Angels (52-49) @ Dodgers (67-35)
A strange thing happened the week of June 10th. No, not just that the Angels swept the Dodgers in their two game set, but the Angels won 4 games that week - all by the score of 5-3. The Dodgers are tough team, no doubt - and keeping Cody Bellinger down will be one key to pulling off a win or two in this mini series.
The Dodgers are 7-3 since the All Star Break and have scored 77 runs in those 10 games. Over the last 5 years, the Angels are 3-7 against the Dodgers in Chavez Ravine.
Totally not related to this series in any way, but the Dodgers announced a $100 million dollar makeover for next season. In 2013 they also spent $100 million making over the stadium. They sure love spending money upgrading their stadium. Your move Arte! :)
Dodgers - who’s hot (last 7 days):
(R) Félix Peña (4.92 ERA) v. (R) Kenta Maeda (3.71 ERA)
Tuesday, July 23rd @ 7:10PM
Félix Peña followed up his 7 inning no hit performance with a flat out disaster last week. He served up 9 hits and 8 runs over 4.2 innings - easily his worst performance of the year. Peña saw the Dodgers on June 11th (also against Maeda) and allowed 2 runs (solo homers) over 3.2 innings.
Hooray! The Angels get to kick off this series against Kenta Maeda. Not that he isn’t a good pitcher, but he already faced the Angels on June 11th and gave up 5 runs over 4.1 innings. Of course, all that damage came from two home runs from Shohei Ohtani (solo blast) and Justin Bour (3 run bomb that drove in Jonathan Lucroy and Brian Goodwin). Aside from that one bad inning and a high pitch count, Maeda wasn’t too bad the rest of that start. Maeda’s last two appearances were as an opener and a reliever. Over those 3 innings he struck out 5 and didn’t allowed any runs or hits.
(R) Jaime Barria (7.36 ERA) v. (R) Ross Stripling (3.64 ERA)
Wednesday, July 24th @ 7:10PM
Like Peña, Jaime Barria had his worst outing of the season his last time out. No place to go but up! He was thrashed for 10 runs on 9 hits by the Mariners. He has yet to make a start against the Dodgers in his young career. Hopefully he can keep the ball mostly in the park in this one.
Ross Stripling has allowed at least one home run in 7 of his 11 starts this year. Save for Mike Trout, most of the current Angels roster has not hit Stripling well. For his part, Trout is 5 for 5 with 2 home runs and a walk.
Overall Verdict: Can the Angels sweep the Dodgers again? Yes, they “can”. Will they? Probably not. A split would be nice here if they can pull it off.
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)