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Series Preview: Angels @ Mariners (Mr. 3000)

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Pujols will hit 3000, and Ohtani will pitch on Sunday

Baltimore Orioles v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

After a rough 10 days, the Angels had a huge sweep of the Orioles, beating them 25-12 and giving their offense back some mojo. In terms of winning percentage, the Angels also took over 1st with that 3 game sweep.

The Mariners have also been playing well and are coming off a 2-1 series victory over the A’s and a 3-1 victory over the Indians in a series where they scored 32 runs.

This is, of course, the first time these two teams will square off in 2018 - and the first time the Mariners faithful can see their lost hope Shohei Ohtani. Last year, the Angels beat the Mariners 12 games to 7, including going 6-4 up in Seattle.

As you can see below, one of the keys to victory will be keeping the ultra hot Dee Gordon off base.

Know your foe:

Mariners who’s hot (last 7 days):
Dee Gordon, .615 AVG with 5 stolen bases
Mitch Haniger, .423 OBP, 2 Home runs
Ryon Healy, .304 AVG, 4 home runs
Jean Segura, .346 OBP, 3 home runs, 7 RBIs


Milestone Watch:

3000 hits: Albert Pujols is only 1 hit away!

GAME 1

Garrett Richards v. Mike Leake
Friday, May 4th @ 7:10PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Relevant Stats

Summary:

Richards season so far hasn’t been anywhere close to what the Angels need. Fortunately he has a career 3.68 ERA in 36 innings at Safeco Field, but has also given up 15 home runs there - almost one every other inning - yikes! Richards currently sits at a -0.4 WAR with a 1.518 WHIP and 19 walks over 27.2 innings.

Mike Leake probably wishes his season were going in a different direction. After allowing only 4 runs in this first two starts and 12 innings, he has given up 20 runs over 21.1 innings - logging an 8.53 ERA over his last 4 starts.

Verdict: Richards has been shaky, but it’s been no walk in the park either. Perhaps we see neither starter make it to the 6th inning here. When push come to shove, I give the edge to the Richards.


GAME 2

Tyler Skaggs v. Marco Gonzales
Saturday, May 5th @ 6:10PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Relevant Stats

Summary:

Tyler Skaggs has been the leader of this pitching staff in the early going with a 3.03 ERA and 1.163 WHIP over 32.2 innings. He’s had just one shaking and it was against the Red Sox. Last year, Skaggs threw 11 innings against the Mariners and gave up 3 runs while striking out 12.

Gonzales has been mostly solid, but not too remarkable through the first month of the season. He has 5.02 ERA which was mostly the result of two early April games in which he gave up 8 runs over 5.2 innings. Over his past two starts, he’s tossed 12 innings and allowed 2 runs on 12 Ks.

Verdict: Could be a good pitching matchup here with pretty even odds in both directions.


GAME 3

Shohei Ohtani v. Felix Hernandez
Sunday, May 6th @ 1:10PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Relevant Stats

Summary:

While not announced yet, Ohtani should take the reins in game 3. Outside of Oakland, Ohtani hasn’t been too spectacular on the mound so hopefully he just likes the NW portion of the county and has a strong showing for Dipoto to see what he missed out on.

Hernandez can still be a potent pitcher, but hasn’t really been an ace for the past two years. Mike Trout and Ian Kinsler have no problem with him, so hopefully they jump on him early. Outside of an early Giants game, Hernandez hasn’t given up more than 3 runs in his other 6 starts.

Verdict: We need to the Oakland version of Ohtani - or someone close to him for this game to be in the bag.


Overall Verdict: Honestly, either team could win this series. So much comes down to pitching. Can Richards stop walking everyone? Can Skaggs keep up his great work? Can Ohtani have another ace-like start? Stay tuned!!