Angels Bring Power Surge into Weekend’s Freeway Seriesby B.J. Martin August 14, 2020 1 comment
The Angels returned to Anaheim Sunday evening after an extremely deflating three-game sweep at the hands of the Texas Rangers in Arlington. Apparently, all the Angels needed was some home-cooked meals as the Halos bats came alive slugging four home runs in each of the first two games of their series against the Oakland Athletics. The Athletics entered the series winning nine straight games and the Angels defeated them soundly those first two games before losing the series finale Wednesday afternoon.
Friday, the Angels take their American League-leading 34 home runs in their line-up against their Freeway Series rival Los Angeles Dodgers at the Big A. The Angels offense is the key strength of the clubs as they ranked seventh in MLB in batting with 3.1 fWAR through their latest series ending Wednesday. The Angels pitching, on the other hand, was ranked 14th in Major League Baseball with a 1.6 fWAR thanks in large part to the performance of new arrival Dylan Bundy.
The Angels will not have the luxury of having Dylan Bundy on the mound this weekend. They are scheduled to pitch Patrick Sandoval, Andrew Heaney, and Julio Teheran against the Dodgers seventh-ranked MLB offense, tied with the Angels. The Dodgers are expected to counter with Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, and Dustin May. The Angels won all four games head-to-head against the Dodgers last season as this weekend’s series will be the first of six games the clubs will play over the last two-thirds of the 2020 season.
As expected, Angels All-Stars Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon are leading the charge for the Halo’s offense as they enter the series. Trout hitting .360 with four home runs and Rendon hitting .250 with three home runs with both scoring a combined eleven runs since last Friday. Tommy La Stella’s batting .350 during this past week while Shohei Ohtani and Jason Castro have also begun to heat up at the plate since last weekend.
Another boost could be arriving as soon as this weekend in Gold Glove shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who has been sidelined since the opening series of the season with an ankle injury. Simmons has been working out and participating in intrasquad games at the Angels alternate site at Blair Field. Although Simmons has yet to be activated, Angels manager Joe Maddon hinted to the possibility of shortstop joining the club for the series against the Dodgers.
The Angels will need Patrick Sandoval, Andrew Heaney, and Julio Teheran to get them quality starts against a very dangerous Dodgers lineup. Sandoval’s coming off a very successful start in Texas where he shutout the Rangers through five innings before surrendering a two-run home run to Joey Gallo in the sixth inning of their 2-0 loss Saturday. Heaney and Teheran, on the other hand, are both coming off starts in which they failed to reach the fifth inning.
The Angels will need the starting pitchers around Dylan Bundy to provide more consistent, strong outings as the club embarks on a twenty-four day stretch of games without another day off. Bundy’s next start will be next week at home against the San Francisco Giants where he will look to improve on this 3—1 record, 1.74 ERA, 0.63 WHIP, and 35 strikeouts. This weekend Sandoval will try to build upon last weekend’s success while Heaney and Teheran attempt to give the Angels’ offense margin to win another series that promises three very competitive contests.
Follow B.J. Martin on Twitter @_HaloLife
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