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Series Preview: Angels @ Rangers (The Great Warmup)

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Angels head to Texas for a 45 degree warmup

MLB: Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Angels will be quite a bit warmer over the next few days after getting snowed out in Chicago on Sunday. Warmer weather will hopefully be good for Mike Trout’s return to the lineup. If the Angels talking heads are to be believed, his injury is minor and he should return to the lineup any day now. Of course, historically it’s been hard to believe those talking heads.

Just 8 days ago these two teams finished up a 4 game series which the Angels won 3 games to 1. This time around the Angels face one lefty (Mike Minor) so don’t expect a sweep.

Also of note, is due to an odd schedule plus a rainout, the Rangers only played 4 games last week so they are pretty rested, or not as sharp - depending on your perspective.

Know your foe:

Rangers - who’s hot (last 7 days):

Elvis Andrus .556 OBP, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 2 SB
Delino DeShields .463 OBP, 3 SB
Shin-Soo Choo .467 OBP, 3 doubles

Weather Forecast

GAME 1 (Jackie Robinson Day!)

(R) Trevor Cahill (3.50 ERA) v. (R)Shelby Miller (9.53 ERA)
Monday, April 15th @ 5:05PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Notable Stats

Angels Summary:

Trevor Cahill continues to be the standard of consistency on the team, tossing 6 innings in each of his first 3 starts. His velocity has even ticked up a bit - 1 MPH since his first start of the season. This will be his first time facing the Rangers this year. Cahill had a 9.59 ERA against the Ranges in 2018.

Pitch Data:

Rangers Summary:

Shelby Miller hasn’t faced the Angels much in his career aside from last week. It took him 67 pitches to get through 2 innings while giving up 4 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks. Miller has only made 2 starts this year and his last was April 7th against the Angels.

Pitch Data:


GAME 2

(R) Matt Harvey (10.05 ERA) v. (L)Mike Minor (3.86 ERA)
Tuesday, April 16th @ 5:05PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Notable Stats

Angels Summary:

Matt Harvey has managed to rack up -0.6 WAR in 3 starts, including a disastrous 8 run and 10 hit outing against the Rangers on April 4th. He didn’t fare much better in his last start, giving up 6 runs over 4.1 innings against the Brewers. Given that the Rangers owned him already this year, hopefully he can figure them out this time around.

Pitch Data:

Rangers Summary:

Mike Minor is a lefty, so you already know how this one is going to turn out. The Cubs weren’t phased by Minor in his season debut but he’s been solid in his last two outings - tossing 14 innings with only 2 runs allowed. In 2018 he won both games against the Angels, allowing 3 runs over 11 innings.

Pitch Data:


GAME 3

(R)Felix Pena (3.65 ERA) v. (R)Lance Lynn (4.82 ERA)
Wednesday, April 170th @ 5:05PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Notable Stats

Angels Summary:

Felix Pena has a good looking ERA but he’s worked hard to get there. In 3 starts he has yet to make it through the 5th inning. He faced the Rangers back on April 5th and held them to 4 hits and 1 run with 2 walks and 7 Ks. His last time out he didn’t allow a run but threw 72 pitches in 4 innings with a low 55% strike rate.

Pitch Data:

Rangers Summary:

Despite allowed only 2 runs over 7 innings, Lance Lynn suffered a loss against the Angels on April 5th thanks to a solid start by Felix Pena and scoreless outing by the bullpen. Lynn has allowed only 3 runs in 13 innings over his last two starts while striking out 14.

Pitch Data:


Overall Verdict: The Angels have been hitting better (but not great) so could pull off a series win here even without Mike Trout. Don’t expect much in game 2. It’s amazing how poor this team continues to be facing lefties and it is evident it was a problem that Billy Eppler did not fix.

Current Standings (sorted by odds)

Notes/Credits:
(Pitch tracking data from baseballsavant.mlb.com)
(Last 5 year splits from FanGraphs Splits Tool)
(Standings/odds from fivethirtyeight.com)