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Series Preview: Angels @ Twins (Up North)

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This is the last series before the Angels return home.

MLB: Houston Astros at Minnesota Twins Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Angels (19-21) @ Twins (25-14)

The Angels are coming off back-to-back series wins, but it feels a little empty as we failed to sweep the Orioles. Now they come back to face with the best team in the AL Central. If the Angels are swept, they will finish with a losing record on this road trip. Anything more than that, and they will take a winning record away from home, which may be a positive, considering Justin Upton is still out and Shohei Ohtani is still struggling.

On the other hand, the Twins are damn good. They have taken the lead in the AL Central over the favorite Indians, and they are well-constructed to keep that lead. They are getting amazing offensive production out of the catcher spot (what is this sorcery?), and all the regulars are hitting above an .800 OPS except Marwin Gonzalez, who really was their prize FA acquisition. They also have true hero Willians Astudillo, who has achieved a cult following for his unique skills. He manages to make contact with almost everything despite having a body shape that makes it seem unlikely to do so. Our old friend Nelson Cruz is also there.

Weather Forecast

GAME 1

(L) Tyler Skaggs (4.70 ERA) v. (R) Jose Berrios (2.53 ERA)
Monday, May 13 @ 4:40PM

Summary:

Tyler Skaggs is coming off a very frustrating outing against the Detroit Tigers in which he allowed seven earned runs. The past few starts have been a microcosm of Skaggs’ career, as he can show flashes of brilliance but regress quickly to a below-average starter soon thereafter. We’ll see which Skaggs we get. Meanwhile, Jose Berrios is having the season of his life. He’s 6-1 with a 2.53 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP, and he leads the league in walks. If we don’t get good Skaggs, the game could feel over really quickly. The one thing going for the Angels is that Berrios is a righty, not a lefty.


GAME 2

(R) Félix Peña (3.21 ERA) v. (R) Kyle Gibson (4.19 ERA)
Tuesday, May 14 @ 4:40PM

Summary:

Peña is 100% the Angels’ best starter right now, and the funny thing is, he’s not even starting games! Using an opener for Peña has proved successful the past few times, and I don’t see the Angels deviating from that for such a tough offensive team in Minnesota. If only the Angels would bite the bullet and use the opener with some of their other starters... Kyle Gibson is also having the best season of his career. His WHIP is 1.19, which is a marked cry from when it was in the 1.3s and teams would walk all over him, the Angels included.


GAME 3

(R) Trevor Cahill (6.35 ERA) v. (R) Jake Odorizzi (2.32 ERA)
Wednesday, May 15 @ 10:10AM

Summary:

The good thing about ERA falling out of favor is that I don’t have to stare at Cahill’s ERA too much. That being said, his other numbers are not good. He figures to allow a few homers to the Twins lineup (possibly Nelson Cruz, the Angel-killer), and he’s simply not throwing the ball well right now. Jake Odorizzi, and stop me if you’ve heard this before, is having the best season of his career, with a sub-1.00 WHIP and a SO/9 above 9, he is another good pitcher the Angels must face. Man, you really wonder what the Twins pitching coach is doing!


Overall Verdict: I expect one win. Somewhere. We’ll see what happens.

Current Standings (sorted by playoff odds)

Poll

What will be the series outcome (3 games)?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    Twins sweep
    (11 votes)
  • 40%
    Twins take 2
    (38 votes)
  • 41%
    Angels take 2
    (39 votes)
  • 6%
    Angels sweep
    (6 votes)
94 votes total Vote Now

Notes/Credits:
(Standings/odds from fivethirtyeight.com)

By the way, the podcast is taking a hiatus with our fearless leader, Jessica DeLine, out of town.