Woah! The Tigers are baaaaaaad!!! Apparently the Tigers are so bad this year they have a shot at the all time sucking record:
Of course the Angels are coming off a near sweep at the hands of the not so great Baltimore Orioles, so perhaps a 3 game set against the Bad News Tigers is just what they need. The Angels are here to help - and hopefully do their part in getting the Tigers to closer to 49 more losses. 30 total wins. Can you imagine? I feel bad for Tigers fans. It’s been pretty rough being an Angels fan this year and the Angels almost twice as many wins as the Tigers. Oof.
The Tigers have won only 3 games in all of July and have suffered through 19 losses. Back in May, when Pujols hit RBI #2000, these two teams met for a series that the Angels won 2 games to 1. The game they lost had Matthew Boyd as a starter and they will not face him in this series.
Know your foe:
Tigers - who’s hot (last week):
Niko Goodrum .348 AVG, 1 HR
(R) Jaime Barria (6.63) v. (R) Jordan Zimmermann (7.57 ERA)
Monday, July 29th @ 7:07PM
Jaime Barria is coming off a strong start against the Dodgers last week. Barria went 5 innings and allowed only 3 hits and 1 run with 93 pitches thrown against a very tough offense. Last year he faced the Tigers once at home and threw 5.2 scoreless innings. If he can repeat that performance, he’ll see his ERA dip back below 6. Hooray!
Jordan Zimmermann has been, well, not great in 2019 and especially not so great in July. Over his past 4 starts, Zimmermann has a 14.30 ERA and hasn’t made it past the 4th inning. Jonathan Lucroy and Justin Bour have both been Zimmermann killers over the past few years and have a combined .435 AVG and 4 home runs against him. Too bad neither will probably appear in this game.
(R) Griffin Canning (4.43) v. (R) Drew VerHagen (14.40 ERA)
Tuesday, July 30th @ 7:07PM
Griffin Canning isn’t exactly having the best trajectory in his rookie season. After a strong May, he’s slid downhill rather quickly. In July he had a .360 BAA and a 12.34 ERA. In his last appearance he pitched into the wee hours of the morning and served up 5 runs to the Orioles.
I’ll be honest. This guy has been on the Tigers since 2014 and I didn’t know who he was. This year, VerHagen has tossed only 10 inning and in those has given up 14 walks, 16 hits, and 16 ER. It’s the kind of game the Angels should turn into a batting practice - at least on paper. Most of this current Angels roster hasn’t really faced VerHagen much (or at all). This will be VerHagen’s second start of the season and just his 6th start of his career.
(R) Jose Suarez (5.35 ERA) v. (L) Daniel Norris (4.89 ERA)
Wednesday, July 31st @ 1:07PM (Deadline day!)
Jose Suarez has emerged as a fairly consistent but meh pitcher. His ERA should tell you part of the story, but the rest of the story is that he is not real good and going deep into games. His innings over his last 4 starts have ben 4, 3.1, 4.1, and 4.1. Part of that is a short leash and Suarez hasn't’ throw more than 91 pitches all year. It seems the Angels have him around a 90 pitch limit in each start.
Daniel Norris is the best (starting) pitcher the Tigers will throw against the Angels this series. Back in May the Angels beat him but he only gave up 3 runs over 5 innings which is not terrible. Norris has allowed only 3 runs over 10.1 innings in his last two starts which is a pretty strong showing. Kole Calhoun and Andrelton Simmons have hit Norris well with a combined 6 for 14 in their careers against him.
Overall Verdict: If they Angels can win game 3, they could walk away with a sweep. I’d expect them to take at least 2 of those games and if the don’t - they might as well blow it all up because this IS the Tigers we are talking about.
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)