Getting Wild for the Wildcard
The Angels offense has been pretty on point as of late, aside from a few missed RISP opportunities across the Dodgers series it seemed as if the Angels were taking pretty good advantage of the opportunities they. That competency is going to need to continue against the Orioles, who will be fielding a handful of starting pitchers with 5+ ERAs.
There shouldn’t be too much to worry about missing these easy pitchers as the Angels offense is being led with serious fire. Mike Trout has been on the most ridiculous stretch over the last month with a 11 HRs and a 1.193 OPS over July. This season has seen the Angels field an offense that can not only function without Trout, they can succeed in big ways. David Fletcher is proving to be one of the better leadoff men in the AL with his consistent contact ability (.301/.376/.460 slash when leading off) and clutch hitting (.321/.379/.423 slash with RISP).
Shohei Ohtani will be back as a regular DH now that the Angels are out of inter-league play and will continue to provide major protection and power presence for Mike Trout and the Angels. Even Albert Pujols is showing force with his slash line of .324/.333/.588 paired with 2 HR’s and 14 RBI’s in the last two weeks. There really is no excuse for the Angels to find offensive struggles in this series given the pace they’re on mixed with the struggles of the Orioles this season.
The only real threat in this series is Wojciechowski as he is coming off a near no-hitter that saw him throw 6 hitless innings and 7.1 scoreless innings against the Red Sox. That’s quite the team to have such a feat against and if he carries that momentum into this game the Angels will find an actual challenge facing them in this series. Other than that Dylan Bundy experienced some success in his last start out as he threw six innings against the D-Backs while allowing just two runs.
There will be some modicum of competitiveness coming off the Orioles this series as it cannot be forgotten that they too are professional ballplayers, and if the Angels play down to the competition it can get ugly fast. A proper respect for the talents of the Orioles should keep the Angels mentally in check and on top of their game throughout the four game set.