Series Preview #12: Angels @ Astros (Back to Houston)

Angels (15-18) @ Astros (18-16)

It’s funny because for the past week, there are a chunk of people on the site who have been concerned about Mike Trout’s mini-slump (they have correctly identified it as such, because it is one! Whether or not to be concerned is a separate issue for discussion), and then there are those who don’t see Trout daily and they just see his stats and

Anyway, it won’t help Trout that he is going to Houston, where we just found out last trip that he cannot see the ball well and where is career OPS is basically lowest.

Screenshot from Fangraphs

This series will consist of three 5 pm games. There is no need for a getaway time start on Wednesday, as the Angels have an off-day Thursday before doing battle in Fenway. Monday night’s game is televised nationally on ESPN.

Astros Lineup

Screenshot from Fangraphs

The lineup is identical to the one we saw earlier this year, except José Altuve is back after his bout with COVID (he tested positive). He’s off to a slow start, somewhat mirroring his regular season performance from 2020, but he’s coming into this series with three straight multi-hit games. This will be his eleventh season as a member of the Houston Astros.

Michael Brantley and Alex Bregman are still hitting, as are Yuli Gurriel and Yordan Álvarez. Álvarez is particular is entrenched in that DH spot for Houston and will be a thorn in the side of the Angels for years to come. His hit tool is off the charts.

We saw a shortstop going into a contract year playing poorly in Corey Seager, but his numbers are still much better than those of Carlos Correa, who has now had average offensive campaigns in 2018, 2020, and through the beginning of 2021. I’m not sure what his market will be like this offseason, but I would suspect that the heavy favorite is Houston, to whichever number is agreed upon.

Probable Pitchers

Screenshot from 538

It will be José Suarez on Monday. He might have an opener, but we will be watching Suarez on national television. His career ERA is 7.99 in just over 83 career innings.

Shohei Ohtani and Lance McCullers Jr. will miss a lot of bats on Tuesday, as Ohtani looks to rediscover his command and hopefully increase is chase rate.

Screenshot from Baseball Savant

Red is good, blue is bad. As you see, when opponents hit the ball against Ohtani, they hit it hard. He walks a ton of hitters, as we know all too well, and he hasn’t been getting hitters to chase his stuff out of the zone. However, he’s inducing soft contact and striking out a lot of hitters. One of these will give eventually.

José Urquidy has not faced the Angels this year, but he’s being his usual elite self. In four career starts against the Halos, however, Urquidy has a 4.80 ERA in 15 innings. We must once again flip a coin for Andrew Heaney’s performance. Who knows what it will be?

Series Prediction

It’s still early, and the Angels will have time to make a move eventually. But it has to happen at some point, so why not this week? Two of three from Houston?

(Title Photo from Astros Twitter)

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2 years ago

In May of two thousand twenty-one the series had just began,

The Asstros had the faster team and had the biggest Bats,

Altuve is the biggest cheat in the game and the biggest little Rat,

In their dugout are the trash cans as big as steers and bats as big as trees,

Out of a clear and warm day came that rival team called the LA Angels.

And every Angels player knew and understood,

They have to beat the Asstros, a hot team swinging some hot wood,

Stop those trash cans as big as steers and bats as big as trees,

We’ll play that Texas baseball team that’s making such a fuss,

We gotta beat that Asstros team because our fans depend on us,

Hit the bases a runnin’ Boys and swing those Bats around,

And then we play those Asstros, we gotta beat those Asstros down.

2 years ago

What’s the word about Iggy not playing SS?

Rest for all the errors?

2 years ago

I think we do win this series as Trashtros are about to meet Karma and we don’t need no stinkin’ trash cans! I do always wonder why all the hate here for the Dodgers, well I dislike the Astros like that. Dodger fans are the ones I dislike, not the Dodgers. But I dislike the ASStros very much because they cheated their way to a WS Championship Twice. The Human Nome is my fav to dislike for being a cheater. He’s the straw imho.

2 years ago

Well we won’t have to listen to a certain ex players past successes at Houston anymore…

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Super Member
2 years ago

Tonight is not a good matchup AT ALL.

The Astros bats have been hot, hot, hot, and going up against Suarez should mean they score in double digits or close to it.

This game could be another Astros thrashing, like 11-3 or 10-2 or 9-1.

Their pitcher García is pretty good so I don’t think we have much chance tonight…

That means we probably need Ohtani to pitch a great game to avoid being swept. I don’t see Heaney shutting down Houston two games in a row.,.

Not likely we win this series.

Jeff Joiner
2 years ago

Going to be a tough series to win. I do think the starting pitching is starting to come around a bit but I’m worried about the over used bullpen.

Reply to  Jeff Joiner

Plus Trout does not see the ball well in Houston…..