You’d be right if you said it’s a been a while since the boys from Steel City have been in Anaheim. The Pirates haven’t played at the Big A since 2013, and these two teams last met in 2016. There is not a lot of history between these two teams who have only played 15 total games in their history. The Angels have won 8 of those games, but only 2 of their last 6 meetings.
Unless you’ve been under a rock, you know the Angels are in the midst of a rough patch, having split the series against Boston but only managing 4 wins in their last 15 games. There may be hope, however, as the Pirates are coming off getting swept in back to back series and have won 4 of their last 29 games. Just when you though it could be worse - you could be a Pirates fan.
Both of these teams are in pretty deep slumps, so one MIGHT break out during this series?
Know your foe:
Pirates - who’s hot (last week):
Jose Suarez strikes out about a batter per inning but he also walks one about every other inning and gives up more than a hit per inning on average. All this amounts to his 6.22 ERA and 1.597 WHIP. Suarez is still finding his way in the big leagues after having a decently impressive minor league career (though still a high WHIP). Facing a slumping team may bring him the boost he needs - unless that boost goes to his opponents.
Mitch Keller has struggled a bit in his first 12 big league innings, but he is the Pirates #1 prospect and the #28 prospect on MLB.com. He throws a smokin fastball in the upper 90s and has a plus curve. Keller has struck out 15 and walks 6 through his 3 starts.
TBD v. (R) Trevor Williams (5.06 ERA)
Tuesday, Aug 13th @ 7:07PM
Trevor Williams has made 17 starts this season with pretty mixed results. His ERA may look bad but he’s also managed 12 solid starts, including 8 quality starts. According to Baseball Savant, Williams throws: Four Seamer (53.9%), Slider (19.7%), Sinker (14.2%), Changeup (11.7%), and Curve (0.5%).
Dillon Peters is the pitcher du jour that is leading the Angels pitching staff. That leading comes from a 3.45 ERA over 31.1 innings but he’s given up 7 home runs. Peters is also coming off back to back quality starts against the Indians and Red Sox. What?? Let’s hope he can keep that up against the Pirates.
Not exactly his best season, Chris Archer has had success against the Angels in the past. Mike Trout is only hitting .227 in 25 PAs and Kole Calhoun .125 over 20 PA. However, Albert Pujols in 19 PAs has a .333 AVG and Andrelton Simmons is 2 for 6. Like Peters, Archer is also coming off back to back quality starts.
Overall Verdict: Honestly hard to predict this one given the struggles both teams have had lately, but the Angels should come out on top with at least a pair or wins.
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)