The Angels are playing by far their best baseball of the year. Prior to losing to the Yankees on Wednesday, the Angels’ eight-game winning streak got them over .500 for the first time since winning on Opening Day.
The winning baseball couldn’t come at a better time as they host the division-leading Rangers this weekend.
Head-to-Head This Season
A CHANCE FOR REVENGE
In a three-game series in Arlington earlier this season, the Angels were blown out twice, while winning the middle game 4-2. Texas hit over 100 points higher and scored four more runs per game in the series.
But this is a much different Angels squad that will be hosting the Rangers. At the time of the last series – May 11-13 - Albert Pujols was hitting under .200 and was stuck on one homer. He now has eight longballs and has brought his batting average up to .243.
MIDDLE OF THE ORDER IS SCORCHING HOT
Pujols and Mark Trumbo each have multi-hit games in four of the Angels last five games. Trumbo has been especially hot with a home run in four straight games and a hit in his last six. Trumbo has been feasting on changeups this season, hitting 10-15 with three of his homers coming off of changeups.
FRIERI STILL EFFECTIVELY WILD
Ernesto Frieri has now pitched in 12 games for the Halos and has yet to allow a hit. He has been a little wild though – most notably in his last outing on Tuesday in which he walked two and hit another before striking out Robinson Cano to end the game. Since making his Angels debut on May 5, Frieri has not just been tough to hit, he’s been tough to make contact off of. Sixty-three percent of swings taken against Frieri since he became an Angel have missed. That is the highest swing-and-miss rate in the majors in that span. The next closest being 56.4 percent against Sergio Romo – owner of one of the filthiest sliders in the game.
WILLIAMS NEEDS TO BE CAREFUL WITH LEFTIES
Jerome Williams gets the start today against the Rangers. He’ll have to be more careful against the Rangers lefties than he was in an earlier outing this season. They went 3-5 against Williams and all three hits were home runs (two by Josh Hamilton and one by Mitch Moreland). Overall, Williams gave up six runs and 11 hits in 6 2/3 innings that night. Of course this time out, Williams knows he’s going to pitch. Last time he came in only after C.J. Wilson was pulled following a lengthy rain delay.
FRIDAY’S MATCHUP TO WATCH: TRUMBO vs. LEWIS
Trumbo has had success against Rangers starter Colby Lewis with four hits in 10 at-bats against the righty with a home run and a double. On the flip side, Howie Kendrick and Torii Hunter have struggled against Lewis going a combined 5-33 with 12 strikeouts.