Major League Baseball action on Thursday evening and the American League West will square off with the American League East as the Los Angeles Angels grapple with the Tampa Bay Rays in game one of their four-game series from Tropicana Field in Tampa, Florida. The Rays took six of the seven meetings between these teams a year ago.
Pitching Matchup: The Halos will be sending out Tyler Skaggs (4-6, 4.97 ERA), while the Rays will trot out Ryan Yarbrough (5-2, 5.31 ERA).
Halos Sweep The Dodgers
That is right. It is not a typo. The Los Angeles Dodgers have been far-and-away the best team in the National League, while the Los Angeles Angels are under .500 for the year. Still, the Dodgers went into Angel Stadium on Monday and Tuesday and they lost both games by identical 5-3 scores. Now the Angels are at 33-35 on the year and would love to build on the sweep. It will not be easy as the Rays have been one of the best teams in the American League all year so far. We also note that the Angels are just 14-17 on the road for the year. LA is currently 13 games out of first in their division, but they are only 3.5 games out of the 2nd AL wildcard slot.
The Angels allowed a strong LA offense just three runs in each game and that is a bit of a shock as they have struggled on the mound this year. The Angels had allowed 6.57 rpg over their previous seven games. They have allowed just 4.61 rpg on the road, which is respectable. Cam Bedrosian was used as an opener in their finale against the Dodgers and he allowed no runs in the inning he was in there. Felix Pena got the win after allowing two ERs on six hits in 3.2 innings of work and is now 4-1 with a 4.55 ERA on the year. Justin Bour led the offense with his 5th homer of the year, which was a three-run shot.Shohei Ohtani (7) also went deep for the Angels, who scored all five of their runs in the first inning.
OMG it’s J̶a̶s̶o̶n̶ Justin Bourn̶e̶ pic.twitter.com/wiNu45EuSV
— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) June 12, 2019
Getting the nod for the Angels will be Tyler Skaggs and he has gone 4-6 with a 4.97 ERA in 11 starts on the year, including 0-2 with a 4.86 ERA in his last three starts and 2-4 with a 6.23 ERA in six starts on the road. Righties have hit .272 off of Skaggs this year, while lefties are batting .304 off of him. In his career, he has gone 14-16 with a 4.40 ERA in 45 starts on the road and 3-4 with a 3.83 ERA in nine starts during the month of June. Skaggs has gone 0-2 with a 9.39 ERA in three starts against the Rays in his career, including 0-1 with a 27.00 ERA in one start against them here at the Trop.
The Angels have been an above average offensive team so far as they come in ranked 13th in the league in scoring, putting up 5.06 rpg, while also ranking 7th in hitting at .258 and 12th in homers with 95. On the mound, they have been poor so far as they come in ranked 26th in the league in ERA at 5.01, while also ranking 20th in WHIP at 1.36 and 11th in K’s with 605. The pen for the Halos ranks 20th in the league with a 4.52 ERA.
Rays Are Struggling At Home
The Tampa Bay Rays have been one of the best team in the league on the road, but at home they have been mediocre overall, going just 18-16 here at the Trop. That compares to going 23-10 on the road. The Rays won their first game of this homestand against the A’s, but then dropped the next two games of that series and are now just 1-5 in their last six home games. The Rays will look to get back on track in this one, but they have to be careful as the Angels are coming in with a bit of momentum. The Rays allowed 10 runs in their final two games against the A’s, after allowing just 12 total runs in their previous seven games. It is clear that the Rays will win with their pitching this year.
In the finale against the A’s, the Rays lost by a score of 6-2 and taking the loss in the contest was Adam Kolarek (2-2, 4.57 ERA), who allowed one ER on one hit without recording an out in the 8th inning. The game was tied at 2-2 at that point. The A’s scored four times in the 8th to put the game away. Yonny Chirinos got the starts and allowed just two ERs on seven hits in 6.0 innings of work. Yandy Diaz and Tommy Pham each had three hits in the game, while Diaz and Avisail Garcia had RBIs. Tampa outhit the A’s 12-9 in the game, but still lost by four runs. The Rays are currently tied with the Yankees for first place in the American League.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) June 12, 2019
The Rays will trot out Ryan Yarbrough and he has gone 5-2 with a 5.31 ERA in nine games (three starts) on the year. He has not been used as an opener when he has started as he has pitched 22 innings in his three games as a starter. Yarbrough is 1-2 with a 4.09 ERA in those starts. In his career, he has made nine starts and has gone 4-3 with a 4.44 ERA in those starts. Yarbrough is 2-0 with a 5.56 ERA in two games (no starts) against the Angels in his career. He has allowed seven ERs on 13 hits in 11.1 innings of work in those games.
The Rays have been below average on offense so far as they come in ranked 17th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.74 rpg, while also ranking 5th in hitting at .260 and 16th in homers with 89. On the mound, they have been very strong as they rank 1st in the league in ERA at 2.95 while also ranking 3rd in WHIP at 1.11 and 4th in K’s with 633. Their pen ranks 2nd in ERA at 3.39.
Los Angeles is:
- 6-1 in their last 7 vs. the American League East
- 8-3 in Skaggs’ last 11 road starts vs. a team with a winning record
Tampa Bay is:
- 1-5 in their last 6 games on astroturf
- 1-5 in their last 6 home games