PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Relevant Stats

Summary:

Let’s focus on a bit on Tyler Skaggs’ 6.1 inning scoreless debut last week. That was pretty awesome - and so was his appearance last September against the Indians when he held them to just 2 runs over 5.1 innings. He’ll have his hands full in a duel against Cy Young winner Corey Kluber.

Corey Kluber did Kluber things in his 2018 debut, going 8 innings and allowed just 2 runs on 6 hits. The Angels last faced Kluber in 2016 and he tossed 15 innings, allowing just 3 runs and 7 hits over 2 games.

Verdict: This is tough one for the Angels barring any sort of rare Kluber meltdown


Overall Verdict: The Angels should win at least one of these games and probably have a real shot at a series victory if they can take game 1.