LA Angels News

LA Angels Series Preview (7/2/19): Appreciating Life, Baseball, and Tyler Skaggs

By Ryan Falla
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JULY 01: Players for the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants stand during a moment of silence for pitcher Tyler Skaggs of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at PETCO Park on July 01, 2019 in San Diego, California. Skaggs passed away in his hotel room earlier in the day in Texas. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JULY 01: Players for the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants stand during a moment of silence for pitcher Tyler Skaggs of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at PETCO Park on July 01, 2019 in San Diego, California. Skaggs passed away in his hotel room earlier in the day in Texas. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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It’s getting real hot in Texas

Mike Minor, the first starting pitcher the Rangers will be throwing at the Angels, has been on a crazy hot streak as of late. His month of June was absolutely nuclear as he threw 37 innings of 1.70 ERA baseball across the month. His last start of the month saw him twirl a complete game against the Tigers with just one run allowed on five hits. Minor has only gotten better and better as the season goes on; his ERA by month stands at 2.88 in March/April, 2.57 ERA in May, and 1.70 in June.

Either he’s going to continue trending this way and end up the best pitcher in baseball for the month of July or the baseball gods will balance out his season with a difficult July. If the baseball gods have it in their favor to bring balance to Minors season it will be done through their Angels. The Angels offense was quiet as could be against the Oakland A’s, but as it is with baseball a new month brings a new story. Hopefully this story involves the Angels offense returning to a more balanced form as well as Mike Minor being humbled in short order.

Los Angeles Angels

Jose Suarez will be going toe to toe against Minor in this first game of the series after his last start, against Toronto, saw him allow 5 runs in just 5 innings. Aside from that start Jose Suarez has been solid, his ERA stood at 4.50 prior to his start against the Blue Jays. Suarez’s issues stem from allowing a multitude of hits alongside a handful of walks in each start.

In order to minimize the damage Suarez is going to have to attack the strike zone with greater force and work on generating weak contact. His strikeout numbers have been solid as he has struck out 6 hitters in 2 of his 4 MLB starts this year, yet this Rangers offense is one that can punish mistakes in the biggest ways. Control and composure will be the name of the game for Suarez in this start, if he can maintain that the Angels will find success in this series.

The second game of the set sees Ariel Jurado looking to stay hot against the Angels and Griffin Canning. Jurado is on a nice pace just as Minor is, throughout the season Jurado has pitched fantastically at home with a 2-2 record with a 3.76 ERA. His last start came in Detroit and saw him pitch 7 shutout innings.

The Angels offense is going to have to get their affairs in order against Minor so they can take some heat into the second game of the series and sweat Jurado out of the game. With Canning on the mound we’re going to see the Angels find many chances to take and maintain the lead, but then again we have seen Angel pitchers struggle immensely while pitching in Texas.

If the Angels don’t give Canning any solid run support early on we may see the Rangers sweat Canning out of the game early. As it tends to be in Texas this series may be a matter of who strikes first.

The story is the same with Lance Lynn as he is coming of a 10 K performance against the Rays in eight innings of work. This is absolutely a series that can change a season; the Angels could come out of this just a game or two out of the Wild Card and wreck the Rangers momentum in the process. Likewise the Angels can very well see themselves slip farther and farther from contention with a poor series.

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We’ve seen the Angels season end in Texas time and time again; this series has all the potential to either boost the Angels in the standings or deflate their playoff hopes even further than they already have.

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