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Angels Look To Play “Spoiler” As Resurgent Yankees Visit So-Cal For 3-Game Series

Mike Mayers Gets The Surprise Start As A Good Ole Fashion East Vs. West Showdown Gets Set To Commence At The Big A

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Arizona Diamondbacks Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Angels got some much needed R&R on a rare Sunday off-day yesterday (first Sunday off in franchise history) after a convincing 10-2 victory over the San Diego Padres on Saturday night. The win snapped a three-game losing streak and marked the third time in the last nine games the Halos scored 10 or more runs. With a record of 64-67 (.489), the Angels welcome the rejuvenated New York Yankees (76-54, .585) as they continue a nine-game homestand at the Big A.

In four head-to-head matchups this season (all at Yankee Stadium), the Halos and Bronx Bombers have split two games apiece with the Yankees taking the most recent matchup on August 16 by the final of 2-1. Since the All-Star break, these two teams have soared in different directions with the “Evil Empire” in much better position as they stand atop the AL Wild Card standings with a two-game lead over the Boston Red Sox. In 42 second-half games the Angels are 19-23, while the Yankees are 31-10 in 41 games which includes a tremendous 13-game winning streak from August 14-27.

Getting the starting nod for the Angels will be right-handed reliever Mike Mayers. The Grove City, Ohio native will be embarking on his second career start as he enters today with a 4-4 record and 4.07 ERA in 59 appearances, which ranks second amongst all Angels pitchers this season. August has proven to be one of Mayers’ best months since April. In 10 games, he’s spun a 2-0 record with a 3.00 ERA and a walk/strikeout split of 1 BB to 11 K.

Mayers faced the Yankees back on June 30 (the Angels 7-run 9th inning comeback victory) and picked up the win even though his lone blemish was a solo home run to Brett Gardner in the eighth inning.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone will counter by sending former CY Young award winner Corey Kluber to the hill for his 11th start of the season. Prior to being placed on the 60-Day IL with a right shoulder strain, the “Klubot” was 4-3 with a 3.04 ERA in 53.1 innings pitched. The righty has found success on the road in five starts going 3-1 with a 3.54 ERA and opponents batting just .233. The last time Kluber pitched at Angel Stadium, it was on August 4, 2018 as a member of the Cleveland Indians when he tossed a three-hit complete game shutout.

Player To Watch

First baseman Jared Walsh is swinging a hot stick over the past 10 games just like he was back in April and May. With a home run and three runs batted in on Saturday, “Walshy” is batting. 303 (10-for-33) with 2 HR, 6 RBI, 6 R and 6 BB during this stretch. Fans should keep an eye on Walsh in the lineup especially against right-handed pitching since he leads the team with a .312 average and .389 on-base percentage.

Eastern Showdown

With this series being the last time the Angels face an AL East opponent in the regular season, they would need to perform a sweep versus New York to get above .500. In 30 games, they sit 14-16 (.467), which is the second-worst winning percentage they hold against a single division. The worst is within the AL West where they are 21-32 (.396). The last time the Angels finished a season above .500 against the AL East as a whole, was back in 2017 when they finished 19-13 (.594).

Angels News & Notes

  • For the second consecutive game Jose Iglesias will not be in the starting lineup. Joe Maddon alluded to the fact they want to get “a better look at [Jack] Mayfield for the future”
  • Mike Trout is still “sore” after doing more baseball activities this past weekend. Joe Maddon thinks they are getting close to the point where they may shut him down, but Trout still wants to try
  • RHP/DH Shohei Ohtani will NOT pitch tomorrow against the Yankees after being hit by a pitch on his right hand during Saturday’s game versus San Diego. X-Rays came back clean and his next start is TBD
  • After being outrighted to Triple-A Salt Lake, RHP Aaron Slegers elected free agency yesterday
  • LHP Jose Quintana claimed off waivers by San Francisco Giants
  • INF Kean Wong recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake