The Angels have turned heads this year by making a serious run at the playoff despite Mike Trout missing a month of the season due to injury. Mike Scioscia’s club has won eight of their last 10 games, averaging 4.8 runs per game and allowing 3.3 runs per game during that span. They are 4-5 against the Rangers this season.
After handily winning the AL West in 2016, the Rangers have fallen off this season. They are fourth in the division although they sit only 2.5 games out of the Wild Card. Texas has gone 7-3 in their last ten games, scoring an incredible 7.2 runs per game while giving up 4.3 runs per game. Last week their offense had four games where they scored nine runs or more.
Game 1 Starters – Cole Hamels (LHP) vs Tyler Skaggs (LHP)
Hamels comes into this week with a 3.48 ERA and 1.11 WHIP on the season in 98.1 innings of work. His 5.67 K/9 this year is a career low, although his .236 batting average against is as good as it has ever been. He has allowed four runs in 22 innings in his last three starts. Against the Angels this season he has given up only one run in 14.2 innings.
Skaggs has been excellent for the Angels this season, posting a 3.63 ERA and 1.39 WHIP, although he missed all of May, June, and July with an injury. He’s been stellar in three starts in August, however, allowing five runs in 15.1 innings of work while striking out 14. This is his third start against the Rangers this season and combined for 10 innings while allowing six runs in his first two appearances.
|Rangers Lineup||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
|Angels Lineup||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
Who’s hot, and who’s not
Nomar Mazara is hitting .429 in 28 at-bats over the course of his last seven games. During this span he also has two home runs with 11 RBIs and has an OPS of 1.162. Rougned Odor has been on a similar tear, sporting a 1.192 OPS in his last seven games with three home runs and seven RBIs. The Rangers have six hitters in their lineup batting over .300 this month in Mazara, Elvis Andrus, Adrian Beltre, Shin-Soo Choo, Delino DeShields, and Robinson Chirinos.
Mike Napoli is one of the few struggling Rangers hitters at the moment. He is hitting .211 in his last 15 games, although even he has a .456 slugging percentage in August.
Kole Calhoun has a .327 average and .538 slugging percentage in August. He has hit three home runs in five games. During this month he has also walked (10) more times than he has struck out (eight). C. J. Cron has hit five home runs in his last 15 games, driving in 12 and posting a .949 OPS.
Mike Trout has been on somewhat of a cold streak, gathering five hits in his last 21 at-bats, although three of those five hits have been for home runs. While Andrelton Simmons has been pairing his great defense with a strong bat for most of this season, he is hitting .100 in his last five games, going 2-20 with one double and two RBIs.
Prediction: Rangers 7 – 2 Angels
The Rangers lineup has been a behemoth as of late, and although Skaggs has been good for the Angels this season, his workload has been fairly limited and he has yet to face hitters as hot as those on the Rangers. Hamels is the Rangers ace, and he’s sure to make easy work of the Angels struggling offense.
Where to watch
Today’s game will be broadcast on FSSW and FSW, and streaming on MLB.TV for out of market subscribers.
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