When and where: May 24, 2019, Angel Stadium, Anaheim, CA, 10:07 PM ET
The surging Texas Rangers take the show on the road on Friday for a weekend series against the slumping Los Angeles Angels. A three-game sweep against the Seattle Mariners has the Rangers determined to continue their AL West ascent against the Angels, who have lost their last four consecutive games. Griffin Canning has been selected to start things off on the mound for the Angels, while the Rangers are rolling out left-handed pitcher Drew Smyly in the divisional showdown.
Rangers back on the winning track
The Rangers have reverted to showing shades of the success they had earlier in the season. After ending a five-game losing streak, they have since gone on to win seven of their last eight games. They are currently riding a four-game winning streak and coming off three series wins over the Seattle Mariners, St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals.
Granted, none of those teams have winning records, but it was still a much-needed turnaround nonetheless for an overachieving Rangers team that was absolutely decimated by the Houston Astros. Most considered this a rebuilding season for manager Chris Woodward’s squad, but the Rangers have worked their way up to second place in the AL West division behind the Astros.
Smyly steps on the mound to start off the weekend series against the Angels on Friday. The left-handed pitcher is throwing a 6.51 ERA this season and riding an 0-3 record. He recently appeared in last Sunday’s game against the Cardinals at home, where he allowed three hits and two earned runs in four innings. The 29-year-old has struggled throughout the season, but he has also faced some difficult opposition in the Angels, Oakland Athletics and Astros multiple times.
Angels come up empty against the Twins
All the rain did was delay the inevitable for the Angels in a pitiful series against the Minnesota Twins. They were dominated and swept on their home field in the second series they’ve lost to the Twins in the month of May. The Angels have managed to remain competitive in the AL West, which isn’t saying much considering how top-heavy the division is right now. However, those wins have mostly come against other struggling teams with losing records. They have generally shelled up when playing against .500 and above win teams. Their slumping offense hasn’t helped matters in recent outings, where they only scored a combined five runs in the three games before Thursday’s 16-7 blowout loss.
That kind of lack of offensive efficiency isn’t going to cut it against a division leader like the Twins.
Canning is hoping to help turn things around when he gets his turn on the mound on Friday against the Rangers. The 23-year-old pitcher is throwing a 3.80 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. He is coming off a seven-inning shutout performance against the Royals, who were held to only three hits. It was a step in the right direction after his disappointing showing against the Baltimore Orioles, when he allowed five hits and four earned runs in four-plus innings on the mound. He has been limited to only four appearances so far this season.
- Rangers are 2-8 in their last 10 during game 1 of a series
- Rangers are 1-7 in their last 8 Friday games
- Rangers are 0-5 in their last 5 games following an off day
- Rangers are 0-4 in Smylys last 4 starts against teams in the American League West
- Angels are 4-1 in their last 5 during game 1 of a series
- Angels are 7-2 in their last 9 games against a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30
- Angels are 6-2 in their last 8 Friday games
- Angels are 35-16 in their last 51 home games against a team with a road winning % of less than .400