Halo HQ: Angels and White Sox Series Preview

Updated: April 18, 2016

Angels and White Sox Series Preview

The Angels begin the tail end of their 10-game road trip tonight as they take on the Chicago White Sox in a four-game series. The Angels started off the trip looking like road warriors; sweeping the A’s in a three-game series. But then in the following three-game series against the Twins were swept (heading into the series the Twins were 0-9). The Angels need to win this series in order to finish with a winning record during the away span.

The Angels bats looked like they were finally coming to life in the series against Oakland, but yet again against the Twins they failed to put up any consistent offensive production. Outside of Kole Calhoun (.349) and Yunel Escobar (.327), the Angels everyday guys all carry low batting averages. Mike Trout has got off to a slow start in 2016. He’s hitting .233 with only one home run two weeks into the season. Other Angels off to slow starts include Albert Pujols (.196), C.J. Cron (.100) and Andrelton Simmons (.234).

It won’t get any easier for the Angels’ hitters in this series either. They face Carlos Rodon, Mat Latos and Chris Sale in the first three games of the matchup. All three of these pitchers looked dominant in their first few starts. Rodon is Monday night’s starter. He currently has a 1.38 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 13 innings of work during his two starts in 2016. Former Angel Mat Latos takes the bump Tuesday night as he faces off against his previous club. Latos struggled last year both on the Dodgers and Angels, but so far this season for the Sox he’s put up good numbers. Batters are only hitting .098 against him in his two wins. He also has a 0.75 ERA in 12 innings of work. To top it off, on Wednesday the Angels get to face one of the best pitchers in baseball, Chris Sale. He’s coming off his complete game, shutout victory against the Rays. Sale is leading the American League in wins with three, and boasts a 2.35 ERA with 23 strikeouts (tied for third most in the MLB) in 23 innings. This isn’t exactly the best way for the Angels to get out of their offensive slump. They do get to face John Danks on Thursday though. He currently has a 7.94 ERA.

The Angels send Hector Santiago to the mound on Monday. Santiago last pitched against the Oakland Athletics on April 12. He went 7 and 2/3 innings, allowed seven hits, one walk and gave up four runs. He also gave up two solo homeruns to A’s shortstop Marcus Semien. So far, Santiago has yet to get a win or loss. He currently has a 3.95 ERA in 13 and 2/3 innings. The Angels are also scheduled to start Matt Shoemaker, Garrett Richards and Jered Weaver.

Entering this series, the White Sox hold an 8-4 record, but dropped their previous two games to the Tampa Bay Rays. Chicago has looked surprisingly good to begin the season. Many experts had the Sox improving this season, but necessarily right away. Strong starts from outfielders Adam Eaton, Melky Cabrera and second baseman Brett Lawrie have made up for sluggish starts from first baseman Jose Abreu and newly acquired third baseman Todd Frazier.

With the Angels currently sitting tied for third place in the AL West at 5-7, the big factor for them in this series (besides for their offensive struggles) will be their bullpen. In each of their three games against the Twins they entered the eighth inning either tied or in the lead, but their bullpen couldn’t get the job done. Joe Smith struggled in both game 2 and 3. Most of the Angels bullpen has struggled throughout the first two weeks of the season. Six of the eight Angels’ relievers currently have ERAs above 4.00. You can’t win; if you can’t close out games.

Game 1 of the four-game series begins tonight at 5:10 p.m. at U.S. Cellular Field.
Series Matchups:
Game 1: Hector Santiago vs. Carlos Rodon, 5:10 p.m.
Game 2: Matt Shoemaker vs. Mat Latos, 5:10 p.m.
Game 3: Garrett Richards vs. Chris Sale, 11:10 a.m.
Game 4: Jered Weaver vs. John Danks, 11:10 a.m.

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