Series Preview: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim


It has been a helter-skelter start to the season for the New York Mets. After starting 0-3, having been swept by the Nationals, with the bullpen looking like it could be one of the worst of all-time, the Amazins have won two consecutive series, and the bullpen has been a strength. The starting pitching has been a consistency through the first nine games, as has the inconsistency of the team’s bats. After a win in Atlanta on Thursday night, in a game with an inconvenient start time considering the Mets had to travel to Anaheim to play on Friday, the team finds themselves 4-5 in the standings. There are six games remaining on the current road trip, beginning with three this weekend against the Angels.

The Angels

Like the Mets, the Angels got off to a disastrous start at home, losing their first three games to the new-look Mariners. They then embarked on a six-game road trip, where they faced new division rival Houston, followed by Seattle again. By winning four out of six on the trip, they find their record on pace with the Mets at 4-5. Perhaps the biggest news of the early season for Anaheim was the injury to Josh Hamilton, who will miss 6-8 weeks after hurting his thumb sliding head first into first base. He was off to a scorching hot start at the plate. If Mets fans thought before their recent run of success that their bullpen had concerns, the Angels ‘pen has been serving up home runs at a league worst 2.63 HR/9 rate. With superstars Albert Pujols and Mike Trout, there is plenty of offensive potential in the Angels’ lineup, but the bats haven’t quite woken up from their winter slumber. As a team, the Angels rank fifth worst in the AL in strikeout percentage at 21.6%. Nine games into the season, the Angels and Mets have very different talent on their rosters, but similar issues.

2014 Lineup

  1. Kole Calhoun RF
  2. Mike Trout CF
  3. Albert Pujols 1B
  4. Raul Ibanez DH
  5. David Freese 3B
  6. Howie Kendrick 2B
  7. Chris Iannetta C
  8. Erick Aybar SS
  9. J.B. Shuck (vs L) / Collin Cowgill (vs R) LF

Key Injuries

Interesting Notes

  • Since 2007, the Halos are 84-44 in interleague play, best in baseball during that time.
  • 28 of the Angels’ 41 runs allowed have come with two outs, with 23 of those coming against Seattle.
  • Starting slow has been a habit since Pujols joined the Angels. The team is 13-22 over the past two Aprils.
  • Albert Pujols needs 6 home runs to reach 500.

Pitching Probables

Friday (10:05): RHP Dillon Gee (0-0, 4.50) vs. LHP Tyler Skaggs (1-0, 0.00)
Saturday (9:05): LHP Jon Niese (0-1, 3.18) vs. RHP Jered Weaver (0-2, 6.00)
Sunday (3:35): RHP Bartolo Colon (1-1, 2.08) vs. LHP C.J. Wilson (1-1, 4.61)