Curse you, Baltimore! We shall have our vengeance for you ending the Angels’ home series winning streak! The only revenge the Halos can exact is to defeat you at your home park where you yourself are so very mighty and-
Oh, OK. Just 26-23. I guess that isn’t “mighty.” Still, the Halos shall punish your insolence by exploiting your pretty clear mediocrity at home. That’ll really show you! Maybe. I guess. I mean, it couldn’t hurt, right?
LAST TIME ON ANGELS VS. ORIOLES…
As I just alluded to, the O’s came into Anaheim last week and took two of three. It was the first series loss the Angels suffered since the end of June and the first series loss at home since early May. While the Angels can’t win every series, it was concerning nonetheless since the Orioles trounced the Halos in 2013 as well. The bigger issue though is that the Angels didn’t score very many runs. Though, to be fair, the Orioles have allowed the third fewest runs in the AL this year and are a pretty good team, so it isn’t like there is any shame in struggling to score and/or beat the Orioles.
GHOST OF ANGELS PAST
Mercifully, the Halos won’t have to face Miguel Gonzalez in this series, so he’s disqualified from being the Ghost. That leaves only Darren O’Day. Ah, yes, the well-traveled career of Darren O’Day. He currently serves as one of the major parts of an excellent Baltimore bullpen. One of the exceptions though was his year in the majors with the Halos. He was just a rookie, but he wasn’t all that great and ended up getting hurt. The Angels liked him but ended up exposing him to the Rule V draft, losing him to the Mets who then quickly dumped him to the Rangers. And with him gone, so was my hope of the Angels’ having a drop-down reliever that went unfulfilled into Jerry Dipoto signed Joe Smith this last off-season.
TUESDAY, 7/29: Jered Weaver vs. Chris Tillman
Weaver has a great track record against the Orioles and he showed that again last week as he was responsible for the only win the Halos got in that series. And I don’t mean that in that he earned the pitcher win, but he was actually key to the win by tossing eight very strong innings.
You know a guy owns your team when John McDonald has the best career OPS him. Tillman had a solid outing against the Halos last week, but the bullpen blew it for him as he was only able to go six innings.
WEDNESDAY, 7/30: Garrett Richards vs. Kevin Gausman
Richards doesn’t have enough experience against the O’s to be worth a graph, but he does have a weird line against Ryan Flaherty. Somehow Flaherty has three hits, including a homer, in just five plate appearances against Richards. I know it is a super small sample, but Flaherty has a career 74 OPS+.
Gausman has never faced any Angels hitter ever in the history of ever.
THURSDAY, 7/31: Tyler Skaggs vs. Bud Norris
Skaggs has almost no experience against Baltimore batters. He has faced Nelson Cruz three times and fanned him twice. That’s about it, but that’s something, right?
Norris continued his inexplicable ability to beat the Angels last week, allowing just one run in 6.2 innings of work. Of course, he had the aid of a ridiculously large strike zone courtesy of Eric Cooper. It is probably a safe bet to assume that Norris won’t have seven strikeouts looking this time out.
These offensive doldrums the Halos find themselves in are at least partly due to the competition, but I also think they are just in a funk right now and a team like Baltimore is not who you want to face while in a funk. I say they will drop two of three.
UNOFFICIAL PREDICTION (so don’t hold me to it)
A trade of note will be made that affects this series, but it will be made by the Orioles, not the Angels. Sorry.