About the ESPN Hot Zone
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• A color will appear when there are at least five at-bats using the selected criteria.
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1-- This game features a pair of starters who successfully transitioned from the bullpen in recent years. Chris Sale and C.J. Wilson are two of the three pitchers since 2005 who won 15 games in a season following only relief appearances (the other was Ryan Dempster).
Sale and Wilson both rank among the top five among AL lefties in strikeouts since the start of last season. Sale is third with 234. Wilson is fifth with 217.
Sale enters 11-3 with a 2.26 ERA in 17 career starts at home and 8-0 with a 3.13 ERA against AL West foes. He wins on the strength of a slider that has netted 129 strikeouts, third-most in the majors in the past two seasons.
2-- The easiest way to sum up the Angels’ woes: Entering Saturday, Josh Hamilton had driven in Albert Pujols just once all season. Hamilton is 3-for-29 with runners in scoring position this season and 3-for-35 versus lefties.
2012 Pujols vs. 2013 Hamilton
Through Angels’ 1st 36 Games
As much as Hamilton has struggled, he’s actually produced more than Albert Pujols did in the Angels’ first 36 games last year. He was hitting .197 with 1 home runs, but broke out in Game No. 37 and hit .312 with 29 homers the rest of the way.
The Angels have the lowest BA in the MLB from the 3 and 4 spots in the order combined (.214).
You can take a look at Hamilton's struggles here and in the interactive heat map above.
3-- Mike Trout got off to a bit of a slow start both on offense and defense. But Trout is hitting .356 (16-for-45) with four home runs and seven multi-hit games in his past 11 games.
On the defensive side, Trout has been charged with costing his team two runs in left field and one run in center (-3 defensive runs saved). Trout ranked second among major league center fielders last season with 23 defensive runs saved.
Trout was the premier home-run robber in the majors last season, pilfering four would-be longballs. He’s yet to steal one from over the fence in 2013.
4-- The White Sox offense has sputtered this season. It ranks in the AL basement across the board in the slashline stats-- batting average (.227), on-base percentage (.278), and slugging percentage (.370).
The White Sox have three batting-title qualifiers currently hitting below .200. They rank last in the AL in runs per game and strike out at a higher rate than any other team.