Here we are - about to play the worst team in baseball this year. The Orioles have dropped their last 5 games and 7 of their last 10. The Angels though, are rolling on a 6 game losing streak and have won just 3 of their last 12 games.
Right now the Angels are exactly even. Treading water. At exactly the half way point in the season. We keep waiting for them to turn corner but we keep learning it’s the longest corner EVER.
Know your foe:
Orioles - who’s hot (last 7 days):
Danny Valencia .306 OBP, 2 home runs
Manny Machado .406 OBP, 2 home runs, 5 walks
Felix Pena (5.40 ERA) v. David Hess (5.44 ERA)
Friday, June 29th @ 4:05PM
Felix Pena will be starting a game for the 3rd time in his career. The first two? Well, 4 runs and 10 hits over 9 innings. Not great but also not a disaster either. He also struck out 12 and walked 4 in those 2 games.
Rookie David Hess lines up on the other side of the 5.4x ERA battle. There is something about 5s that Hess like since his ERA is 5.44 and he’s allowed 5 runs in 4 of his 8 starts. Over his last 3 starts, Hess has allowed 15 runs in 12 innings.
Verdict: Neither pitcher is going to blow the other team away but the Angels offense definitely has a better chance against Hess who has been pretty terrible in June.
Tyler Skaggs (2.69 ERA) v. Andrew Cashner (4.70 ERA)
Saturday, June 30th @ 1:05PM
Pitcher vs. Batters
Tyler Skaggs keeps dealing and has had one heck of an impressive June to go with his very solid season. Over the month of June, Skaggs has a mere 0.67 ERA with 30 Ks over 27 innings and zero home runs allowed. That home run stat will be put to the test with a power hitting team in a home run friendly stadium.
Andrew Cashner’s numbers look MUCH worse this year than they did in 2017. He has already given up 14 home runs in 82 innings (15 over 166 innings last year) and has a 4.70 ERA with a 1.615 WHIP. That being said, he hasn’t really had many bad starts over the past few months with more than 3 runs allowed only once since April 28th.
Verdict: The Angels should be able to draw a few walks and hopefully a long ball or two off Cashner. Skaggs keeps them in this and gives a good shot at a victory in game 2.
Deck McGuire (5.40 ERA) v. Kevin Gausman (4.20 ERA)
Sunday, July 1st @ 10:05AM
Pitcher vs. Batters
Deck McGuire started 2 games in 2017 and has pitched all of 27 total innings at the big league level. But he will get the nod here in what is likely to be a bullpen game. McGuire threw 55 pitches in relief against the Red Sox and allowed 3 runs over 4 innings.
Kevin Gausman is easily the best starter the Orioles have going in this series. Last August though, the Angels beat him up with 9 runs over 9.1 innings in two games. Gausman has allowed only 5 runs over his last 3 starts in 17.2 innings.
Verdict: The Orioles have the better odds in this one for sure.
Overall Verdict: I certainly wouldn’t expect a sweep for the Angels with how they have been playing, but the Orioles are simply not good. It would be more bad news if they can’t at least take 2 of these games.