A’s (43-38) @ Angels (41-40)
The Angels go into this series with their heads just barely above water at the halfway point in the season. Can they keep it there after 4 games against the A’s? So far this season, the Angels have dropped 6 of the 10 games they’ve played against the A’s which tells you coming out of this with more than 2 wins could be a stretch.
In terms of batting average, runs scored, and WAR, these two teams have been pretty similar over the past 2-4 weeks and neither really stands out. The A’s shine against the Angels in terms of pitching and have more than double their pitching fWAR over the past 30 days.
Know your foe:
Rays - who’s hot (last 7 days):
(R) Griffin Canning (3.88) v. (R) Tanner Anderson (4.20 ERA)
Thursday, June 13th @ 4:10PM
Griffin Canning faced the A’s back on June 4th and suffered a loss after giving up 4 runs on 7 hits over 6 innings. He also struck out 8. Canning has also been a pretty reliable starter, logging 6 innings in 4 of his last 5 starts. He also hasn’t thrown less than 88 pitches over his last 8 starts and he’s only walked 4 batters through his past 29.1 innings.
Tanner Anderson will be making his 4th start of the year on Thursday. He has tossed 15 total innings to date with 7 ER and 13 hits allowed. The A’s picked him up this past off season from the Pirates. In a small sample size (30 PA), Anderson has been lethal against righties this year who only have a .138 AVG against him. With the suspension of Frankie Montas, Anderson may see quite a bit more work this year.
TBD v. (L) Mike Fiers (4.20 ERA)
Friday, June 14th @ 4:10PM
Mike Fiers has faced the Angels twice in 2019 and has allowed only 3 runs on 8 hits over 12 innings. If there is good news in there, it’s that the Angels scored all 3 of those runs off Fiers just a few weeks ago. But this will be a rough matchup against Fiers who has a 2.75 ERA since May 1st. He has, however, given up 15 bombs in 94.1 innings so is sometimes prone to the home run.
(L) Tyler Skaggs (4.30 ERA) v. (L) Brett Anderson (4.26 ERA)
Saturday, June 15th @ 10:10AM
Tyler Skaggs has certainly lower his ERA over his past two stars, allowing only 1 run in 12.1 innings. Earlier in June, however, he served up 5 runs over 4 innings in a loss to the A’s. He’s had some up and down moments this season and we are all waiting for him to show some consistency over the span of more than a couple games. This one will definitely be a test of that.
Brett Anderson owned the Angels on March 30th but that was a different roster and long before the team started to improve vs. lefties. In his last trip to the bump, Anderson was trashed for 7 runs in 3 innings against the Rays. He’ll be looking to bounce back and clean out his wounds a bit against the Angels. He’s pitched quite a bit better on the road this year than at home.
(R) Andrew Heaney (4.99) v. (R) Chris Bassitt (3.86 ERA)
Sunday, June 16th @ 10:10AM
This game will mark Andrew Heaney’s first start against the A’s in 2019. He faced them only once in 2018 and allowed 3 runs over 8 innings. I’d expect him to run up a high K count if you can keep his walks under control. Heaney has given up 8 free passes over his last two starts.
Chris Bassitt was knocked around for 5 runs over 5 innings when he squared off against the Angels on May 27th. Albert Pujols also took him deep. Over his 12 starts, Bassitt has allowed more than 3 runs only once - in that game versus the Angels. Runs allowed in starts this year: 0, 1, 3, 3, 0, 3, 5, 3, 3, 3, 2, 3. Those are some pretty consisten numbers.
Overall Verdict: FiveThirtyEight gives the Angels the edge in all 4 game but they also take into account home field advantage. I’d expect the Angels to split this series but wouldn’t get too hopeful for much else. The A’s and the Angels are two fairly evenly matched on paper.
Current Standings (sorted by playoff odds)
(Pitch tracking data from baseballsavant.mlb.com)
(Splits from FanGraphs Splits Tool and Baseball Reference)
(Standings/odds from fivethirtyeight.com)