There are currently only two teams in baseball with a worsier record than the Angels. One of those is partially owned by Mr. Jeets - and the other is the Royals. If I had told you the Angels would have the same record as the Orioles going in to the end of April, would you have believed me? Probably not.
Despite last night’s fun and exciting game, the Angels are in the bottom 5 in baseball in MANY offensive and pitching rankings. They gave us early hope with a sweep of the Brewers but how can you let someone down if you don’t build them up, baby? The Angels have only won 3 of their last 13 games.
For their part, the Royals have many news faces and probably are not the team you remember. But aside from being tied for the worst team in baseball, they have won 7 of their last 15 games. That’s nothing to brag about, but it’s better than how the Angels have looked over that span.
The Royals are a FAST and have stolen more bases than any other team. The Angels have the WORST caught stealing rate in baseball at a mere 14.3%. Think that’s a bad combination? It is. If the Royals win any of these games - it will probably be because of that.
Know your foe:
Royals - who’s hot (last 7 days):
Hunter Dozier .733 OBP, 2 HR
Adalberto Monesi .346 OBP, 1 HR, 2 SB
Alex Gordon .346 OBP, 2 HR
(L)Tyler Skaggs (4.20 ERA) v. (L)Danny Duffy (0.00 ERA)
Friday, April 26th @ 5:15PM
Pitcher vs. Batters
Two lefties. Both of whom are coming off injuries. In Skaggs’ case, it was a minor ankle sprain sustained in his last start. Perhaps we can blame the 4 runs allowed over 4 innings on that? Nah. At least his first two starts were solid and he gets to come back to face a team he has dominated in the past with only 1 run allowed in 21 innings pitched at Kauffman Stadium.
Danny Duffy hasn’t pitched yet this season after being shut down with a shoulder problem in spring training (where he hadn’t stared a game). He IS a lefty though, so already has an edge against the Angels in this one. I guess both pitchers landed good opponents for their return.
(R)Jaime Barria (4.26 ERA) v. (R)Jorge Lopez (4.50 ERA)
Saturday, April 27th @ 4:15PM
Barria has made 3 appearances now (just 1 official start) and he looked pretty good against the Mariners his last time out. This will be his first time pitching at Kauffman Stadium and first time facing the Royals. Wonder if they will use an opener again in front of Barria?
Jorge Lopez can strike out hitters (29 in 30 inning), but the Halos strike out the least in baseball. He’s been knocked around this year by the Yankees, and White Sox but had pretty solid outings against the Tigers and Mariners with just 3 runs allowed over 12 innings in those 2 starts.
(R)Matt Harvey (8.03 ERA) v. (R)Homer Bailey (5.63 ERA)
Sunday, April 28th @ 11:15AM
Pitcher vs. Batters
Matt Harvey’s number this year look pretty much like they did in 2017, and 2018 for the Mets before he ended up on the Reds, so other than Billy Eppler perhaps, no one should really be surprised how he has panned out so far. What IS a surprise is that he managed a quality start in his last appearance against the Yankees with just 2 runs allowed over 6 innings. He has a pair of quality starts this year on March 29th and April 22nd with 4 terrible outings sandwiched in between.
I had completely forgotten that after 12 season with the Reds, Bailey landed on the Royals. Since 2015, Bailey has put up ERAs in the mid 5 to mid 6 range. If you are keeping track, that’s not good. Now that I’ve said that, Bailey has had some good starts this year included recently against the Indians and Yankees in which he allowed just 1 run and 5 hits over 13 innings in those 2 games.
Overall Verdict: Don’t expect any easy sweep here, but a sweep is in the realm of possibility. More likely I think the Angels can leave KC with 2 extra checkmarks in their win column.
Current Standings (sorted by playoff odds)
(Pitch tracking data from baseballsavant.mlb.com)
(Last 5 year splits from FanGraphs Splits Tool)
(Standings/odds from fivethirtyeight.com)