The Angels will kick off the 2021 season with a four-game series against the Chicago White Sox. Here are the probables for all four games.
Thursday: Dylan Bundy vs. Lucas Giolito
Getting the first start of the season for the Halos will be Dylan Bundy, arguable LA’s best starter from last season. After some down years in Baltimore, Bundy really had a fantastic year in Anaheim, as he finished ninth in American League Cy Young voting.
Bundy went 6-3 with a 3.29 ERA. Although a 3.29 ERA is a career-year for most starting pitchers, Bundy was actually much better than the numbers indicate. Due to the shortened season, his last two starts really hurt his numbers. Through his first nine starts, he owned a 2.48 ERA with 67 strikeouts in 58 innings.
Speaking of Cy Young Award finishers, Giolito finished seventh in the American League last season. He had a career-year as well, posting a 3.48 ERA with a 3.19 FIP and 1.04 WHIP with a career-high 12.1 SO/9. Oh, he also threw a no-hitter as well.
Friday: Andrew Heaney vs. Dallas Keuchel
2021 will already be Andrew Heaney’s seventh season in the rotation for the Angels. Last year he went 4-3 with a 4.46 ERA while posting a 3.79 FIP and 1.23 WHIP. Heaney was great for the Angels last season at home. While pitching at Angel Stadium, his ERA was 2.81 compared to 5.97 on the road. He also struck out more hitters at home, averaging more than 10 strikeouts per nine innings compared to 8.8 on the road.
Dallas Keuchel meanwhile had his best season since his Cy Young winning year back in 2015. Last year for the White Sox he went 6-2 with an ERA of 1.99. He closed the season as arguably the best pitcher in the American League. Over his final four starts, Keuchel allowed only one run and struck out 16 hitters.
Saturday: Alex Cobb vs. Lance Lynn
Alex Cobb will make his first start for the Angels on Saturday. After a pretty rough stretch in Baltimore, he’s hoping to recapture his form from his Tampa Bay days years ago. Over his last three seasons with the Orioles, Cobb has gone 7-22 with an ERA of 5.10. Although it was a small sample size, he looked pretty good for the Halos during the spring. He made three starts and posted a 2.35 ERA with a SO/9 rate of 9.4. Cobb has never averaged nine strikeouts per nine innings in his career.
Making their first start for their new team as well will be Lance Lynn. After two really good seasons with the Rangers, Lynn comes over and becomes one of the best No. 3 starters in all of baseball. He finished sixth in AL Cy Young voting last season and fifth in voting the year prior. Not too bad for your No. 3 option. Over his last two seasons in Texas, Lynn has gone 22-14 with a 3.57 ERA and ERA+ of 140. He has 335 strikeouts, one of the highest numbers among all American League pitchers.
Sunday: Shohei Ohtani vs. Dylan Cease
Getting the start on Sunday will be Shohei Ohtani, who has pitched in only two games since his rookie season in 2018. He allowed seven runs in only 1 2⁄3 innings of action last season, and his spring wasn’t so pleasant either. In four outings on the mound this spring, Ohtani allowed 14 runs on 15 hits in 10 1⁄3 innings.
Dylan Cease enters his third season as a starter for the White Sox. He struggled in 2020, posting a FIP of 6.36 and a WHIP of 1.44. He struck out only 6.8 batters per nine innings, and walked nearly as much, averaging 5.2 walks per nine. Cease had a rough finish to the season, as he posted a 5.64 ERA over his final five starts.
How many games do you think the Angels win this series?
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