The second key to an LA Angels series victory vs. the Rangers: Keep runners close
The Rangers have some serious wheels on their squad. Only the Kansas City Royals have stolen more bags than them this year.
The Rangers have stolen 34 bases, one less than the Royals, and eight more than the next best team.
They have the second-leading base stealer in the AL, Isiah Kiner-Falefa.
Angels starting catcher Kurt Suzuki needs to be on his toes. He’s currently 29th among active catchers in caught stealing percentage at 22.72%. That needs to change if the Angels want to win back-to-back games here.
Suzuki’s going to be tested. If Drew Butera sees time, he needs to step up as well.
He’s been much better at throwing out runners than Suzuki, as his caught stealing percentage is at 30.07%. However, 30.07% places just 18th among active catchers.
Kiner-Falefa has an on-base percentage of .330 this year. He’s batting .290. There’s a good chance he gets on a handful of times this series. Pitchers need to keep him, as well as all runners close.
Along with that, Sukuzi/Butera need to do as much as they can to keep runners from taking those extra bases.