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Series Preview: Angels @ Red Sox (The Monster in the Room)

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Slumping sleepers battle at Fenway

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Angels (56-59) @ Red Sox (60-56)

The Angels will look to stop their 6 game skid against a not so hot Red Sox team. During the month of August, the Red Sox are 1-6 with a tie game (suspended on Wednesday to be finished on August 22nd). The Red Sox woes date back to July 28th. Since they, they are 1-9, making this series a battle of two severely slumping teams. These teams will also square off again at the end of August.

If the Red Sox can’t even finish off the Royals, that bodes well for the Angels, right? Not so fast... the Angels were swept by the Red Sox in the 2018 season series and since 2015, the Angels are 4-12 at Fenway.

Know your foe:

Red Sox - who’s hot (last 7 days):

Weather Forecast

GAME 1

(L) Dillon Peters (3.20 ERA) v. (L) Chris Sale (4.68 ERA)
Thursday, August 8th @ 4:10 PM

Summary:

Wow. When did Dillon Peters sneak in with a 3.20 ERA? So it’s only been 25.1 innings, but we’ll take it. Peters has “started” 4 games now and held Cleveland to 3 runs on 8 hits over 7.2 innings - good for a quality start. This will be Peters first time facing the Red Sox.

Perhaps a victim of the changing baseball seams, or perhaps a World Series hangover, but either way, Chris Sale has not been himself this year. He still racks up a ridiculous amount of Ks (193 in 132.2 innings) but he has struggled at times. In 5 of his last 7 starts, Sale has given up 5 or more runs. including 8 runs over 3.2 innings his last time out. Sale hasn’t been too kind to Angels hitters over the years with Albert Pujols just 2 for 21, Justin Upton 3 for 16, and Kole Calhoun 0 for 10. Mike Trout is hitting .294 with a .455 OBP off Sale.


GAME 2

(R) Jaime Barria (4.66 ERA) v. (L) David Price (4.36 ERA)
Friday, August 9th @ 4:10 PM

Summary:

Jaime Barria is a far cry from his 2018 version. His ERA is up, his WHIP is up, and home runs allowed are up. He’s yet to log a quality start and in fact has never made it past the 5th inning. However, much of these bad numbers can be attributed to two outings this year - a 7 run 1.2 inning start against KC in April and a 10 run 3.2 inning outing against Seattle in mid July.

Like Chris Sale (and most of the Red Sox), Price has had a few hiccups lately. In two of his last 4 starts he’s given up 6 and 7 runs. He has a 6.55 ERA since the start of July. Price tossed 11 innings agains the Angels in 2018 and allowed only 2 runs with a .195 BAA.


GAME 3

TBD v. (R) Rick Porcello (5.54 ERA)
Saturday, August 10th @ 1:05 PM

Summary:

Andrew Heaney is likely in line for this start though the Angels have not yet made an official announcement. Heaney has been sidelined with an inflamed shoulder since July 20th.

Rick Porcello has a a career high ERA in 2019 and it’s even worse (6.65) since June 1st. Needless to say, he’s had a rough time lately. Procello did notch a quality start on August 5th against the Royals - the only game the Red Sox have won this month. Porcello faced the Angels twice in 2018 with 4 runs allowed over 11.2 innings.


GAME 4

(R) Patrick Sandoval (3.60 ERA) v. (R) Andrew Cashner (4.68 ERA)
Sunday, August 11th @ 10:05 AM

Summary:

Patrick Sandoval had a pretty impressive MLB debut next week with 8 Ks and 3 runs allowed over 5 innings. Facing a Red Sox lineup that has the potential to be potent will be a good second test for the rookie pitcher.

Andrew Cashner has a surprising 2.5 bWAR in 2019 but since joining the Red Sox he has allowed 7 home runs, 38 hits, and 24 ER over only 28.2 innings. In short - he’s been a disaster for them but is usually good for 5-6 innings of work. With the Orioles in 2018, Cashner held the Angels to 1 run over 6 innings.


Overall Verdict: Based on recent results and standings, these two teams would appear to be evenly matched and headed for a split. But baseball is funny sometimes so don’t be surprised if the Angels continue to slump and the Red Sox find their way during this series.

Current Standings (sorted by playoff odds)