What? I’ve to to write a damn series preview on Memorial Day? That was a bad idea. Why do I do these things to myself. Ugh, fine. I’ll do it. It’s bad enough that the teams are probably going to wear some hideous “patriotic” hats during the game, but I made my bed, I’ll lie in it.
This is the third match-up of the season, so there is no sense re-hashing the ancient history. The more pressing detail is that it took until the fifth try for the Halos to finally beat the Mariners this year. I’m not entirely sure, but I don’t think the Mariners are actually good this year, so that is kind of a problem and they will need to rectify it.
MONDAY, 5/26: Tyler Skaggs vs. Chris Young
Despite the teams already squaring off twice, Skaggs hasn’t faced the Mariners yet. The basic match-ups are in his favor though as the Mariner lineup is left-hand heavy.
Chris Young? You mean that Chris Young??? He’s still alive?!?! Even with all of his experience (mostly on the DL), he’s not faced the Halos much. Raul Ibanez has seen quite a bit of him with solid success. Albert Pujols, shockingly, seems to be a bit baffled by him. But that was a lifetime ago for everyone involved.
TUESDAY, 5/27: Jered Weaver vs. Roenis Elias
Jered Weaver actually has a few real problems with Seattle, which is weird. Cano is an issue, but just in terms of average. He only has one extra-base hit and no walks against Weaver. Justin Smoak and Dustin Ackley have been far more troublesome, despite what their “bust” labels might suggest. Fortunately, Weaver’s done just fine against everyone else and appears to be almost all the way back to top form.
Elias faced the Angels once and did a pretty good job of holding them down, save for Albert Pujols taking him deep. Of course, the Halos have seen him now, so one would hope that familiarity will help them this time around.
WEDNESDAY, 5/28: C.J. Wilson vs. Felix Hernandez
Even with all the platoon match-ups in his favor, the Mariner give Wilson fits. Cano just straight up owns him and Justin Smoak isn’t far behind with three taters in 35 plate appearances. Kyle Seager, Michael Saunders and Dustin Ackley can’t touch him, but more than likely at least two of them will be on the bench in this one.
The Angels couldn’t duck King Felix for a third straight series. He’s obviously faced the Halos quite a bit. Mike Trout has absolutely raked against him, which should be a good test for him now that he is supposedly fixed. Howie Kendrick has held his own as well, but that’s really about all the Angels have going for them. Then again, he’s King Felix, so what do you expect?
THURSDAY, 5/20: Wade LeBlanc vs. Brandon Maurer
Wade LeBlanc will probably start in this game, but who can say for sure. If they have to burn him in relief before this game, they’ll fine someone else to take his place.
Kole Calhoun throws off the scale so it isn’t as easy to see, but Maurer has been pounded on pretty well by the Angels in the past. That holds true for just about everyone in baseball, so it wouldn’t be a big surprise is he got sent out before making this start himself.
The Angels won’t be getting Josh Hamilton back like they hoped, but they are still very much on a roll and the Mariners are still very much the Mariners. As such, the Halos will take three of four, but they will beat King Felix.
UNOFFICIAL PREDICTION (so don’t hold me to it)
For at least one day during this series, the Angels will be in first place in the AL West.