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Series preview: Cleveland Indians at Los Angeles Angels

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The Indians started the road trip by winning the first two in Oakland, but the bats went silent again as the Tribe lost the last two to the A's. Up next, three games in Anaheim against the Angels.

The best player in the game, Mike Trout
The best player in the game, Mike Trout
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Tribe's rotation continues to pitch very well. Unfortunately the sabbatical the lineup has been on has not allowed the Indians to capitalize. Next up on this west coast trip, the first meeting with AL West contenders, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

  • Monday 10:05 PM: Corey Kluber (R) vs. Garrett Richards (R)
  • Tuesday 10:05 PM: Carlos Carrasco (R) vs. Matt Shoemaker (R)
  • Wednesday 3:35 PM: Danny Salazar (R) vs. Hector Santiago (L)

The Upcoming Schedule: The team gets a day off on Thursday for the trip back home. Then they open a quick home stand with the Minnesota Twins the first visitor, and then their first foray with the New York Yankees.

Division Watch: Royals at Tigers, Twins at Blue Jays, Rays at White Sox.

Team in a Box

Los Angeles Angels

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2015 Record

55-49

Runs/Game

4.2

13th

Runs/Game

3.8

3rd

AL West

2nd

OBP

310

8th

H/9

8.3

4th

Last 10

1-9

SLG

397

8th

BB/9

2.6

2nd

Last 30

18-12

Steals

31

14th

SO/9

7.4

10th

Talk about hot and cold. Just over a month ago, the Angels were sitting at 37-37 and five games off the Astros pace. They then embarked on a 17-3 rumble to go two games up in the division. But now they have lost nine of their last ten, including sweeps in Houston and at the cross-town rival Dodgers.

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On the season, this offense, with the likely MVP Michael Trout leading the way, has put up just the eleventh most runs. They hit home runs at a decent clip (6th), but are only 13th in doubles. And they fourteenth in steals. The staff has been very good all year, but in the last month they have lost both Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson to injuries. That along with losing Tyler Skaggs earlier this year has put a serious strain on the rotation. And losing David Freese and Collin Cowgill has not helped with the lineup depth either.

General manager Jerry Dipoto resigned on July 1, and Bill Stoneman has been busy since then. He purchased Conor Gillespie to replace Freese and traded for Shane Victorino, Magic Hands David Murphy and David DeJesus last week to bolster a very weak bench.

Projected Roster

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OPS

wRC+

C

Chris Iannetta

R

241

196

654

91

1B

Albert Pujols

R

425

257

842

135

2B

Johnny Giavotella

R

398

263

664

90

3B

Conor Gillaspie#

L

210

244

657

76

SS

Erick Aybar

S

412

278

657

88

LF

David DeJesus##

L

266

249

361

93

CF

Mike Trout

R

434

309

1025

185

RF

Kole Calhoun

L

429

279

770

119

DH

C.J. Cron

R

197

253

682

92

OF

David Murphy###

L

241

290

763

114

C

Carlos Perez

R

143

222

552

55

OF

Shane Victorino####

R

118

238

622

70

IF

Taylor Featherston

R

84

133

399

11

# stats with White Sox included; ## stats with Rays included; ### stats with Indians included; #### stats with Red Sox included

Surprise, surprise, Trout has been the catalyst the last two weeks. He has cranked five balls over the fence and has a ridiculous 1284 OPS, Ianetta has been helping with a 957 OPS himself. But Giavotella, Aybar, and Cron have all been cold in that timeframe.

Trout has been good against the Tribe, but not Miguel Cabrera good. He has a 308/446/585 line in 19 games and 83 PA, including four homers and 15 RBI. Pujols has been pretty mortal, 269/330/538, but does have seven homers and 19 RBI in 24 games covering 103 PA. Gillespie had a field day with Tribe pitching when with the White Sox. He hit 319/382/452 in 152 PA over 42 games. Calhoun has also done well in his limited Tribe games, 1100 OPS in 44 PA.

Projected Staff

Player

Throws

ERA

FIP

IP

WHIP

K/9

Hector Santiago

L

2.70

4.02

123.1

1.18

8.4

Garrett Richards

R

3.38

3.84

122.2

1.19

6.7

Matt Shoemaker

R

4.24

4.26

104.0

1.22

7.9

Andrew Heaney

L

1..97

3.04

45.2

0.90

6.7

Huston Street

R

2.79

3.39

38.2

1.03

8.8

Jose Alvarez

L

3.48

3.47

44.0

1.16

8.4

Joe Smith

R

3.14

2.61

43.0

1.14

7.5

Fernando Salas

R

4.39

3.18

41.0

1.07

9.7

Cesar Ramos

L

1.38

2.90

32.2

1.19

7.2

Trevor Gott

R

2.29

3.39

19.2

1.22

5.0

Drew Rucinski

R

10.80

7.48

5.0

3.00

5.4

Cory Rasmus

R

4.50

3.33

4.0

0.75

13.5

Richards had a pretty decent July. He has a 2.97 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 5.7 K/9 in 36.1 innings over five starts. That included a shutout of the Red Sox where he only had three baserunners. He has never pitched against Cleveland. Shoemaker had been fantastic in July. He made four starts and one relief appearance prior to the All-Star break. He has a 1.78 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 8.2 K/9. He is on a 13 inning scoreless streak. He pitched eight strong innings (five hits, ten strikeouts) last year and got the win. Santiago was having a great July until the Dodgers roughed him up a bit last time out. He has a 3.10 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 8.4 K/9. He has ten appearances against the Tribe, including five starts, all back when he was with the White Sox. The Indians hit him hard though, 4.97 ERA, 1.62 WHIP and 9.0 K/9.

Long-time closer Street has nine saves in 16 appearances against the Tribe. They have scored just twice in 18 innings with just 0.78 WHIP and 7.5 K/9. Our old friend Smith, pitched three scoreless innings last year. Alvarez got a win in his only appearance as a starter with the Tigers in 2013, allowing just four baserunners in six innings and striking out seven. Salas has four scoreless innings and Ramos has seven, all with the Rays.

On the Shelf

  • RF Collin Cowgill [60 day DL], possible mid-August return
  • 3B David Freese [15 day DL], possible mid-August return
  • LF Matt Joyce [7 day DL], possible August return
  • SP Tyler Skaggs [60 day DL], out for season
  • SP Jered Weaver [15 day DL], possible August return, on A+ rehab
  • SP C.J. Wilson [15 day DL], no timetable for return

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2015

-

-

-

-

-

-

2014

2

5

286

23

46

220

Last 5*

19

21

475

145

155

470

Last 10*

37

45

451

347

354

491

All-Time

298

322

481

2650

2801

475

*Does not include 2015 stats

Prediction: While the Angels are definitely struggling right now, I think the Tribe wins just one while in Orange County.