Coming off a 3-1 series win against the Texas Rangers, the LA Angels must be feeling good right now. However, they’ll be facing a Brewers team that is among the best in baseball.
Earlier this year, I highlighted why the LA Angels series against the Brewers would be a big time test for the team. Now, as they seem to have turned around the start to their season, they have a huge test of their legitimacy this week. The Brewers, at 8-2, are an elite team, but they are beatable. Here is how:
Step 1: Limit Christian Yelich
Mike Trout is to the Angels what Christian Yelich is to the Brewers. Obviously Trout is the superior player, but the 2018 National League MVP has started this campaign right where he left off. He is hitting .361 with five home runs and 13 RBI’s so far on the season, and can single-handedly win games for the Brewers.
Unlike the Angels, the Brewers field a complete lineup filled with quality hitters. Simply intentionally walking Yelich throughout the game won’t suffice, but the Angels need to be wise about when they choose to pitch to the slugger.
Pitching to him whenever there’s an open base probably isn’t a smart idea. Two outs and no runners on could be another scenario the team chooses to walk Yelich. This will be interesting to watch as Brad Ausmus has yet to have a real test as manager. Christian Yelich is by far the best hitter the Angels will have faced so far this season, and the Angels need to give him the Mike Trout treatment.