Blue Jays powerful right-handed lineup could cause problems for Angels starting pitchers
The Los Angeles Angels are headed home after a successful road trip to kick off the 2023 season. They took two of three in Oakland, and then took two of three in Seattle. They're 4-2, tied for first in the AL West. Life is good.
The opponent for the Angels as they head home is the Toronto Blue Jays. Toronto made the postseason last season and will once again be in contention for not only a Wild Card spot, but potentially the AL East. Their roster is loaded and presents a tough test for Angels pitching.
Toronto's right-handed powerful lineup could present problems for the LA Angels left-handed starting pitchers
The Jays have one of the best lineups in all of baseball no matter the hand they face, but they're very good against lefties. They ranked fourth in the AL and seventh in all of baseball with a 115 WRC+ against southpaws in 2022. They did lose Teoscar Hernandez and Lourdes Gurriel Jr., but they're still very formidible.
Their top three hitters are all right handed in George Springer, Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. All three are stars, with Guerrero Jr. being one of the best hitters in the game.
Alejandro Kirk was an all-star. Danny Jansen had an .826 OPS against southpaws last season. This was the same mark as Santiago Espinal. This was a higher mark than stars like Alex Bregman, J.T. Realmuto, and Trea Turner. Jansen and Espinal hit eighth and ninth against Jordan Montgomery last week. So yeah, this lineup mashes.
Patrick Sandoval, Tyler Anderson, and Reid Detmers will have their work cut out for them. With how good all three of these guys are, I have confidence in them doing well enough to give the Angels a chance to win. The key is keeping them in the yard.
It would've felt more comforting to have Ohtani start one of these games, but this is a good test for three important pitchers in this rotation. Toronto could easily be a team the Angels face in meaningful October baseball.