Phew! The homestand is over. Now the Angels can actually get back out on the road where they can actually win games. Why they can’t win at home, I don’t know. Clearly it is a problem. They can, kind of, win on the road though. Or at least they could in America. They might have to check their road mojo at the border. Only one way to find out.
Now this is exciting. The all-time series between these two is led by Toronto at 193-192. One game! That puts so much pride on the line… if anyone playing is actually aware of that and cares about it. I mean, it isn’t like they are rivals or anything. Anyway, these teams were pretty even until 2003 when Toronto pulled ahead. The Halos have been slowly closing the gap, having won or tied the season series from 2008 and on. Last year they made their big move by taking six of seven from the Jays. Now, they can complete the comeback!
FRIDAY, 5/9: Garrett Richards vs. Dustin McGowan
Toronto has been a house of horrors for Richards. It is a small sample, but just about everyone hits him. The only one who doesn’t, oddly enough, is Jose Bautista, so that is at least promising. My favorite match-up though is that Edwin Encarnacion has eight PAs against Richards and that has resulted four strikeout and three hits, including a double and a homer. Talk about feast or famine.
No graph for McGowan as he has only really faced Ibanez and Kendrick enough to care about. Neither have hit him much, but McGowan is having a rough season, so he is the guy the Angels really have to try and jump on this series.
SATURDAY, 5/10: Tyler Skaggs vs. J.A. Happ
As usual, Skaggs hasn’t faced the current Jays much. He has given up a homer to Dioner Navarro, but that’s about it. Let’s just hope Tyler has worked out the issues that led to him being so bad in his last outing.
Happ only just rejoined the rotation, so he may not be stretched out enough to last long in this game, which is great for the Angels because the Toronto bullpen is an even bigger mess than the Bullpen of Perpetual Sorrow. Pujols is the only Angel to have faced Happ very much and he has had modest success, by his standards.
SUNDAY, 5/11: Jered Weaver vs. Drew Hutchison
If I added a trendline, it would appear that the more a Jay faces Weaver, the worse he does. Encarnacion is the only real outlier, but there is still plenty of time to fix that now that Weaver is pitching well again. Melky Cabrera has faced Weaver the most, but been totally inept. Joey Bats hasn’t done much better, striking out five times in 11 plate appearances.
Hutchison has little experience against the Angels other than Pujols taking him deep last year. He’s off to an impressive start this year, but he is left-handed and that plays into the hands of this particular incarnation of the Angel roster.
MONDAY, 5/12: C.J. Wilson vs. Mark Buehrle
Wilson has the opposite graph of Weaver. Encarnacion has hammered Wilson in the past and (hey look!) we finally found an Angels pitcher that Bautista can hit. Wilson has had the good fortune of facing a lot of lefty-heavy lineups lately, but that ends with Toronto who will likely field a lineup that is entirely righties and switch-hitters.
First, can I just say that not having Weaver and Buehrle matched up is a shame as it could’ve been the slowest combined starting pitcher velocity (not involving a knuckleballer) in decades. Raul Ibanez has faced Buehrle an insane amount and hit him pretty well, though not for much power. I don’t know if the platoon issue will scare Scioscia off, but it might be worth a shot. Howie Kendrick has absolutely demolished Buehrle and Aybar isn’t far behind him. John McDonald has a hard time with him, but that’s par for the course and also completely inconsequential.
I’m declaring a moratorium on predicting sweeps. That just hasn’t been working out well for me. I’m not inclined to that here anyway. This lineup done run out of magic. They’ve somehow cobbled together a top offense out of a lineup that has been filled with scrubs during the absences of Hamilton and Calhoun, but I think with Ibanez struggling and Freese out, they’ve exceeded what their already meager depth can handle. The Jays have some real pitching issues, but I think the Halos are running on fumes right now. As such, they’ll only be able to muster a split.
UNOFFICIAL PREDICTION (so don’t hold me to it)
C.J. Cron will hit his first big league homer and someone will end up with a day-to-day injury from running on the stupid surface in the Rogers Centre.