No David Price for you, Tampa. And no David Price for you, Angels.
Coming into this series there was some thought that the surging Rays would keep Price, making them a formidable opponent. There was also some thought, horribly underinformed and/or delusional thought, that David Price would be wearing an Angels uniform for this series. That’s a big NOPE on both counts.
The Angels? They’ll be fine. Price sure would’ve been nice but they don’t necessarily need him.
The Rays? That’s a different story. They had the look of a team ready to climb back into the race, but dumping Price and seemingly getting a less than stellar return might have a major negative effect on the Rays’ collective psyche. Joe Maddon is a heck of a manager, but even he may not be able to keep the Rays from falling into a brief depression as they cope with such a significant loss.
LAST TIME ON ANGELS VS. RAYS…
You will all remember the last series between these two teams well because it was the game in which Mike Trout hit his first ever walk-off homer. The Halos won three of those four games, which were played in Anaheim.
GHOST OF ANGELS PAST
Lots and lots of choices here. Jose Molina‘s defensive ability might be missed, but even Scioscia knows his bat never played. Joel Peralta was considered a reliever that got away, but he has stunk this year and the Angels bullpen is great again, so nobody cares anymore. There is also Sean Rodriguez, but he’s never been anything more than a nice utilityman. No, the real ghost is Joe Maddon. No matter the success that Scioscia has had or will have, there will always be a segment of fans that wonders what might’ve been had Maddon never left Scioscia’s side or perhaps been hired as manager instead of Scioscia. With every week of Second Guessing Scioscia, I can’t help but find myself pulled into that segment of fans.
FRIDAY, 8/1: Matt Shoemaker vs. Jeremy Hellickson
Hey, we finally found a team Shoemaker has faced before! WOOHOO! Shoemaker put up strong six innings and ended up besting the late David Price.
Hellickson is only making his third start of the year after being out with arm trouble. He’s only allowed one run but he’s also hasn’t been able to get through five innnigs. However, he has dominated the Angels before. It all really depends on how healthy and in shape he is.
SATURDAY, 8/2: C.J. Wilson vs. Chris Archer
Wilson makes his return and he picked a good opponent because he had a complete game shutout against Tampa back in May. Of course, that was a different C.J.. We don’t know what version we will be getting this series. Has his hip issue really been fixed? Was it ever really the problem? There’s only one way to find out.
For his part, Chris Archer was part of a the lone Rays win over the Angels, which was itself a shutout. Archer only lasted 5.2 innings as he walked five, but the bullpen took care of the rest. Historically speaking, Archer has had trouble with Trout, Hamilton and even J.B. Shuck.
SUNDAY, 8/3: Jered Weaver vs. Jake Odorizzi
Weaver was on the receiving end of the Archer shutout, but he was solid in his outing. That may not matter though if Weaver’s homeritis is back like it was in his most recent outing. That could pose a real problem in this game as Weaver’s track record against the Rays is poor. As an example, slugging luminaries like Yunel Escobar, Jose Molina, Sean Rodriguez and Ben Zobrist have all taken Weaver deep in the past.
Odorizzi has almost no history against the Angels, but in that brief 12 plate appearance history, he has allowed just a single and two walks with three strikeouts.
I think you are all really going to like this series. I think the Angels are going to be ready to kick the Rays while they are down but also to show that they aren’t going to just rollover and die because the A’s got Jon Lester. My prediction is the Angels sweeping the Rays and breaking out of their offensive funk with 18+ runs in the series.
UNOFFICIAL PREDICTION (so don’t hold me to it)
Joe Maddon will get ejected once during the series.