Orioles Vs Angles: Series Preview

June 26, 2012 | James Finn

The Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim come to town to battle the O’s in a short 2-game Series.  Both teams had the day off yesterday. Both teams are coming off a 2-out-of-3 series win over the weekend.  The Halos, however, did it with offense, scoring 14 runs over city rivals The Dodgers.

Tonight’s pitching match-up has C.J. Wilson taking the bump head to head against Brian Matusz.  Wilson’s 8-4, 2.44 ERA marks him among the top hurlers in the league, and (at least now) justifies the 5-year, $77.5M contract he signed during the winter meetings.  Matusz, on the other hand, has yet to find his rhythm this season…or any season for that matter.  He’s dropped 4 of his last 5, surrendering 15 runs over those games.  Against the high powered offense of the Angels, this can only spell trouble.

Wednesday night, 2 of the top pitchers in the bigs face-off, when Jered Weaver goes one-on-one against the surprising ace Jason Hammel. Weaver, despite coming off a quick stint on the DL with back spasms, looked great in his last start against the Giants, giving up no runs, 2 hits over 6 innings pitched. He hasn’t surrendered an earned run since May 23rd.  Not to be outdone, Hammel’s last 2 starts have been majestic:  A complete game 1-hit shut-out of the Braves with 8 K’s, and an 8 inning outing, striking out 10 Nationals.  Touch gloves and come out fighting.

Run production has come at a premium for the birds, and doesn’t appear to get any easier these next two days.  The bats need to come alive.  Take advantage of the day you’ve had to rest, where your opponent has been traveling cross country.  Get on the board early, and be confident in the most effective bullpen in baseball.

What I look forward to watching this series is the young, talented 20-year old, Mike Trout.  His initial impact on the club was initially missed by many nationwide that had Harper-Fever.  Cat is out of the bag, and this kid is great.  While his natural baseball instinct might not be as good at Harper, I think Trout is a more complete player then Bryce, has a better grip on his emotions (Trout is yet to miss any time from self inflicted head wounds), and overshadowing big names like Pujos and Hunter in the second biggest market in America.  L.A. is not an easy place to play, but he makes it look easy.

The objective going in to every series should always be to take the series. In this instance, I’m happy with a split, which is what I expect to happen.

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