Series Preview: Cubs Head West For a Two Game Interleague Series Against the Angels

By Mark Smith

Jun 3, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Albert Pujols (5), pitching coach

Mike Butcher

(23), second baseman Howie Kendrick (47) and batting coach

Jim Eppard

(80) watch in the dugout in the ninth inning against the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium. The Astros defeated the Angels 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

ANAHEIM – The Chicago Cubs (23-32) take on a the Los Angeles Angels (25-33) in a rare interleague match up at Angel Stadium of Anaheim Tuesday night.  The Cubs drop in for a mini two-game series before returning home to Wrigley Field to face the Pittsburgh Pirates in a four game series.

Both clubs have been struggling as of late – Chicago dropped their last two against the Arizona Diamondbacks while the Angels lost four out of four against the cellar dwelling Houston Astros.  The Halos are now 25-33 and 11 games back in the AL West division and 7.5 games back in the Wild Card race.  Is it too early to start talking about the Wild Card?

Interesting fact:  Getting swept is a rare occurrence for the Halos – the last time it happened was against Joe Maddon‘s Tampa Bay Rays in August of 2012.  But for whatever reason, the Angels can’t figure out the Astros this season having lost seven of their last 10 on the year.  I was ecstatic when it was announced that Houston would join the AL West in 2013.  Unfortunately, they haven’t provided the automatic wins that most Halo fans expected at the beginning of the season.

Game One:  June 4, 2013 – Angel Stadium of Anaheim, 7:05 p.m. PST.  Jered Weaver (1-1, 3.71) takes the mound against Scott Feldman (5-4, 2.82).  Weaver threw a two-hit gem against the Dodgers in his last start and hopes to repeat that performance against another under performing National League team who are an abysmal 14 games back in the NL Central.  Look for this one to be a pitching duel as Feldman will be looking for his sixth win after holding the White Sox to just two-runs in six innings last Wednesday.  His 2.82 ERA is second only to Travis Wood on the Cubbie’s pitching staff.

Game Two:  June 5, 2013 – Angel Stadium of Anaheim, 4:05 p.m. PST

Mr. Consistent, Jason Vargas (5-3, 3.34) gets the call and will face the Cubs’ Matt Garza (1-0, 3.38) in the second and final game of the series.  According to, Vargas has been the Angels’ best pitcher of late, going at least seven innings and giving up no more than two runs in each of his past four starts. Dating back to April 23, the 30-year-old is 5-1 with a 2.48 ERA.  Garza hasn’t faced the Angels since 2010 but had a strong showing against the Arizona Diamondbacks, allowing only two runs in seven innings.