Series Preview: Los Angeles Angels vs. New York Yankees


Los Angeles Angels start a four-game series against the New York Yankees this afternoon in the Bronx. The Yankees are fresh off their first series win in over a month where they took two out of three from the first place, playoff-bound Detroit Tigers. The Angels took two out of three against the Cleveland Indians but are fresh off a tough loss that saw the Angels blow a five-run lead.

Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Here are the match-up breakdowns for the four-game set.

Game One: Hiroki Kuroda vs. Garrett Richards

Kuroda has been the most consistent Yankees starter this year and was arguably an all-star snub. Since the all-star break, Kuroda has maintained his consistency posting a 1.61 ERA in four games. At home, Kuroda is just as tough. In 62 innings, Kuroda is sporting 1.74 ERA with a complete game shut-out under his belt. He has yet to face the Angels this year.

The Angels will start Garrett Richards who has been impressive himself since re-joining the rotation. In his last three starts Richards has posted a 2.50 ERA, shaving almost a full run off his season ERA.The key to Richards success is his command which he has struggled with at times in the majors. We recently looked at Richards as a starter versus Richards the reliever and came to the conclusion he’s best when starting a game (read here).

Game Two: Jason Vargas/Tommy Hanson vs. CC Sabathia

Sabathia has not been himself for the entire year and currently holds an ERA of 4.73, the worst of his career. In the second-half, his struggles have continued. In four games since the all-star break, Sabathia has an ERA over 8 and has allowed 34 hits in 23 innings while fanning just 16. In his last start against the White Sox, he went 7 1/3 allowing three runs but only struck out one.

The Angels will look to capitalize on Sabathia struggles, especially considering that a struggling Tommy Hanson might be toeing the slab for the Halos. Hanson could be replaced by a returning Jason Vargas who hasn’t pitched since June since having to go on the disabled list after having a blood clot removed from his left throwing arm. This match-up might be a battle of the bullpens, which does not bode well for the Angels.

Game Three: Jered Weaver vs. Ivan Nova

Since returning from injury, Ivan Nova has been solid carrying an ERA of just over 3 in 68 1/3 innings. Nova is averaging a strikeout per inning while sporting a cool 1.25 WHIP. In August, Nova has been lights out allowing just 1 run in 13 innings of work.

The Angels Jered Weaver has been just as solid himself for the Angels. Since the all-star break, Weaver is carrying a 1.49 ERA with a stellar WHIP of 0.88. As staff writer Michael Hllywa also pointed out earlier this week, Weaver is back to his old-self and getting an increased number of swing strikes (read here). Expect this match-up to be a real pitchers duel.

Game Four: C.J. Wilson vs. Phil Hughes

The business man special (10:05am PST start time) sees a struggling Phil Hughes take the hill for the Yankees. With an ERA sitting at 4.99 and having allowed 132 hits in 119 innings, the 2013 season is one for Hughes to forget. With 22 home runs giving up this season (35 in 2012), expect the Angels lineup to be filled with left-handers trying to take advantage of the short porch in rightfield.

C.J. Wilson will take the ball in the final game of the four-game set for the Angels. Wilson is coming off a start that saw him labor through 117 pitches in just 5 1/3 innings. Wilson has been excellent against the Yankees the last two years, though. In his last start against the Yankees, Wilson earned a win going 7 strong innings and allowing just 2 runs on 5 hits. While in two starts in 2012, Wilson allowed just 3 runs in 13 innings against New York. Look for Wilson to bounce back in the Bronx after a disappointing start in Cleveland.