Friday, April 7 vs. Mariners
Newcomer Jesse Chavez will take the mound for the Angels in their home opener. He had a 4.43 ERA last year as a relief pitcher, but the Angels are hoping to bring him back to the starting position. In 2015, his last season as a starter, he held a 4.18 ERA in Oakland. In his comeback season, Chavez needs to start off strong in his first few starts if he hopes to hold this fifth starter job. If not, he will most likely be used as a middle reliever. For the Mariners, Yovani Gallardo will be hoping to bounce back from an awful 2016 campaign. He owned a 5.42 ERA in 23 games. With a career ERA of 3.79, the veteran is hoping to achieve his old form, or his career may be on the way down. This could be a high scoring game, but I expect one pitcher to come out strong and only give up a couple runs. In what should be a bullpen heavy game, the Angels celebrate their homecoming with their third win of the season.
Prediction: Angels 5, Mariners 2
Saturday, April 8 vs. Mariners
Probables: Felix Hernandez vs. Ricky Nolasco
Now when you look at the names of the probable pitchers, most would expect Seattle to easily win this one. But believe this- Felix Hernandez is not what he used to be. He is still a great pitcher, but he has never done amazing against the Angels. Ricky Nolasco, however, has experienced a career resurgence since joining the Angels. His sinker has been the key to this, as it has been his premier strikeout pitch. He is not quite King Felix, but this game could be much closer than many expect. I expect this one to be decided late, or even in extras.
Prediction: Mariners 3, Angels 2
Sunday, April 9 vs Mariners
Probables: Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Matt Shoemaker
In the rubber match of the series, Shoemaker gets the nod. Hopefully coming off a dominant game against the Athletics, Shoemaker continues his resurgence and shuts down the Mariners offense. Hisashi Iwakuma will be hurling against the Astros on Tuesday, but he has been a model of consistency for the Mariners throughout his career there. He rarely implodes on himself and can be relied on to get the win for his team. In what I expect to be a pitching duel, the Angels end the first week of the season on the losing end, sitting at 4-3 at the end of the week.
Prediction- Mariners 5, Angels 3
And there you have it Halo Nation. I can’t wait to experience this season with you all, and look forward to this series of articles.