For the first time since the franchise’s very first game, the Angels have a chance this series to push their franchise record over the .500 mark. They currently sit at 4271-4272, so, yeah, it took awhile. But better late than never, right?
I’m not usually one for arbitrary milestones, but this one would seem to mean a lot. By surpassing the .500 mark, the Angels can legitimately call themselves a “winning franchise.” One could argue they did that with their 2002 World Series, but you could just as easily argue that they’ve accomplished nothing else of note outside of that championship. But if/when they surpass .500, they can at least say that they’ve won more than they’ve lost, something only 12 of the other active franchises can claim, most of which have a storied history (sorry, Cubs and Indians). That’s a good club to be in and I can’t wait for the Angels to join them.
LAST TIME ON ANGELS VS. BLUE JAYS…
In a great coincidence, the Halos were struggling to breach .500 in a season for the first time since 2013 when they ran into the Jays for a four-game set in May. The Angels took three games in that series and have been over .500 ever since.
GHOST OF ANGELS PAST
This series… Ghostbusted! There are no former Angels on the Toronto active roster to make the Angels rue the day they let him get away. All they have is Maicer Izturis who is, you’re not going to believer this, out with a leg injury.
MONDAY, 7/7: Jered Weaver vs. J.A. Happ
The Jays hit a lot of homers, so this portends to be a problem for Weaver. Fortunately, Edwin Encarnacion just hit the DL, though Jose Bautista just returned from it. The guy that has taken Weaver deep multiple times though is Adam Lind. Jered was able to face the Jays back in Toronto in May without surrendering a dinger, so hopefully he can perform even better on his home turf.
Halos with extensive history against Happ haven’t hit him particularly hard, but those who have only faced him recently have. That would be those that he started against back in May when he was unable to make it out of the third inning.
Dickey missed the Angels earlier in the year and has missed them a lot in general with very few innings against them, many of which likely came before he was a knuckleballer. Those he has faced have not done much with him, except for Josh Hamilton, but even that is a pretty small sample.
WEDNESDAY, 7/9: C.J. Wilson vs. Marcus Stroman
The Jays have been unkind to Wilson in the past, including the start he made against them in May. That bodes quite poorly for him considering that Wilson seems to be mired in a deep slump coming into this contest.
Stroman faced the Angels only once, as a reliever. It didn’t go well. The kid got lit up to the tune of six hits, four runs and a homer in 1.2 innings of work. This time, however, he will get the start, a role where he has had great success thus far in his young career.
We saw the Angels go back and forth trying to crest the .500 mark for the season and I expect that the Halos will do the same to get over the all-time .500 mark. That means they will win the first game to reach .500, lose the second to drop below again before winning the third to once again reach .500.
UNOFFICIAL PREDICTION (so don’t hold me to it)
The all-time .500 mark will be mentioned no less than 20 times over the three broadcasts.