LA Angels Series Preview: Angels @ Tigers (5/28/18)

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 26: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim reacts after his first inning RBI double against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on May 26, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 26: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim reacts after his first inning RBI double against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on May 26, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The LA Angels have not been playing their best baseball as of late, and with their recent series loss against the Yankees it’s clear they have struggles consistently competing against high-grade talent. It doesn’t make too much sense that the Angels would put up 11 runs on the Yankees in one game while only putting up two total runs in their two losses. The fact of the matter is this team is wildly inconsistent.

The LA Angels have another struggling squad coming up with the Tigers prepped for a series against the Halos though, with how the Angels have been playing lately however anything can happen.

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The Halos have been the epitome of disappointment; they opened the month of April as one of the best teams in baseball and immediately dropped off in inconsistent mediocrity. The looked to be an elite squad with the likes of Boston and New York looking to finally have to take the Angels seriously before the Halos messed the bed against the Red Sox before embarrassing themselves in front of the Yankees, twice.

Like Mike Scioscia says, “you just gotta turn the page” and look for renewed success after heading into a new series.

Yet Mike Scioscia has been “turning the page” for about fifteen years now and I swear we’ve read this same book over and over again, season by season. It’s a bit tiring and for once I’d like to see Mike Scioscia make better decisions in this repetitive “choose-your-own-adventure” book he’s been leading us through his entire career.

Probable Pitchers

Monday 5/28; 10:10AM PT: Tyler Skaggs (3-3, 3.11 ERA) vs Matthew Boyd (2-4, 3.49 ERA)

Tuesday 5/29; 4:10PM PT: Nick Tropeano (2-3, 3.86 ERA) vs Michael Fulmer (2-3, 4.08 ERA)

Wednesday 5/30; 4:10PM PT: TBA vs Mike Fiers (4-3, 4.78 ERA)

Thursday 5/31; 10:10PM PT: Andrew Heaney (2-3, 3.09 ERA) vs Francisco Liriano (3-2, 3.90 ERA)

The Angels have a healthy sized series waiting for them in Detroit with a four game set against the Motor City Men. One can hope that the 11 run outburst the Angels scored against the Yankees, despite losing the series, is the sign of an offense clearing the gunk from their eye. We won’t know until the series against the Tigers begins to play out with how inconsistent this team has been. All we know is that they’re no longer facing some of the best pitching in baseball and therefore have no real excuse to become offensive dead-wood come game time.

The Tigers have Matthew Boyd taking the mound in the opener despite leaving his last start with a left oblique strain. Despite his standout season with the Tigers he’s recorded his only two wins of the season this month, though that has less to do with his performances than it does a lack of run support.

Michael Fulmer, Tigers starting pitcher the second game, is pitching in his third season at the age of 25. He’s been a bit all over the place this season with three of his five starts in May going for 3 runs or more with his April totals seeing him shut down hitters for 2 runs of less all month except for on ugly 9 ER start against the Indian. Both of these pitchers in the second set have shown their inconsistencies this season, yet with Tropeano’s last start there is hope that he will outduel Fulmer even if the Tigers pitchers shows up with his A++ game.

If the Angels are looking to jump back onto the winning wagon with a successful series, going so far as to hope for a sweep, this is the series to do it. The Tigers pitchers are struggling, the hitting is soft as of right now and the Angels have a big pitching set lined up for the Tigers, especially with Heaney taking the last game against Francisco Liriano.

Andrew Heaney has been fighting to prove himself not just a top class pitcher, but someone with ace material. After his wondrous start against the Yankees, in which he allowed one run over 6.1 IP, you have to believe he’s coming into form as a top of the line pitcher. This Tigers series may not be the one that will seriously establish him as an ace, even with a CG shutout; but what he can do is continue proving his ability and evolving fortitude which is looking to put him on the path of the Angels 2nd ace of the staff; third depending on Ohtani’s development throughout the season.

Next: The Halos Have a UCL Problem

What to look for

  • The Angels have had some strong starting pitching from the group ready to go in this series. Andrew Heaney and Tyler Skaggs are fighting to prove themselves as the Angels go to guys. With Garrett Richards unreliable inconsistency, “Mr. Five Run First”, rearing its ugly head too often lately it’s a wonder to have two guys like Skaggs and Heaney step up big time and fulfill the role of Angels big dogs. Even better is having Shohei Ohtani in that mix looking to establish himself as the ace of baseball. Not just an ace of the Angels, but an ace among aces; I don’t want that fact to take away from Skaggs and Heaney’s emergence, but with those two guys grinding to be leaders and Ohtani pitching with the promise of never before seen greatness the Angels have a lot to look forward too in their starting staff this series.
  • Do I have to mention Mike Trout as a must watch? I know it’s obvious, but good lord is it something that still needs to be discussed. He has five HRs in his last nine games with three of those HR’s coming in consecutive games. He’s already at 17 HR’s for the season, and as much as I don’t like falling victim to the “if he keeps up this pace” type discussion given that baseball is a game of big highs and easy lows it looks like Trout may keep it up for at least this first half of the season. That would put him at or near 30 HR’s by the All Star break and 60 RBIs. Will he do it? Yeah, I’m thinking he will.