Angels at Yankees Series Preview: Roller-Coaster Season Continues As Yankees Take On Mike Trout, Angels

June 5, 2015

By Brad Carroll

 

The New York Yankees continued their roller coaster season to start the week, sweeping the Seattle Mariners at a time where fans were starting to believe this team just wasn't any good. Today, they hold first place in the AL East, with a half-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays.

 

But it has been anything but smooth sailing in leading the division. The Yankees were swept by the Washington Nationals and Texas Rangers in back-to-back series, then swept the first-place Kansas City Royals, then lost three of four to the last-place Oakland A's, and finally swept three from the Mariners.

 

Roller coaster doesn't begin to describe this Yankees season.

 

The Yankees finished their West Coast road trip with a 4-3 record and after a needed day off Thursday, return home to play Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels for three games starting Friday night. Here's what you need to know on yet another important series for the Yankees.

 

The Series

Los Angeles Angels (28-26, 2nd Place AL West)

at New York Yankees (29-25, 1st Place AL East)

 

The Matchups

Friday, 7:05 p.m.

Jered Weaver (4-4, 4.08) vs. Nathan Eovaldi (4-1, 4.40)

Saturday, 7:15 p.m.

Garrett Richards (5-3, 3.26) vs. Adam Warren (3-4, 3.75)

Sunday, 1:05 p.m.

C.J. Wilson (3-4, 3.55) vs. Michael Pineda (7-2, 3.33)

 

Momentum

It's anyone's guess as to what kind of momentum the Yankees might have after their three-game sweep of the Mariners. In theory, it should give the team confidence heading back home against a solid Angels team. But in practice, the Yankees haven't exactly been able to take advantage of any good stretch of baseball so far this season. The Yankees are 7-3 over their last 10 games, which if they continue that trend, they'll qualify for the postseason easily. The Angels are on an interesting stretch as well, losing two of three games to the Red Sox, Padres and Rays, sandwiched between a four-game sweep of the Tigers. The Angels have lost two games in a row, to the Rays, but are 6-4 over their last 10 games. They trail first-place Houston by 5.5 games in the AL West.

 

Three Angels To Know

1. Mike Trout is one of baseball's best players, although he's not having a standout season so far in Anaheim, by his standards. Trout is batting .289 with 11 doubles, 14 home runs and 31 RBI in 54 games. The 23-year-old is still in the top eight of six of the biggest offensive categories in the AL. He has hit safely in seven of his last eight games and has three home runs and six RBI over his last six games. Last year, Trout had 39 doubles, 36 home runs and 111 RBI in an MVP season. He's signed through 2020 on a six-year, $144.5 million contract.

 

2. Albert Pujols might not be the same player he was as a perennial MVP candidate with the Cardinals, but he's regained his power stroke this season. Although he's batting just .258, Pujols has 14 home runs (tied for team lead with Trout) and 28 RBI in 51 games. He's been red-hot at the plate over his last six games, batting .385 with six runs scored, five home runs and nine RBI. In the three game series against Tampa, Pujols went 6-for-14 with three homers and five RBI. So, yes, he's on fire.

 

3. Richards, who starts the middle game Saturday, has emerged as the Angels' best starter, even with some bigger names on the staff. In nine outings, he has seven quality starts, going 5-3 with a 3.26 ERA, averaging a little more than seven strikeouts per nine innings. Richards has allowed one home run in each of his last three starts, however, so the Yankees could beat him with the long ball.

 

Looking Ahead

After an off day Monday, the Yankees remain home for a quick, two-game series with Bryce Harper and the Nationals.

 

Please reload

Please reload