Series Preview: Los Angeles Angels in Oakland

By Saxon Baird

With just two weeks left in the season and nearly zero percent chance of making the playoffs, the Angels can still be a playoff spoiler for both the Oakland A’s and Texas Rangers. Although, with a stumbling Texas Rangers team and the A’s sitting comfortably atop the AL West by 6 1/2 games, the damage they can do to Oakland and their playoff picture is limited.

Sep 6, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels pitcher

C.J. Wilson

(33) pitches against the Texas Rangers during the first inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Angels are a dismal 4 and 9 against the Athletics this year. They’ll hope to correct that crooked record a bit at the Coliseum this week during a 3-game series.

Here are the match-ups:

Game One: C.J. Wilson vs. Sonny Gray

Sonny Gray has been a welcomed addition to the Oakland A’s rotation in this late-season run to the playoffs. The 23 year-old right-hander is sporting a 2.63 ERA in first 7 big league starts and struck-out 51 in 48 innings. Watch out for this kids curveball. The Los Angeles Angels have seen Gray this season but only out of the bullpen where he pitched two innings and allowed just one hit while striking out three.

Game Two: Garrett Richards vs. A.J. Griffin

Garrett Richards has continued to showcase since being inserted permanently into the Angels rotation why he’ll likely be given a spot as the four or fifth starter in the 2014 rotation. In just over 18 innings of work in September, the 23 year-old is sporting a 2.41 ERA resulting in an Angels victory in each of his starts this month. Richards has started once against the A’s this year but it was back in May and it wasn’t pretty. Richards gave up 7 runs in 5 2/3rd innings.

Game Three: Jason Vargas vs. Dan Straily

It hasn’t been the greatest season for Jason Vargas. After going three years in a row with 190 or more innings, Vargas spent some time on the disabled list this year and wasn’t able to be the innings-eater the Angels were expecting. He’s also given up 144 hits in just 128 2/3 innings and is sporting an ERA over 4. Vargas hasn’t faired much better on the road either. His sporting a 4.76 ERA away from Anaheim. Add in that he gave up five runs on 10 hits in under 6 innings of work in his only start against Oakland this year and the odds for a good outing from him are not great. But good thing it’s baseball, where anything can happen on a given night.