Tuesday, May 2 @ Seattle
Probables- Matt Shoemaker vs. James Paxton
The Angels open the week with a three game series against the Seattle Mariners. In their first series, the Angels swept the Mariners, including a 7-run comeback in their final meeting. In the first game of this series, the Angels will face the Mariners ace. No, not Felix Hernandez, but left-handed pitcher James Paxton. On the season, Paxton is 3-0 with a 1.39 ERA in five games. He is coming off another great start, where he threw seven shutout innings and struck out nine batters against the Detroit Tigers.
Of the Angels batters with more than five at-bats against Paxton, only Kole Calhoun has a good record against Paxton. Mike Trout (.100) and Albert Pujols (.200) have not had the best time against Paxton, but Calhoun hits .304 against him over his career. Trout will have to find out something, as this is the game in which he will try to tie his career-high hitting streak of 15 games.
The Angels will send out Matt Shoemaker, who has had his ups and downs this season. He has been exceptional in his last three starts, giving up two earned runs in each start while throwing at least five innings. However, before this stretch of good starts, he allowed six runs in 4.1 innings to the Mariners. Both of Seattle’s offensive stars, Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano, have two home runs against Shoemaker in their career.
April is always a tough month for Shoemaker, as he owns a 7.08 ERA in the first month of the season in the past three seasons. However, that number goes down to a 3.86 ERA in May, and continues to improve throughout the season.
Another note for this game is that corner infielder Luis Valbuena is projected to make his return from the DL. The offseason signing has battled a hamstring injury and will most likely get the start at first base.
Prediction: Mariners 5, Angels 3