The Angels head into the final weekend alive in the playoff race, though just barely. Their fate is not entirely in their control, but what is within their grasp is needing to sweep the team with the best record in baseball.
MLB’s final regular season weekend has the Angels and Dodgers playing a Freeway Series this weekend at Dodger Stadium.
The Angels’ improbable path to the playoffs is clear, yet daunting: they need to win three games against the Dodgers, and the Astros need to lose all three games against the Rangers. One team playing the team with the best record in baseball, and another playing the team with the second-worst record makes the Angels postseason chances extremely remote. FanGraphs gives the Angels a 0.3-percent chance to reach the playoffs, while Baseball Prospectus projects a 0.2-percent chance.
This weekend in Los Angeles, the Angels will send their best three starting pitchers to the mound, with Andrew Heaney starting Friday, Dylan Bundy on Saturday, and Griffin Canning on Sunday.
That trio has started consecutively on three occasions this season:
- August 21-23: Angels lost two of three to Oakland
- August 28-30: Angels won two of three against Seattle
- September 3-5: Angels won all three against San Diego and Houston
Heaney starts the series opener on Friday, hoping to put the finishing touches on a strong season. In his last five starts, Heaney has pitched every bit like the one chosen to start on Opening Day, pitching at least into the seventh inning four times, and posting a 2.70 ERA to go with 36 strikeouts against only six walks during that time.
Heaney enters Friday with a 4.02 ERA, with a chance to get his ERA under four for the first time since 2015. Peripherally his numbers have been even better this season, thanks to 67 strikeouts, 17 walks, and allowing only six home runs. Heaney ranks ninth in the American League in both FIP (3.20) and FanGraphs WAR (1.7).
He’ll face off against Clayton Kershaw in the series opener.
Time: 6:40 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports West, SportsNet LA (Dodgers broadcast)