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Series Preview: Los Angeles (July 2-4)

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The last time the Indians saw the Angels, they were reeling. This time, they're facing them as they're playing their best baseball.

Team in a Box (click to enlarge):


The Angels are still in the middle of the pack in many offensive categories, but that's because they started so poorly. They're hitting .310/.367/.501 as a team over the past 28 days, and averaging over 5.3 runs/game. And thanks to a very good bullpen and some starters having excellent years, they're leading the league in runs allowed/game.

Typical Lineup

Pos. Player BA OBP SLG OPS+ PA
CF Mike Trout .336 .391 .526 156 232
RF Torii Hunter .281 .350 .442 122 240
1B Albert Pujols .269 .330 .458 119 336
DH Kendrys Morales .281 .325 .429 110 234
LF Mark Trumbo .313 .363 .614 169 281
3B Alberto Callaspo .259 .329 .373 98 215
2B Howie Kendrick .273 .307 .378 92 288
SS Erick Aybar .255 .288 .341 77 284
C Bobby Wilson .186 .245 .206 29 114

The first thing you notice is Mike Trout, and that's for good reason; as a 20-year-old, he's leading the league in both batting average and stolen bases, not to mention ranking 8th in the league in OPS. A player this young hitting this well is a very rare occurence; you'd have to go back to Alex Rodriguez to find someone that accomplished at that early an age. Then of course there's Albert Pujols, who is hitting .341/.408/.602 in the month of June; in other words, like normal. There's also Mark Trumbo, who's leading the league in OPS+.

Just think if the Angels hadn't given away Mike Napoli.

Projected Starters

Date Pitcher ERA Innings SO/9 BB/9 H/9
July 2 Jared Weaver 2.31 81.2 7.3 2.0 6.3
July 3 Dan Haren 4.53 99.1 7.7 2.1 10.2
July 4 Ervin Santana 5.12 102.0 6.4 3.4 8.3

The Indians are very familiar with all three of these starters. Santana no-hit the Indians last year, and Weaver and Haren have been shutting down Tribe lineups for years. Now Santana and Haren are having down seasons, but Weaver has been almost unbeatable this season, only allowing three runs or more in a start twice. He spent the first three weeks of June on the DL, but he hasn't missed a beat since returning to the rotation, allowing 1 earned runs in 12.2 innings.

Key Relievers

Throws Pitcher ERA Innings SO/9 BB/9 H/9
Right Ernesto Frieri 0.00 23.1 15.4 5.8 2.3
Right Jordan Walden 3.00 24.0 10.5 5.6 7.5
Right Jason Isringhausen 2.33 27.0 5.7 4.3 6.0

The Angels' closer Ernesto Frieri hasn't allowed a run all season, though he's walked 15 in 23.1 innings. Jordan Walden, who started the year as closer, has settled in as a very good 8th inning pitcher. Isringhausen, who has quite a career in spite of the early arm injuries, is still effective at age 39 in late relief.

On the Shelf

  • C Chris Iannetta (wrist) - 15-day DL
  • RHP Michael Kohn (Tommy John surgery) - out for season
  • OF Jeremy Moore (hip) - 60-day DL
  • OF Vernon Wells (thumb) - 60-day DL
  • RHP Jerome Williams (respiratory) - 15-day DL

Vernon Wells has been out for quite a while, and the Angels haven't missed him. They have missed Iannetta, though, as Bobby Wilson, who had been playing regularly in his absence, is hitting .186/.245/.206.

talonk's Almanac

All-Time Record 287-311 (.480)
Runs Scored/Allowed 2560 2700
Pythagorean Win % .476
Best Record 9-1 1999
Worst Record 4-14 1967