Los Angeles Angels Probable Pitchers & Starting Lineup vs. Houston Astros, May 8
Probable starting pitchers
Patrick Sandoval takes the ball as the Los Angeles Angels look to get back in the win column facing the defending champion Houston Astros. Sandoval got off to a great start in his last outing in St. Louis but faltered as the game progressed, and was only able to give the Halos five innings of work. They'd like for more length from not only him but the entire rotation. Sandoval looks to get on track against an Astros team he has an 8.03 ERA against in seven appearances (six starts).
Sandoval will be opposed by dynamic right-hander Hunter Brown. The 24-year-old found his way onto the Astros Opening Day roster and has a 2.60 ERA through his first six starts. The Angels will hope to get to Brown early tonight. He has a 7.50 ERA in the first inning this season and has not allowed more than two runs in any other inning.
Los Angeles Angels starting lineup
1. Taylor Ward - LF
2. Mike Trout - CF
3. Shohei Ohtani - DH
4. Anthony Rendon - 3B
5. Hunter Renfroe - RF
6. Brandon Drury - 2B
7. Matt Thaiss - C
8. Gio Urshela - 1B
9. Zach Neto - SS
Zach Neto returns to the lineup but is back in the nine-hole with Taylor Ward moving up to the leadoff spot. Ward has swung the bat well lately and Neto has not, which is likely why Phil Nevin made this change. Neto has just four hits in his last 23 at-bats and has one hit in his last 12 at-bats since injuring his finger. I don't love moving Ward away from where he's been successful, but we'll see how it goes. The rest of the lineup looks pretty standard for the Angels tonight.
Houston Astros starting lineup
Lineup will be updated when revealed!
Which LA Angels player needs to bounce back today?
The Angels scored eight runs including seven against a really good starter in Martin Perez yesterday, but Brandon Drury went hitless in five at-bats with a pair of strikeouts. The Angels need their supporting cast to perform not only tonight, but in this entire series if they want to beat Houston. Drury is a big part of that.
Which LA Angels player will be the X-factor in today's game?
Will moving Taylor Ward back to the leadoff spot provide a spark? Or will that change how he's been hitting. In his last six games, Ward has eight hits in 23 at-bats including a home run and a double. He's been hitting the ball much harder as well. Ward getting on base a ton like he did last season is awesome for the Angels in front of Trout and Ohtani, but his OBP is almost 30 points lower than it was last season. The Angels could really use some good production out of the top of their order.