Angels Need Strong Start From Matt Shoemaker

Updated: May 2, 2017

For some reason the injury big refuses to leave the Angels pitchers alone. The team has announced that left-handed starter Tyler Skaggs will head to the disabled list with an oblique strain. The Halos were hot as of late, but will need their rotation to carry a heavier load.

On Tuesday, the Angels start a series with division rival Seattle in Safeco Field. It’s an important series for the Halos as they look to continue to gain ground on Houston despite injuries. It will be a tough challenge though as the Angels must face James Paxton in Game 1.

This season Paxton is 3-0 with a 1.39 ERA in five starts. It’s almost impossible to be any better than Paxton has been this season. He’s struck out 39 batters in 32.1 innings of work with zero home runs allowed on the year. In seven career starts against the Angels, Paxton has gone 3-2 with a 2.17 ERA with 40 strikeouts.

That means Matt Shoemaker will have to pitch like an ace tonight in Seattle. He’s coming off his first victory of the season, he went five innings and allowed two runs on five hits while striking out six. This season Shoemaker is 1-1 with a 4.73 ERA in five starts. He’s struck out 25 batters over 26.2 innings, but has allowed six home runs this season.

That means Shoemaker must find a way to keep the ball in the park tonight. Nelson Cruz has gone 7-for-23 with two homers, a double and five RBIs in his career against Shoemaker. He’s swinging a red-hot bat, and could do some real damage if Shoemaker loses his location.

The pieced together bullpen has been outstanding for the Angels, and has saved them in plenty of games this season. That won’t last forever and the Halos need Shoemaker to be a workhorse and pitch deep into the game on Tuesday.

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