Los Angeles Angels Probable Pitchers & Starting Lineup vs. Cincinnati Reds, August 22

The Angels look for a win in Mike Trout's return from the IL.

Los Angeles Angels v Detroit Tigers - Game Two
Los Angeles Angels v Detroit Tigers - Game Two / Mark Cunningham/GettyImages

Los Angeles Angels Probable Pitchers & Starting Lineup vs. Cincinnati Reds, August 22

The Los Angeles Angels will finally play a baseball game today after being rained out of each of their last two games thanks to Hurricane Hillary. The Halos got some good news for this game as Mike Trout is returning off of the IL and is in tonight's lineup in the series opener against the surprising Cincinnati Reds. The Reds enter tonight's game with a 64-61 record and are just one game back of the third Wild Card spot in the NL. The Halos, after losing two of three to the Rays, are 61-64 on the year, nine back of the third Wild Card spot in the AL, with their season hanging in the balance.

Probable starting pitchers

Lucas Giolito takes the mound for the Angels, looking to try and show Angels fans why the team acquired him at the deadline. His first four starts with his hometown team couldn't have gone much worse, as he enters tonight's game with an 8.14 ERA as an Angel. He allowed four runs in six innings in his last start in Texas. The Angels are 1-3 in his starts overall.

The Reds will counter with right-hander Graham Ashcraft. The 25-year-old had a dreadful ERA of 7.17 through his first 14 starts of the season but the Reds stuck with him and were rewarded, as he has a 2.17 ERA in his last nine starts. He's allowed three runs or fewer in all nine of those starts, and has allowed two runs or fewer in seven of the nine. He has a 4.89 ERA on the season, but that's not indicative of how he's pitched in the last couple of months.

Los Angeles Angels starting lineup

1. Nolan Schanuel - 1B
2. Mike Trout - CF
3. Shohei Ohtani - DH
4. Brandon Drury - 2B
5. Mike Moustakas - 3B
6. Logan O'Hoppe - C
7. Randal Grichuk - LF
8. Hunter Renfroe - RF
9. Andrew Velazquez - SS

Cincinnati Reds starting lineup

1. T.J. Friedl - CF
2. Matt McLain - 2B
3. Elly De La Cruz - 3B
4. Spencer Steer - LF
5. Joey Votto - 1B
6. Christian Encarnacion-Strand - DH
7. Noelvi Marte - 3B
8. Will Benson - RF
9. Tyler Stephenson - C

Which LA Angels player needs to bounce back today?

The last game the Angels play saw them lose by an ugly 18-4 score. Three of the four came when they were down 17-1. Just an ugly night. One player who went hitless in his four at-bats and is hitless in nine at-bats since being activated off of the IL is Logan O'Hoppe. The Angels have gotten virtually nothing offensively out of the catcher spot for months, and the hope was O'Hoppe would provide it. It's only been two games, so there isn't reason to panic, but the Angels do need him to produce.

Which LA Angels player will be the X-factor in today's game?

Mike Trout is back! The Angels lineup is as deep as it's been in a while because of it, and they should be able to score some runs hopefully thanks to him. This will be a good test to see if Trout can hit high-velocity as Ashcraft is a very hard thrower who averages 96 mph on his cutter and 96.6 mph on his sinker. If Trout feels good hitting that, the Angels should feel good about their chances to score some runs.