LA Angels Series Preview: Trout and Bellinger go head to head
By Ryan Falla
My favorite thing about the LA Angels and LA Dodgers rivalry is how so many people will be quick to dismiss its “rivalry” status because the two teams play so infrequently.
Yet when game time comes there is few rivalries in baseball more intense than the one between LA Angels and their fans and LA Dodgers and their fans. Dodger fans will flood Angel Stadium and do their best to make the Angels feel like they have no home while Angel fans will take any victory with a smirk and an “I told you so”.
The stakes are now raised as two of the best performers in baseball, Mike Trout and Cody Bellinger, finally meet head to head for a classic western showdown.
Who’s gonna blink first? Is it going to be the Angels pitching staff in the face of monster sluggers such as Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger or will the Dodgers be the first to flinch in the awe of Mike Trout/Shohei Ohtani? The Dodgers are one of the more complete teams in baseball, and while they do have exploitable weaknesses such as their bullpen it may be difficult to tag them where it hurts given the Angels inconsistent ability to perform.
We’ve seen this Angels team put make top AL pitchers look like they can’t throw anything except meatballs all day while on the other hand letting MiLB journeymen look like Cy Young candidates. Lately we’ve been seeing an Angels team that cannot take that final leap to pull together tough wins against competitive opponents such as the Oakland A’s. This team is so up and down that they’ll embarrass the Mariners and then exactly a week later have the Mariners shame them across a three game set.
There’s really no telling exactly what the Angels are going to bring to the table in this series which is all the more frustrating because we all know exactly what the Dodgers will bring. This series is the tale of a team that boasts consistent offense and pitching versus a team that likes to wear the face of a competitor yet when push comes to shove they’ll tip over with moderate, but futile, resistance.
It’s a good thing this is only a two game series because if it went any longer we’d see Bellinger notch at least 5 home runs in this series. I wouldn’t be surprised if he launched 5 home runs across just these two games. He might even make history and smack 5 home runs in one game!
Let’s do it Angels, let’s make history! We’re usually on the wrong side of it so we might as well get comfortable.
Angels vs Dodgers
(6/10) 7:07 PM @ FS-W: Griffin Canning (2-2, 3.52 ERA) vs Hyun-Jin Ryu (9-1, 1.35 ERA)
(6/11) 7:07 PM @ FS-W: Kenta Maeda (7-2, 3.48 ERA) vs Felix Pena (3-1, 4.53 ERA)