The last time the Angels played in Mexico, they were hosting the Diamondbacks for an exhibition game back in 2000. Their last international series was against the Expos (RIP) in Puerto Rico back in 2003. So here they go, facing off against their 1st place division rival for the first time in 2019.
In 2018 the Angels went 6 and 13 agains the Astros, including dropping their last 5 games.
Heading into this series, the Angels are on a roll, winning 6 of their last 7 games - albeit agains the Royals and Blue Jays. They will have their work cut out for them against the Astros powerhouse and some not so favorable pitching matchups.
Know your foe:
Astros - who’s hot (last 7 days):
Tony Kemp .429 AVG, 1 HR
Carlos Correa .423 OBP, 1 HR, 5 RBI
Michael Brantley .370 OBP
(R)Trevor Cahill (5.93 ERA) v. (L)Wade Miley (3.24 ERA)
Saturday, May 4th @ 4:10PM
Pitcher vs. Batters
Trevor Cahill went from pretty good pickup to negative WAR guy fairly quickly in April. Over his last 3 starts he’s allowed 6 home runs and 13 ER over 12.1 innings. Yeah that’s kinda bad. He faced the Astros 4 times in 2018 and served up 9 ER over 20 innings.
All you really need to know about this matchup is that Wade Miley is a lefty and the Angels are one of the worst teams in baseball against lefties with a .630 OPS and 75 wRC+. Oh, and Miley also hasn’t given up more than 3 runs in any of his 6 starts this year.
(R)Matt Harvey (6.54 ERA) v. (R)Justin Verlander (2.45 ERA)
Sunday, May 5th @ 1:10PM
Pitcher vs. Batters
Matt Harvey was good, terrible, terrible, terrible, good, and good in his starts this year. What will he look like this time around? Were his last 2 solid starts a sign of a turn around or a pleasant surprise? We’ll find out on Sunday.
There is no way to sugar coat the fact that Justin Verlander is an Angel killer. Just look at those stats above. Even Mike Trout has a mere human .139 AVG and .295 OBP against Verlander in his career. The Angel with the best stats against Verlander is Pujols with a lifetime .404 OBP but over the past 4 years that OBP drops to .200. Verlander was a little “shaky” to start the season but over his last 4 starts he’s allowed just 1 run each time and he struck out 34 over 27 innings.
Overall Verdict: I suppose anything can happen and the Angels offense could bust this open in Monterrey, but the pitching matchups make this one look like a certain sweep in the wrong direction.