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Series Preview: Blue Jays @ Angels (Vladdy Part Deux)

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#27 is in town

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Toronto Blue Jays Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

In 2007, Albert Pujols was on the St. Louis Cardinals when they met up for a series with Vladimir Guerrero Sr. and the Anaheim Angels. Now, 12 years later, Pujols will face Vladimir Guerrero Jr., while Vlad Sr. probably watches on from somewhere in the stadium. It’s not common player competes against a father AND son, but it does happen. And here we go.

The Blue Jays haven’t lost since little Vladdy joined the team. Okay, it’s only been 3 games, but still. The Blue Jays have been playing some decent ball and have won 9 of their last 12 games. The Angels, meanwhile, have only won 4 of their last 14 games.

Know your foe:

Blue Jays - who’s hot (last 7 days):

Eric Sogard 3 HR, 4 Walks, .522 OBP
Brandon Drury 2 HR, 5 RBI, .333 OBP

Weather Forecast

GAME 1

(R)Griffin Canning (0.00 ERA) v. (R)Clay Buchholz (4.60 ERA)
Tuesday, April 30th @ 7:07PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Notable Stats

Angels Summary:

Griffin Canning was drafted by the Angels in the 2nd round of the 2017 draft. He was actually first drafted by the Rockies in the 38th round of the 2014 draft, but went to college to raise his stock - and raise his stock he did. He’s had a meteoric rise through the system, especially considering he didn’t even pitch for the Angels in 2017 due to college workload that year. He pitched across 3 levels in 2018 and dominated in his 3 starts in the PCL this spring.

Pitch Data:

N/A

Blue Jays Summary:

Clay Buchholz has been around the block a few times, pitching in the majors since 2007. In 2018 he had a resurgence for the Diamondbacks with a 2.01 ERA over 98.1 innings. This year in 3 starts he’s allowed 8 runs. He’s a good strike thrower with a 67% strike rate which could pair well with the Angels, given that most of the team has had a pretty good eye for the zone.

Pitch Data:


GAME 2

(R)Felix Pena (3.63 ERA) v. (R)Marcus Stroman (1.43 ERA)
Wednesday, May 1st @ 7:07PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Notable Stats

Angels Summary:

Felix Pena has some solid numbers, despite being a bit shaky at times. He’s getting the job done with a 3.63 ERA and 1.075 WHIP over 22.1 innings. He entered the game in the 2nd inning his last time out so the Angels may use an opener again this time around.

Pitch Data:

Blue Jays Summary:

Marcus Stroman had a rough 2018 but has been lights out so far in 2019. In 6 games he’s thrown 37.2 innings with a 1.43 ERA and 1.088 WHIP. Stroman is yet to allow a home run though he has served up 14 walks to his 36 Ks.

Pitch Data:


GAME 3

(L)Tyler Skaggs (3.15 ERA) v. (R)Aaron Sanchez (2.32 ERA)
Thursday, May 2nd @ 7:07PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Angels Summary:

Tyler Skaggs has been about as advertised this year (except for the injury but maybe that is also as advertised?). He’s pitched to a 3.15 ERA in 20 innings and has a 1.250 WHIP which seems right for him given that he like to work harder for outs than he probably should. He looked good against the Royals and has only had one bad appearance (Cubs) in his 4 starts.

Pitch Data:

Blue Jays Summary:

Aaaron Sanchez is another Blue Jays pitcher than has been impressive in this young season. He’s given up A LOT of walks (20 in 21 innings) but has a 2.32 ERA and 27 Ks with only 2 home runs allowed (both against the Twins). In 4 of his 6 starts he’s allowed 2 or fewer runs.

Pitch Data:


Overall Verdict: Blue Jays pitching has been good and the team overall has ben fired up recently, so don’t expect and Angels sweep. Their best bet may be 2 wins and they really need for the first game for that to happen since the tougher pitching hits them in games 2 and 3.

Current Standings (sorted by playoff odds)

Notes/Credits:
(Pitch tracking data from baseballsavant.mlb.com)
(Splits from FanGraphs Splits Tool and Baseball Reference)
(Standings/odds from fivethirtyeight.com)