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Series Preview: Astros @ Angels (Return of the Trout)

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It’s players weekend so get ready for some fun nicknames and a whole bunch of boring ones

Los Angeles Angels v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Angels 63-65
Astros 77-50

Remember spring training when hopes were high and most people predicted an 85-88 win season? Good times... Instead, Mike Scioscia and his Angels are heading toward their 3rd straight sub .500 season and a .492 overall winning percentage in the past 4 years. The dark days indeed are here. Playing the Astros is likely NOT going to lift our spirits all that much, though even one win against them would feel great.

Surprisingly, the Astros have not dominated the Angels this year and in fact the Angels have won 4 out of 9 games. But alas, the Angels are only 1 for their last 5 against the Stros and have a 2-4 record in Anaheim against their foes from Houston.

Know your foe:

Astros - who’s hot (last 7 days):

Martin Maldonado .467 AVG, 3 home runs
Tony Kemp .500 OBP, 1 home runs
Alex Bregman .444 OBP, 2 home runs, 1 stolen base

Weather Forecast

GAME 1

Andrew Heaney(L) (4.11 ERA) v. Dallas Keuchel(L) (3.59 ERA)
Friday, August 24th @ 7:07 PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Notable Stats

Summary:

If you want a guy to face the Astros in game 1 of a series, Heaney is a pretty good option. In two starts against the Astros this year, Heaney has struck out and allowed just 1 earned run and 8 hits over 14 innings. Heaney has had a few bumps on the bump lately, including 6 runs over 5.1 innings when he faced the Rangers last weekend.

Pitch Arsenal:

Dallas Keuchel has faced the Angels only once so far this season, but it was enough. He held the Halos scoreless over 7.2 innings with 5 Ks and a mere 2 hits allowed. His last time out, Keuchel was beat up by the A’s for 9 hits and 5 runs over 5.2 innings.

Pitch Arsenal:

Verdict: Both pitchers have been really good against the opposing teams this year so if they bring that back, we could even see a bit of a pitching duel to start the series.


GAME 2

Jaime Barria(R) (3.41 ERA) v. Justin Verlander(R) (2.65 ERA)
Saturday, August 25th @ 6:07 PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Summary:

Like Heaney, Jaime Barria has had a good time against the Astros in 2018. He’s only faced them once but it was his longest start of the year - 7 innings. In that game he struck out 7 (also a season high) and allowed only 1 ER on 4 hits.

Pitch Arsenal:

Justin Verlander has been flat out mean to the Angels this season. He’s allowed only 2 runs in 22 innings over 2 starts that include a complete game shutout. He’s wavered a bit in August and has an 8.24 ERA over his last 3 starts.

Pitch Arsenal:

BVerdict: Barria pitched really well against the Astros but has the misfortune of facing the Angels killer in this one. Best we can hope for is that Verlander’s recent struggles are still with him.


GAME 3

Felix Pena (R) (4.53 ERA) v. Gerrit Cole(R) (2.73 ERA)
Sunday, August 26th @ 1:07 PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Notable Stats

Summary:

Felix Pena has turned into a more than capable starter and struck out 12 over 6 innings his last time out. He has a 3.52 ERA for the month of August and is coming off back to back 6 innings outing with 19 Ks and 4 runs over this 12 IP.

Pitch Arsenal:

Gerrit Cole has faced the Angels twice this year and has an 0-1 record to show for it. Over 12 innings the Angels have scored 5 runs off Cole despite their 15 Ks. Cole is a strike out machine this year with 226 already in 164.2 innings.

Pitch Arsenal:

Verdict: Definitely leans Astros here assuming Cole starts this game (not officially announced as of this posting).


Overall Verdict: Of course the Angels aren’t expected to win any of these games but don’t be surprised if they sneak a win or two in. Be very surprised if the sweep and then follow that up with putting a nail in the Astros season.

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