LA Angels Series Preview: Angels host A’s in AL West Rematch
By Ryan Falla
This series is marked by a handful of pitchers that have been on a hot streak in recent starts. In this first game of the series we have the emergent ace in Griffin Canning facing off against one of the best pitchers in the AL right now in Frankie Montas. Despite how consistent Montas has been through the 2019 season so far the Angels still found a way to bully him out of their last match up after just 4 innings of work. His 4 IP/4 ER start against the Angels was his shortest start of the season and if the Angels are truly getting better at practicing that consistency they’ve been missing all season they’ll find a way to damage Montas once again.
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The Angels have been fantastic at creating run scoring opportunities and capitalizing them as of late so there is plenty of faith in thier ability to do so against Montas. In total the Angels have scored 44 runs in the last seven games, and six of those games were against AL West opponents (three versus the A’s).
One of those games was a 12 run affair against the Oakland A’s, although it should be noted that game was an extra inning affair that saw the Angels score a multitude of runs after the 9th inning. Clearly this team has serious firepower, if they can find a way to unload that against ace Frankie Montas they’ll be kicking off both this series and the month of June in the best way possible.
Second up is Felix Pena, the man who thrives off the opener strategy, vs Daniel Mengden, who had solid success against the Angels in his last outing. Mengden allowed just one run in 4.1 IP of work against the Angels his last time out, although it needs to be noted he holds a career 7.54 ERA against the Angels through five career appearances. Pena, on the other hand, has been on fire when starting games after an opener is used. The Angels have employed the opener six times in Pena’s last seven starts, and in those starts he is maintaining a 3.13 ERA across 31.2 IP. Clearly the forecast favors the Angels here, but at the same time the Angels have always been good at turning favorable matchups into frustrating affairs
Lastly we have the struggling Tyler Skaggs against the red-hot Mike Fiers. Despite Skaggs posting a season best 7 IP against the Mariners he did allow two home runs and 4 total earned runs allowed. That isn’t the worst pitching line, but at the same time we all know Tyler Skaggs should be producing at a higher rate than what he currently is now. In fact Skaggs has posted 5.29 ERA throughout his six starts in the month of May. On the other hand Mike Fiers has posted a 2.82 ERA across his last seven starts.