Chances slim as Angels ride hot streak into road-trip finale

September, 28, 2012
9/28/12
9:44
AM PT

Richard W. Rodriguez/Getty ImagesJered Weaver looks to win 20 games for the first time in his career as the Angels hold onto their Wild Card hopes
The Los Angeles Angels head into the last six games of the season with more than just a glimmer of hope. They trail the Oakland Athletics by two games for the final AL Wild Card spot as both teams have three remaining with the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners.

According to coolstandings.com, a site that factors projected wins and losses in calculating playoff chances, the Angels have a 13.8 percent chance of playing in a 163rd game this season.

Ride the Momentum
Despite Thursday’s loss, the Angels have been playing some of their best baseball of the season. They have won 20 of their last 28 overall and seven of their last nine games on the road, which is where they’ll spend the rest of the regular season.

Friday’s starter Jered Weaver has also been hot in September after scuffling in the second half of August. This month Weaver has an ERA of 2.10, while holding opponents to a .231 batting average. He’s won three straight including one over the Texas Rangers and Ryan Dempster on Sept. 18 -- the same matchup we’ll be watching Friday.

Weaver Looks to Win 20
Weaver will look to become the American League’s first 20-game winner and the first Angel to win 20 since Bartolo Colon in 2005. Weaver’s current .826 win percentage is the highest by an Angels starter in a single season (min. 20 starts).

Matchups to Watch
This season Weaver has faced sluggers Adrian Beltre and Josh Hamilton 11 times each, giving up two singles to Beltre and a double and a single to Hamilton.

Weaver’s approach against Hamilton has been to get him to fish on pitches outside the strike zone. Hamilton has obliged, going 1-7 with three strikeouts on those pitches.

Against Beltre, Weaver has gone with nearly the exact opposite approach. On pitches in the strike zone this season, Beltre is 0-6 with a strikeout against Weaver.

One player Weaver needs to be careful with is his former battery mate Mike Napoli; he’s 4-7 with a home run against him this season. Weaver attempted to pound the outside corner in their matchups this season and Napoli has simply beaten those pitches.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
C.J. Wilson
WINS ERA SO IP
2 3.92 24 20
OTHER LEADERS
BAM. Trout .323
HRM. Trout 5
RBIR. Ibanez 12
RM. Trout 12
OPSM. Trout 1.026
ERAG. Richards 2.84
SOC. Wilson 24