The Angels will head into the den of the devil to try and pick up some wins after being swept in Anaheim at the end of April. Two of those games were low scoring 1 run affairs started by Tyler Skaggs and Andrew Heaney. The late of them was a blown save in the 10th by Blake Parker. The third game was a not so great start by Garrett Richards who will be anchoring this series instead of Shohei Ohtani but he’s been pitching much better in May.
Let’s face the fact that the Yankees have been on fire. Even recent rookie all up Gleyber Torres hit 5 home runs last week. The Angels offense? Not so much - but it did show some signs of life the past few days. They are going to need it in NYC.
Yankee Stadium Effect:
Let’s hope the Angels can advantage of the hitter friendliness in The Bronx. How friendly is it? Let’s look at a few guys HR totals with Home (and away in Parenthesis)
Aaron Judge 10 (3)
Didi Gregorius 9 (2)
Know your foe:
Yankees - who’s hot (last 7 days):
Aaron Hicks .423 AVG, .483 OBP, 2 Home Runs
Gleyber Torres .423 OBP, 5 Home Runs, 10 RBIs
Gary Sanchez .444 OBP, 2 Home Runs
Aroldis Chapman, AJ Cole, Giovanny Gallegos, and Jonathan Holder threw a combined 8.1 innings with no runs allowed and 11 Ks.
The weather is not looking great for game 2 on Saturday.
Andrew Heaney (3.35 ERA) v. Luis Severino (2.35 ERA)
Friday, May 25th @ 4:05PM
Pitcher vs. Batters
Heaney threw 5 innings and struck out 9 when he last faced the Yankees. He allowed 2 runs but only 1 was earned. It took Heaney 94 pitches to make it that far so let’s hope Scioscia let’s him throw more this time around, AND that he is more efficient, working deeper into the game. He’ll face Luis Severio which is an exact pitching matchup from the Friday game at the Big A in which Heaney had a game score of 61 an Severino a 63.
Luis Severino didn’t beat the Angels last time around (Blake Parker did) but he pitched well and held them to 3 runs over 7 innings. This is a guy who is already in early Cy Young talks with a 2.35 ERA, 7 wins, and 76 Ks over 66.4 innings.
Verdict: Severino is solid and probably good for 6-7+ innings which is dangerous with that back end of the bullpen. Heaney will need to match him and the offense will need to get to him early if they want to take game 1 which brings the toughest pitching foe of the weekend.
Jaime Barria (2.13 ERA) v. Sonny Gray (5.48 ERA)
Saturday, May 26th @ 4:15PM
Pitcher vs. Batters
Jaime Barria will likely start this game since he pitched on Monday - but it has yet to be announced. Barria has already put up 1.0 WAR in just 5 games this year and he could be throwing on a huge stage Saturday if he gets the nod - and if the game is not rained out. Not bad for a 21 year old that started the season in High A last year. Just go ahead and look how deadly his fastball and slider have been this season.
Sonny Gray is not off to a good start but the Angels have been playing slump busters this year. Let’s hope this is not another case of that. Gray hasn’t faced the Angels since he was on Oakland in 2016. Despite his rough start, he has had a few great outings including a recent 6 innings 2 run game against the Indians and an 8 inning 1 run game against the Royals in this last start (but they are the Royals).
Verdict: The Angels have a much better shot at game 2 then they do on Friday. Hopefully they don’t make Sonny Gray look like Cy Young. Valbuena seems to own Gray so let’s see if he an be a hero in this game.
Garrett Richards (3.31 ERA) v. Masahiro Tanaka (4.95 ERA)
Sunday, May 27th @ 10:05AM
Pitcher vs. Batters
Richards is definitely improving as the season goes on. He had a rough first inning last time out but that was also elongated by a fielding error. Richards needs to stay calm and collecting if some things go wrong as that can affect his pitching at times. He gave up some hard hit balls last time against the Yankees with 3 doubles, a triple, and 9 runs (5 earned) over 1.2 innings.
First we missed out on Ohtani v. Ichiro. Then we missed out on an Ohtani v. Tanaka pitching matchup. However - we DO get to see Ohtani hit all weekend so this game could be fun. Despite his 4.95 ERA, Tanaka has been pretty good this year and has a 1.101 WHIP. He IS prone to the HR ball though and has given up 11 of them in 56.1 innings. Let’s see if Ohtani can go yard against him.
Verdict: I’m liking this matchup and I think Richards will out pitch Tanaka. Good shot of a win here.
Overall Verdict: The Angels COULD go into the Bronx and take 2 of 3 games. They play well on the road and we have some favorable pitching matchups. I don’t think the Angels will get swept here at least.