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Series Preview: Angels @ Athletics (Return of Skaggs)

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And then there were 12 (games left in the season)

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

Angels 75-76
Athletics 90-60

You certainly couldn’t have predicted that the Angels would be here 16 games behind the A’s in September while the A’s are likely heading into the wild card game. The Angels are actually 7-6 against the A’s this year but have lost 4 of the last 5 and 5 of the last 8.

The A’s are coming in firing, trying to overtake the Yankees for home field advantage in the wild card game since they seem to be likely out of competition for taking 1st in the AL West.

Know your foe:

A’s- who’s hot (last 7 days):

Matt Olson .458 OBP, 2 home runs, 6 RBI
Matt Chapman .346 OBP, 1 home run, 5 RBI
Khris Davis .320 OBP, 2 home runs, 7 RBI

Weather Forecast

GAME 1

Tyler Skaggs(L) (3.78 ERA) v. Liam Hendriks(R) (5.60 ERA)
Tuesday, September 18th @ 7:05PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Notable Stats

Summary:

Tyler Skaggs is back, and the last time he started he gave up 7 runs to the A’s. If you blame that start on his groin strain, then you buy more into his previous 2 starts against the A’s where he didn’t allow an earned run over 13.1 innings.

Pitch Arsenal:

Oh look - we are on the other end of a bullpen game! This will be Hendriks’ 6th starts but he hasn’t throw more than 30 pitches or 1.2 innings in any of them. He also hasn’t allowed a run in his last 5 innings. A bullpen game against one of the best bullpens in baseball? Yikes.

Pitch Arsenal:

Verdict: This is a tough one to call with Skaggs being hard on the A’s before his injury. You certainly can’t under estimate their kick ass bullpen though.


GAME 2

Felix Pena(R) (3.75 ERA) v. Brett Anderson(L) (4.35 ERA)
Wednesday, September 19th @ 7:05PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Summary:

Pena gave up 3 runs to the A’s back in August but he’s been pitched well as of late with 6 scoreless his last time out and only 3 total runs allowed in 3 September starts.

Pitch Arsenal:

Brett Anderson has been knocked around for 9 runs in his last 2 starts against the Astros and Orioles. He’s faced the Angels once this year, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits over 5 innings.

Pitch Arsenal:

Verdict: If Pena keeps up his recent surge, he should have the edge in this one.


GAME 3

Matt Shoemaker(R) (3.98 ERA) v. Edwin Jackson(R) (3.17 ERA)
Thursday, September 20th @ 12:35PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Notable Stats

Summary:

Shoemaker faced the A’s in his first start of the season, and allowed 3 runs over 5.2 innings. He’s allowed 3 runs in each of his last 2 starts against the White Sox and Mariners. He has a career 3.43 ERA in 7 starts in Oakland.

Pitch Arsenal:

Jackson shut out the Angels for 7.1 innings back on August 11th. He allowed just 3 hits in that game and struck out 6. He’s prone to some walks and home runs though, giving up 29 walks and 11 home runs in 82.1 innings.

Pitch Arsenal:

Verdict: Seems to be a bit of a roll of the dice.


Overall Verdict: The pitching matchups mostly favor the Angels but you can’t underestimate the A’s bullpen and offense. Hopefully the Angels win at least 1 but don’t expect much more.

Current Standings