On the surface it appears this week’s three-game series between the Angels and Marlins would be about two teams vying for playoff berths. It’s not. Not when Mike Trout and Giancarlo Stanton are in the same ballpark.
The MVP candidates meet for the first, and possibly only, time in their young careers. Trout is coming off his first multi-homer run series since early August. He went 4-for -13 with four strikeouts as the Halos dropped two of three to Oakland. They maintain a one-game division lead heading into a crucial seven-game homestand.
Miami is coming off a similar showing against Colorado. They fell four games back of the National League wild card standings in losing two in a row to the lowly Rockies. Stanton notched six hits, five RBIs, and four walks while lifting his batting average to .299.
This is the first meeting between the teams since the Angels won two of three at Sun Life Stadium in June 2011.
Wade LeBlanc can’t fill Garett Richards’ shoes. But if he plays anywhere like he did with Triple-A Salt Lake, he can be a viable replacement.
LeBlanc faces the Marlins after pitching in 25 games with them in 2012. This will be his first appearance with the Angels since being re-acquired from New York. He’s only tossed 7 1/3 innings this year, allowing six runs on eight hits.
The journeyman is 1-1 with a 5.60 ERA against the Marlins, most recently defeating them as a San Diego Padre in 2011.
Jarred Cosart is all too familiar with the Angels. He went 0-2 with a 5.68 against them this season while with Houston. A change to the NL has done wonder for the right-hander, who has yielded just one run over the last 13 innings.
Cosart-who carries a lifetime 2.96 road ERA- makes his first-ever start at Angel Stadium.
- Kole Calhoun is batting .333 with a solo home run against Cosart.
- Nine runs against Oakland Sunday were the most the Angels have scored since July 13.
- The Marlins stranded 35 runners in their weekend set with Colorado.
TV: 7:05 p.m. PT, Fox Sports West, Fox Sports Florida, MLB Network
Radio: KLAA 830, 940 AM WINZ