Los Angeles Angels Probable Pitchers & Starting Lineup vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, July 21

Houston Astros v Los Angeles Angels
Houston Astros v Los Angeles Angels / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

Los Angeles Angels Probable Pitchers & Starting Lineup vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, July 21

The Los Angeles Angels swept the New York Yankees to keep their playoff hopes alive and will have to continue to find ways to win as they welcome the Pittsburgh Pirates to town for a rare series. The Halos have now won four in a row to improve to 49-48 on the season but are still five games back of the third Wild Card spot in the AL. The Pirates come to Anaheim struggling as they've lost eight of their last ten. They've won just once in their six games since the all-star break.

Probable starting pitchers

Shohei Ohtani takes the mound tonight for the Angels as he hopes that his blister woes are behind him. Ohtani was pulled early for a second straight start with blister issues and struggled as he allowed five runs (four earned) in five innings of work in a loss against the Astros. He didn't get any help from his defense or the umpires, but we've seen Ohtani at his sharpest and he was not that his last time out. The Halos need him to be tonight.

The Pirates will counter with fellow right-hander Johan Oviedo. The 25-year-old is in the middle of his first full season in a Major League rotation and he's pitched fairly well. His 4.53 ERA isn't great, but he's been Pittsburgh's third-best starter all year. He pitched a gem last in his last start against the Giants, allowing just a Mike Yastrzemski home run in seven innings of work to go along with ten strikeouts.

Los Angeles Angels starting lineup

1. Zach Neto - SS
2. Shohei Ohtani - P
3. Mickey Moniak - CF
4. Taylor Ward - LF
5. Mike Moustakas - 3B
6. Matt Thaiss - C
7. Hunter Renfroe - RF
8. Trey Cabbage - 1B
9. Luis Rengifo - 2B

Pittsburgh Pirates starting lineup

1. Jack Suwinski - CF
2. Bryan Reynolds - LF
3. Carlos Santana - 1B
4. Ji Man Choi - DH
5. Henry Davis - RF
6. Jared Triolo - 3B
7. Tucupita Marcano - SS
8. Endy Rodriguez - C
9. Nick Gonzalez - 2B

Which LA Angels player needs to bounce back today?

After a great start to his career, Trey Cabbage went hitless in three at-bats, striking out all three times in the second game of the Yankees series. He had just one hit in seven at-bats against the Yankees after recording three hits in five at-bats against the Astros last weekend. Cabbage is expected to start most nights at first base against right-handed pitching, but if he doesn't hit, the Angels will need to find another reinforcement for the position.

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

After watching him beat them earlier in the series, the Yankees walked Shohei Ohtani four times in the series finale on Wednesday including once intentionally. If the Pirates pick up the same strategy, Mickey Moniak, the guy hitting behind Ohtani tonight, has to make them pay. Moniak has been outstanding all year particuarly against right-handed pitching, so tonight is a great opportunity for him to have a big night.