Angels Vs. Astros Series Preview

Updated: April 17, 2017

This evening the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim look to snap a five game skid against the Houston Astros. It is the opener of a four game series at Minute Maid Park, a venue the Halos have not had great success in when the past is thought about. Given the rainout that happened yesterday in Oakland, the Astros currently own a four game winning streak.

The following are a couple things worth paying attention to headed into the AL West showdown.

Angels’ Starting Pitching Remains Inconsistent Overall

The Angels’ offense has been up and down this season. Mike Trout is leading the way for their offense with a .304 average, 3 homers, and 10 RBIs. The centerfielder also has a pair of stolen bases in 2017. Yunel Escobar resides very comfortably behind Trout at the time being with a healthy .302 average. Although the above mentioned Trout leads the way, one crucial aspect of their team remains a conundrum: their starting pitching.

Southpaw Tyler Skaggs did provide a spark in yesterday’s series finale against the Kansas City Royals by pitching seven shutout innings. However, performances like that from the starting rotation have been extremely uncommon up to this point. They have rarely gone deep into games. As a result, the bullpen has had to put in a lot of extra work. The Halos’ overall team ERA sits at 25th in the majors at 4.69. This is in large part due to the starters’ inability to pitch beyond four or five innings in a contest. More will be needed in the time to come if the ball club wants any sort of chance at taking down the present AL West leaders. Otherwise, it could be a long next four days for them.

Astros’ Bats Furthest Thing from Ice Cold

Albeit things originally started off on the wrong foot for Houston’s bats, the tides have turned of late for the ball club. They are fourth in all of baseball in batting at .266 and are also fourth in OBP. One of their most productive hitters so far has been George Springer. Springer has 6 long balls and 11 RBIs on the young season. Second baseman Jose Altuve remains a serious threat at the plate as well, batting .319 headed into tonight’s ballgame. Altuve has been every bit as difficult to slow down on the basepaths given that he already has five steals in April. Due to the Angels’ subpar starting pitching, the Houston bats’ mouths are likely watering at the time being.

Bottom Line

On paper the Astros have the clear edge here. Their sizzling offense outweighs the Angels’ at this interval. This is not a good sign for the Orange County squad, either, because their pitching staff is not getting the job done night in and night out. On the other hand, Houston’s staff is one of the ten best in the game going into this evening’s competition. Jesse Chavez will look to reverse his team’s recent woes. He has made two starts in 2017 and occupies a fair, yet underwhelming 5.40 ERA.

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