The Los Angeles Angels just wrapped up an extremely successful homestand, winning five of the six games. The Halos swept the Cubs and took two of three from the Mariners to give them a record of 36-31 heading into an extremely tough series against the Texas Rangers.
The Rangers have been one of the best teams in baseball all season long. and currently sit at 41-23 which just so happens to be the second-best record in baseball. Texas leads all of baseball in runs scored, and despite a shaky bullpen, ranks fifth in team ERA despite Jacob deGrom missing substantial time.
The Rangers came to Anaheim earlier this season and took two of three. Each game the Angels lost came in routs. While a series win might not be the expectation, the Angels need to at least figure out a way to split the four-game set. Show that you can compete with elite teams after failing to do that against Houston.
In order for the Angels to have any sort of success against the powerful Rangers, three players will have to get out of slumps and two others will have to stay hot.
LA Angels outfielder Mike Trout has to step up vs. the Rangers
Mike Trout's June struggles have been well-documented to this point. He looks like a shell of his superstar self, and the Angels badly need him to get out of this funk. They've been fortunate to play against sub-.500 teams this past homestand, but Texas is a different beast.
Trout is going to get a day off in Texas which I believe he needs desperately, but for the other three games, he has to be their leader.
We saw Trout record one hit in 15 at-bats in the last four-game series the Angels played in Houston. We've seen Trout hit .114 in the month of June with a whole bunch of strikeouts. The time for him to step up is right now, against an elite opponent, at their stadium.
Find a way to come through in the clutch. Set the table for the team to score. Do something to remind us of the superstar we all know you to be.