Los Angeles Angels Probable Pitchers & Starting Lineup vs. Tampa Bay Rays, August 18

The Angels look for consecutive wins as they return home.
Los Angeles Angels v Houston Astros
Los Angeles Angels v Houston Astros / Bob Levey/GettyImages

Los Angeles Angels Probable Pitchers & Starting Lineup vs. Tampa Bay Rays, August 18

The Los Angeles Angels have returned home following a very disappointing 2-4 road trip in Texas for a weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Halos enter this series at 60-62 on the year, seven games back of the third Wild Card. The Rays, on the other hand, are 73-50 and have been one of the best teams in the AL all year. They're in sole possession of the first Wild Card spot.

Probable starting pitchers

Tyler Anderson takes the ball for the Angels as he looks to rebound from an awful outing his last time out. Anderson, facing the Astros, allowed seven runs in 4.2 innings pitched in a blowout loss. He had a 3.54 ERA in his eight appearances prior, so hopefully Anderson can find a way to pitch more like that guy. He enters this start with an awfully disappointing 5.28 ERA on the season.

The Rays will counter with right-hander Erasmo Ramirez. The 33-year-old is back for his second go-around with the Rays as he was with them from 2015-2017. This season he began with the Nationals and had a 6.33 ERA in 23 appearances out of the bullpen before being DFA'd. Since arriving in Tampa Bay he's pitched better, appearing in five games (one start) and posting a 4.38 ERA. He hasn't gone more than 3.1 innings and hasn't thrown more than 58 pitches in a game this season, so the leash is short. Expect a lot of bullpen tonight.

Los Angeles Angels starting lineup

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

Tampa Bay Rays starting lineup

1. Yandy Diaz - 1B
2. Randy Arozarena - LF
3. Harold Ramirez - DH
4. Isaac Paredes - 2B
5. Luke Raley - CF
6. Curtis Mead - 3B
7. Osleivis Basabe - SS
8. Josh Lowe - RF
9. Rene Pinto - C

Which LA Angels player needs to bounce back today?

The Angels scored three runs or fewer in each of their six games on the road trip, so their offense badly needs to break out as a whole. One player who has struggled mightily is Brandon Drury. The second baseman has just nine hits in 47 at-bats since returning off the IL, and has really struggled of late, going hitless in his last 15 at-bats with eight strikeouts. Drury has been hitting third consistently, so they need him to break out badly.

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

Nolan Schanuel is set to make his MLB debut in tonight's game. Not only is he debuting after just 21 games in the minors, he's hitting leadoff! Schanuel is tasked with getting on base in front of Shohei Ohtani. This is what he's best at, doing so at a 51% clip in the minors including a 47.5% clip in AA Rocket City.