Following a thrilling Sunday afternoon where the Angels salvaged the finale of a three-game series against AL West rival Houston Astros by the final of 3-1, it’s time to take the show on the road to the east coast. As this 10-game road trip will take them to Detroit, Cleveland, Williamsport, and Baltimore, it all begins tonight with a make-up game in the Bronx that was originally scheduled for July 1, but was postponed due to rain.
With playoff hopes diminishing as the end of the regular season nears (43 games including today), the Angels currently sit 9.5 games back of the Boston Red Sox for the final AL Wild Card berth and 12 games back of Houston in the AL West division. Though they have not been eliminated from contention, a long string of wins needs to be put together in order for the chase to become realistic.
Getting the start on the bump today for the Halos will be lefty Jose Suarez. After a strong start during the first half of the season, he has struggled over his last four starts yielding three or more runs while only reaching as high as 5.2 innings pitched twice. Overall, the Venezuela native is 5-5 with a 3.90 ERA and a WHIP of 1.25 in 15 appearances (6 starts). Suarez did find success against the Yankees (out of the bullpen) back on June 28 in an Angels 5-3 victory. The southpaw provided 5.1 innings in relief, allowing just one earned run and two hits, while striking out five as well.
Some may remember that game as the day starter Dylan Bundy exited during the second inning due to heat exhaustion and an unfortunate display of vomiting behind the mound. It’s okay, we have all been there at one time or another.
Opposing Suarez will be All-Star right-hander Gerrit Cole. The former UCLA Bruin will make his first start since July 29 due to being placed on the COVID-List after testing positive for the virus. This season in 21 starts, Cole is 10-6 with a 3.11 ERA and a WHIP under one (0.99) in 130.1 innings. Prior to landing on the COVID-List, the 300+ million dollar pitcher limped to the end of July, picking up back-to-back losses against the Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays. He finished July uncharacteristically going 2-2 with a 4.71 ERA, however he did find a way to toss two complete games as well (7/10 vs. HOU and 7/17 vs. BOS - 7 Inn. game).
Player To Watch
Brandon Marsh is coming off a hot week at the plate that hopefully is the turnaround point for his development. In his last seven games, the rookie outfielder is slashing .381/.409/.429 with a double and two stolen bases. With this work at the dish, his overall batting average is back over the Mendoza line at .209.
The Ghost of RISP
In recent years, Angels fans have witnessed first hand how capitalizing with runners in scoring position has not been a strong suit of the Halos on a consistent basis. It was heavily apparent during this past seven-game homestand as the Angels finished 10-for-56 (.179 batting average) with 50 men left on base. Currently the Angels rank 12th in Major League Baseball averaging 13.92 runners left on bases per/game.
Angels News & Notes
- Starting Rotation for Detroit Series: Tuesday - Bundy, Wednesday - Ohtani, Thursday - Sandoval
- No roster transactions today, but here is a quick recap of yesterday’s moves: