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2021 Series Preview: Los Angeles Angels @ Houston Astros

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The Astros (81-58, 1st in AL West) close out the homestand with three games against the Angels (69-71, 4th in AL West)

MLB: MAY 12 Angels at Astros Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Quick Notes

Due to life pulling me in about 10 different directions I’m gonna keep this one short and sweet with just quick notes and matchups with a poll today. Have a good weekend everyone!

The Angels are not that far removed from being a popular dark horse candidate to win the AL West, especially with the likes of Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, and Anthony Rendon anchoring their lineup. Unfortunately for the Angels, only one third of that trio remained healthy this season, with Trout and Rendon both going on the shelf for months this year.

Of course Shohei Ohtani has continued to break all the records and set the pace for any modern two-way players. He’s been belting homers all season and pitching with authority. Things have slowed a little for him in recent weeks, but Ohtani is probably still the favorite for AL MVP this season based just on what he’s done so far.

However, individual performances not withstanding, the Angels continue to suffer from pitching well below league average. For years this has seemingly been the Angels biggest problem as their pitching just can’t get them over the finish line. Even with the best player in baseball gracing their lineup for almost a full decade now, they’ve never really looked like a whole team for long enough to solidly take over their division.

Still, the team isn’t as far off as they seem. Even absorbing the loss of two of their big bats the Angels sit more or less at .500 for the season. If they can figure out their pitching and get everyone healthy, there’s no reason that LA couldn’t compete for the division in the near future, but that isn’t going to happen this season.

So all of that was all a really long way to say that their only role in this series is to play spoiler, and they’re not in too terrible of a position to do just that. Their two best starters get the ball tonight and tomorrow and they are coming into this one with a day off, though the Astros got to rest yesterday as well.

The Astros are also in a position where they need to win series if they want their division lead to stay steady in the West. While the gap between them and Oakland is manageable, things could get perilous in a hurry if the Astros don’t play with some urgency.

Last 10 Games: 6-4 Record, 1 Series Win, 2 Series Split, +7 Run Differential (46 Scored, 39 Allowed)

W/L Splits: 38-34 at home, 31-37 on the road, 35-57 against teams over .500


For Your Viewing and Listening Pleasure

Game 1: Shohei Ohtani (RHP, 9-1, 2.97 ERA, 135 K’s) vs Framber Valdez (LHP, 9-5, 3.08 ERA, 103 K’s)
When: Friday, September 10th @ 7:10 pm CDT
Listen: Angels - KLAA 830 / Astros - KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, KLAT 1010, KTRH 740 AM/99.1 FM HD-2
Watch: Angels - Bally Sports West / Astros - ATT SportsNet-SW

Game 2: Jose Suarez (LHP, 6-7, 3.74 ERA, 69 K’s) vs Luis Garcia (RHP, 10-6, 3.29 ERA, 155 K’s)
When: Saturday, September 11th @ 6:10 pm CDT
Listen: Angels - KLAA 830 / Astros - KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, KLAT 1010
Watch: Angels - Bally Sports West / Astros - ATT SportsNet-SW

Game 3: Jaime Barria (RHP, 2-3, 5.16 ERA, 24 K’s) vs TBD
When: Sunday, September 12th @ 1:10 pm CDT
Listen: Angels - KLAA 830 / Astros - KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, KLAT 1010
Watch: Angels - Bally Sports West / Astros - ATT SportsNet-SW


Poll

Who wins this series?

This poll is closed

  • 17%
    Astros Sweep 3-0
    (24 votes)
  • 67%
    Astros Win 2-1
    (94 votes)
  • 10%
    Angels win 2-1
    (14 votes)
  • 5%
    Angels Sweep 3-0
    (7 votes)
139 votes total Vote Now