The LA Angels arrive in New York Friday for the start of a three city, ten game, ten day east coast road trip.
Currently, the LA Angels sit at 22-21 on the season. They find themselves in third place, eight games back of division leading Houston, and just percentage points behind second place Texas. With the Astros looking like they might begin to runaway with the division so early on, the three-city stop against three struggling teams is one the Angels must capitalize on.
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Series # 1 NY Mets at Citi Field. Inter-league play will be up first for the LA Angels when they begin a three game set against the New York Mets Friday night (afternoon PST.) The Angels have been quite successful in interleague play as we covered earlier this season. The Mets have, like the Angels, battled injuries this season. However, they have also had to deal with player issues off the field as well. Currently, the Mets find themselves at 16-23 and slipping fast in the NL East. In the 3-game series, the LA Angels will face a trio of Mets pitchers that are a bit of a mixed bag in 2017.
. Meyer has turned in two consecutive solid starts now. As a result, the hope is to build on that against a Mets team that has one collectove at-bat against him. Zack Wheeler has been one of the better starting pitchers for the Mets. Thus far he’s turned in a 2-2 record with a 3.76 ERA. Again, Wheeler has not faced many Angels. However, again Simmons and his time with the Atlanta Braves brings the best success with a .333 AVG (21 AB.)
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Series # 2 Tampa Bay Rays at Topicana Field. The Angels will roll into Tampa Bay on May 22nd for a four game set against the 21-22 AL east team. The Rays find themselves in a similar position as the LA Angels, in a bit of transition and looking to figure out if they are going to hang in the wildcard race long term or start to sink to the bottom. Last season, the Angels went 3-4 against the Rays, taking three out of four at Tropicana Field.
Series # 3 Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. The two teams will face off in the regular season for the first time since 2014, when the Angels took 2 out of 3 from Miami. The Marlins sit at 14-25 and dead last in a very lopsided NL East. If the Angels are to succeed in 2017, they will have to seize on winning against cellar dwelling teams like the Marlins.
For the Angels to win they will need to continue to get timely hits throughout their lineup. Cameron Maybin has been red hot since moving into the top slot in the batting order. At leadoff he has gone 8-10 in the last two games. Such a resurgance will need to continue and spread to other bats like Kole Calhoun. If the Angels can do that, and the strong pitching continues, they could easily take 7 of 10 (or better) on the trip.