Game Preview: Angels versus Rangers
There are two games left in the Angels current four game series with the Texas Rangers. Tonight, Garrett Richards is expected to take the mound, weather pending. The forecast in Anaheim calls for rain chances all throughout the evening.
Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com states that if the game is postponed there will not be a double-header tomorrow, instead the game will be made up on a mutual day off.
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However, assuming the weather will hold off, the game tonight versus the Texas Rangers is an important one. This game is important for Garrett Richards and the struggling Angels rotation. Of the Angels starters, only Hector Santiago has looked the most poised on the mound. Santiago has provided the Angels with their only win this season with lots of help from closer Huston Street, and a walk-off HR by none other than Albert Pujols. Richards, however, is coming off a subpar performance on Opening Day, the Oklahoma native gave up six hits, resulting in three runs in five innings with an ERA of 5.40. Undoubtedly, Richards would have preferred a better start to his 2016 campaign; however, redemption is always one game away.
Tonight, the Angels will see Cole Hamels on the mound. A fellow Opening Day starter, who held the Mariners to just two runs in seven innings, Hamels also had eight strikeouts and has an ERA of 2.57 to start the season.
The most telling stat to start the season off is the Angels giving up 25 runs, in just four games. The suspect pitching has been verified after a dreadful 1-3 start, and now is a major concern for the Angels. The Angels have a combined ERA of 6.00, ranking them 25th overall in the MLB. Matt Shoemaker has the most alarming ERA of the Angels with 18.00.
Andrew Heaney is now on the 15-day DL and the Angels are hoping there’s a halo wrapped around Jered Weaver‘s back as he prepares to pitch Sunday against the Rangers in the final game of this series. Weaver has told the media he’s fired up and his stuff is going to shock the world. There’s no doubt Weaver wants to produce in the later stages of his career, the only question is can he.
Tonight’s game; however, is one that Richards must pitch well in. With the call for Nick Tropeano to pitch next week, the Angels have to get a head-start on winning. The Angels have to win this series, or at least walk away tied at two games even.
I understand it’s extremely early in the 2016 season, and i also get that it’s one game out of 162. But, keep this in mind, the Angels missed the post season by one game, the Angels also lost the AL West division title by three games. Believe me when i say, these early season losses matter. Any chance to win, is one step closer to the top of the AL West. Currently, the Angels are tied with Houston at the fourth spot.