I know we should try and maintain a healthy dislike for the Angels’ opponents, but part of me wants to commiserate with Twins fans. Like the Angels, they have a superstar at first base who is still owed tens of millions of dollars over the next several years but said superstar appears to be in decline. Albert Pujols and Joe Mauer are both struggling this year, but also doing just barely enough to make you think that they could put it together and recapture most of their old form.
Really, we should know better. Both fanbases should use this opportunity to get together and console each other over their respecting faded star. More importantly, they should probably do what they can to convince each other that there is no coming back for either of them. I think we’d all be a lot happier that way.
The Twins were one of the few teams that was unable to jump out to a head-to-head lead against the Angels when they joined the league. The fun part though is the Twins became the Twins the same season that the Angels came into existence, so they do have that bit of shared history. As far as recent history goes, the Twins took five of six from the Halos last year, but the Angels had owned them for most of the Scioscia era.
TUESDAY, 6/24: C.J. Wilson vs. Kyle Gibson
It really goes to show how much turnover there has been in Minnesota that Wilson has only faced six Twinkies before, three of which weren’t with Minnesota before this year. Wilson has laid waste to Suzuki and Mauer, but been slammed by Josh Willingham and Kendrys Morales.
Gibson made on start against the Angels last year and won, though he wasn’t particularly good or bad. He has been very good this year though, at least according to his ERA as he boasts the standard comically low Minnesota K/9 rate.
Yohan Pino has made one start in his MLB career. I know nothing about him, but since he is a Twins pitcher, I am going to assume he doesn’t throw hard or miss many bats.
THURSDAY, 6/26: Jered Weaver vs. Ricky Nolasco
Surprisingly, Minnesota has not been kind to Weaver. Kurt Suzuki has a lot of PAs against Weaver and had a lot of success, by Kurt Suzuki standards, at least. The trend of Willingham and Morales being problems is present here as well. Then again, Weaver did no-hit the Twins back in 2012, so maybe the trouble is overstated.
Having just left the National League, Nolasco has limited experience against Angel hitters. Those he has faced have hit him very hard. Pujols has three homers against him and even David Freese has smacked him around (but with a low ISO).
The Angels are on a real roll at home, having not dropped a series in Anaheim since the Yankees visited in early May. The Twins, however, come in on a hot streak themselves. Regardless, the Angels have their top three starters lined up for this series and I think that will lead to the Angels keeping the brooms out and sweeping the Twins right out of here.
UNOFFICIAL PREDICTION (so don’t hold me to it)
Kendrys Morales will haunt his former team and hit two homers and drive in six runs over the course of the series.