Angels (17-20) @ Orioles (13-24)
The Angels were one Matthew Boyd away from an easy sweep in Detroit, and Baltimore does not have their own Boyd. In fact, Orioles pitchers have been incredibly disastrous this year, but one stat that tells the tale on its own is homers allowed. The Orioles pitching corps has allowed 80 homers this year, in number one by a lot, and almost certainly on pace to break the all-time record for homers allowed in a season. For comparison, the Angels are fifth with 55 allowed, and the Reds are last with 31 allowed.
In fact, so dismal is the Orioles pitching staff that it might be a blessing to get Trevor Cahill and Matt Harvey out of the way in this series. That being said, prepare for some long games full of offensive explosion. We know the Angels are good at not striking out, leading the league in that department. We know the Angels are excellent at grounding into double plays, leading the league in that department as well. The Orioles are middle-of-the-pack in most offensive categories, and Chris Davis has rebounded from his long oh-fer streak nicely.
(R) Trevor Cahill (6.95 ERA) v. (R) Dan Straily (7.43 ERA)
Friday, May 10 @ 4:05PM
Trevor Cahill had a disastrous appearance in Mexico against the Houston Astros his last time out (they’re a good team!), and for his efforts he gets to pitch in another extremely hitter-friendly park. This time, it’s against the Orioles, who are decidedly tamer. Although Cahill has allowed a majors-most 12 homers this year (and almost certainly expects to add to that count Friday), his counterpart, Dan Straily, somehow manages to have him beat in ERA and WHIP, at least where higher numbers are concerned. Straily’s numbers, simply speaking, just aren’t good, and the Angels should look to feast.
(R) Matt Harvey (6.94 ERA) v. (R) Dylan Bundy (5.30 ERA)
Saturday, May 11 @ 1:05PM
Matt Harvey is one of the other struggling Angel starters (there are many). With just 22 strikeouts in 7 starts, right now he is simply unable to put hitters away, leading to lots of problems. Before the start against the Astros last week, his numbers were in line with that of last year, which wasn’t great. Now, they look disastrous. It’s simply too much to expect that he has turned a corner. All we can ask is that he keeps us in the ballgame. Dylan Bundy is the pitcher who led the majors in homers allowed last year, and he is not doing too much better this year (Cahill currently saves him from ignominy). In three career stats against the Angels, he has a 7.82 ERA, and they smacked him around last year. Should be another fun one!
(R) Griffin Canning (4.66 ERA) v. (L) John Means (2.48 ERA)
Sunday, May 12 @ 10:05AM
Not much is known about John Means except that he’s been really good so far this season. With a 1.01 WHIP, he’s one of the few bright spots on the Orioles this year. He’s tamed the Boston Red Sox twice, and although he’s bounced around between the rotation and the bullpen, his numbers are good any way you look at them. Oh yeah, he’s a lefty and a rookie. Kryptonite for the Angels. However, Griffin Canning has been equally good for the Angels. In his two major league starts, he has above a 20% swinging strike rate, which puts him in elite territory. After facing the Blue Jays and Tigers, he gets the Orioles. (Lucky, say Cahill and Harvey). There is rain in the forecast for Sunday, so stay tuned for that.
Overall Verdict: The Angels should sweep here, despite the lefty, and anything else can probably be considered a disappointment.
Current Standings (sorted by playoff odds)
What will be the series outcome (3 games)?
This poll is closed
Angels take 2
Orioles take 2
(Standings/odds from fivethirtyeight.com)