OK, let’s try this again. The Angels season got off on the wrong foot after getting swept in their home opener series by the Mariners. That wasn’t supposed to happen, but now they at least get a chance to rectify that misstep and maybe even return the favor.
Well, this is awkward. Just last week a wrote a preview for a series between these teams and went on and on and on about how the Angels “owned” the Mariners. Then the Angels got swept. Message received, karma. So, yeah, the Angels are still well ahead in the historic series, but in this “what have you done for me lately” society, the Angels have some catching up to do.
TUESDAY, 4/8: Hector Santiago vs. James Paxton
Santiago gets to relive his first career start with the Angels. Let’s hope he gets it right this time, because he really struggled in that game. Walks are really the issue with Santiago as he has only allowed two extra-base hits to the M’s, but that 13.6% walk rate is an issue.
Paxton we all remember quite well from his last start in which he basically bent the Angels over and had his way with them. Josh Hamilton has been red hot thus far, but Paxton fanned him all three times he faced him in their last meeting. Let’s see if the immovable object or the unstoppable force wins this round.
WEDNESDAY, 4/9: Garrett Richards vs. Roenis Elias
Based on the incredibly small sample sizes, the Mariners could be a problem for Richards as most of them have hit him well. Justin Smoak is the only guy who has seen him a fair amount and not had success. But, as we saw last series, this is a new Justin Smoak who is quickly becoming a monster against the Halos.
Elias has no history against the Angels seeing how this is his second career start ever. I think we all know what that means.
I want predict a sweep, but I’m not seeing it. Paxton gave the Angels fits last time and while I think the Angels will be able to make some adjustments, they won’t be enough. Elias, however, they will clobber which is a good thing since Garrett Richards will be walking a tightrope against a left-hand heavy Mariners lineup.
UNOFFICIAL PREDICTION (so don’t hold me to it)
Albert Pujols will have four hits, including a homer in the series and large helpings of crow will be served.