Series Preview: Who’s Ready for Some Baseball?

Updated: April 3, 2017

Ah, the boys are back. It’s Opening Day and we here at Halo HQ couldn’t be more excited. Here’s a preview of the Halos’ opening series against the Athletics in Oakland.

Game 1: Ricky Nolasco v. Kendall Graveman @ 7:05 PM

What to Watch For: Ok, first off, this was not the Opening Day pitching matchup I was expecting. With Sonny Gray on the disabled list to start the season, the Angels are tabbed with facing Kendall Graveman. Last season, the Halos hit .261 with eight home runs against Graveman, showing they have had success when facing him. Albert Pujols has hit .438 against Graveman for his career, so expect some fireworks on the offensive side of the ball. As for Nolasco, he held the A’s to a .181 average in 94 at-bats against him. This matchup favors the Halos heavily.

Game 2: Matt Shoemaker v. Sean Manaea @ 7:05 PM

What to Watch For: This is where we learn which Matt Shoemaker we will see this season. Will we get the 2014 Rookie of the Year runner-up/end of 2016 guy we all enjoy? Or will we see the 2015/start of 2016 pitcher that had an ERA north of four? This season hinges on starting pitching and if all’s right with Shoemaker, it will be a very promising sign for the season.

Game 3: Garrett Richards v. Jharel Cotton @ 1:05 PM

What to Watch For: This game has the same sort of tone that the last one has. How healthy is Garrett Richards? If he is fully healed, great, but will pitching at 85% hurt his stats in exchange for longevity? If he replicates his spring numbers where he had a 5.11 ERA, then the Halos are in trouble. If he returns to 2014 form, watch out. He could be dangerous once again. On the other side of the ball is a kid who threw 29.1 innings of 2.15 ERA ball last season in Jharel Cotton. If you’re looking for a sleeper Rookie of the Year pick, Cotton might be your best bet to upend Andrew Benintendi.

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