Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, June 9, 2014 at 7:00 AM
Just a week ago, the Los Angeles Angels completely gagged their opportunity to make a race of it in the AL West when they were swept on the road by the first place Oakland Athletics. Not only did that give the A’s some space at the top of the standings…but it knocked the Halo’s down into a battle with resurgent Seattle for second. The time to make amends is NOW if Los Angeles is serious about a playoff run. They get three games at home vs. those same A’s Monday through Wednesday evenings.
Let’s start this critical series preview with a look at team offenses.
Oakland: 5.10 runs per game, .336 on-base, .418 slugging
LA Angels: 4.79 runs per game, .322 on-base, .420 slugging
As we’ve mentioned a few times this year, Oakland has fantastic offensive numbers even though their home games are played in a great pitcher’s park. This is truly an elite group, which really jumps out when they play on the road. They’re on the road here! Los Angeles has to find a way to slow them down. Note, though, that the Angels also have a stellar offense. They’re not quite up at Oakland’s level…but it’s one of the best in the league. Two great offenses here…both off the radar because the national media still mostly pays attention to the Red Sox and Yankees in the American League.
Here are the probable pitching matchups as of press time…
Jesse Chavez: 3.04 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 8.4 K-Rate
Garrett Richards: 3.25 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 8.8 K-Rate
Chavez is doing a good job. But, he’s thrown six inning or less in five of his last six outings. They’re hoping he’ll be able to go deeper as the season progresses. Richards has been a huge surprise this season. He just threw eight shutout innings vs. Houston in his last start. But, just before that was a disaster against these same Oakland A’s. Richards was charged with five earned runs in only two-thirds of an inning.
Drew Pomeranz: 2.20 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 8.4 K-Rate
Tyler Skaggs: 4.34 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 6.8 K-Rate
Pomeranz has been a very pleasant surprise as a desperation fill-in for Oakland. He’s not as good as those stats make it look because he isn’t likely to go deep. They’ve been yanking him out mid-game at the first signs of trouble. Skaggs has been inconsistent. That ERA is fairly poor in a low scoring season. Will Skaggs be overmatched by this great Oakland offense?
Tommy Milone: 3.68 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 5.7 K-Rate
Jered Weaver: 3.31 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 7.0 K-Rate
Milone is always vulnerable because of that low K-Rate. And, an ERA of 3.68 isn’t all that great this season…particularly with home games in a great pitcher’s park. Weaver is still trying to work his way back to his best form. He’s been kind of generic thus far…and the Angels need more than generic from him if they’re going to matter down the stretch and into October.
Both teams will be off Thursday. Oakland then goes home to host the New York Yankees in a high profile series. The Angels head East to face the Atlanta Braves, in another battle against a first place team. BIG WEEK for the Halo’s!
Every week is a big week for JIM HURLEY. He’s likely to have at least one big play in A’s/Angels this week…and will certainly have major releases going every day amidst these very busy schedules. You can purchase the final word for Monday right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155. It’s never too early to talk early-bird packages for the coming football season!
We’ll return Tuesday to preview Game Three of the NBA Finals matching the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat. Here’s our schedule for the week:
Tuesday: NBA Finals Game 3
Wednesday: Red Sox at Orioles in ESPN’s Prime Time Game
Thursday: NBA Finals Game 4
Friday: MLB Series Preview: Washington at St. Louis
Saturday: MLB game preview to be determined
Sunday: NBA Finals Game 5
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