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Orioles-Angels series preview: The Birds fly west to take on the most exciting team in baseball

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Perhaps a different time zone will do the O’s some good. It certainly won’t bring on easier competition.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim  v Oakland Athletics Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

No team has grabbed headlines this year quite like the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and it’s been for good reason. They have what looks like the most successful two-way player of the modern era, and they also have the best hitter in baseball. That will make people want to pay attention.

However, the Orioles are definitely catching the Halos at the right time. They have lost four games in a row and nine of their last 12. They will also be fortunate to miss facing Shohei Ohtani on the mound. The Japanese sensation has had blister issues and he then sprained his ankle on Friday. He won’t pitch again until the weekend.

Power has been the Angels calling card early on. Their 38 home runs are the second-most in baseball behind the Yankees. Mike Trout leads the team with 10 long balls, followed by Albert Pujols’ five and both Ohtani and Justin Uption with four apiece.

One thing to look for this series is Pujols’ hunt for his 3,000th career base hit. The future Hall-of-Famer is currently sitting on 2,996 hits and could very well pass that magic milestone at some point in this series.

Game 1

RHP Alex Cobb (0-3, 13.11 ERA) vs RHP Nick Tropeano (1-2, 4.67 ERA)
10:07 p.m. ET, MASN 2

Will this be the start where Cobb finally gets on track? The right hander is yet to get through five innings as an Oriole and has struck out just four hitters in 11.2 innings of work while allowing a massive 30 hits. If previous experience has any bearing on this outing, it won’t improve for Cobb. This crop current crop of Angels hitters has hit .329 with four homers off of the former Rays hurler.

Tropeano had Tommy John surgery back in 2016, which cost him the entirety of last season. He’s seen a noticeable dip in his fastball velocity and hasn’t pitched too well his last two times out. Over his last 10.2 innings, he gave up 10 runs on 11 hits, five walks and nine strikeouts.

Game 2

RHP Dylan Bundy (1-3, 2.97 ERA) vs LHP Andrew Heaney (0-1, 6.91 ERA)
10:07 p.m. ET, MASN 2

Everyone has an off day, so don’t freak out about Bundy’s last start. Sure, he only went 4.2 innings and gave up eight runs and 11 hits, but it’s a long season. He was bound to fall apart one of these nights. In case it wasn’t obvious, Bundy needs to be wary of Trout, who is 3-for-4 with a home run and a double against him in limited plate appearances.

Heaney has been a strikeout machine in his first three starts of the year. Over 14.1 innings, the southpaw has struck out 22 batters. However, he’s also given up 18 hits, including three home runs. Manny Machado (twice) and Caleb Joseph (once) have both gone deep off of the Anaheim starter in the past.

Game 3

RHP Chris Tillman (1-4, 7.03 ERA) vs TBD
10:07 p.m. ET, MASN

Tillman defied logic and proved that he still had something left in that right arm of his. On Friday, he tossed seven scoreless, one-hit innings against the Tigers. His velocity continues to be non-existent, but he utilized his off-speed pitches to perfection. Can he make it two good starts in a row?

Mike Scioscia hasn’t announced a starter for the final game of the series because the Ohtani injury sort of threw things out of whack. However, Garrett Richards could pitch here on normal rest. He was roughed up in his last start (1.2 innings, five hits, three walks, nine runs, five earned), but had been pretty good prior to that.

Poll

How many games will the Orioles win in this series against the Angels?

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    0 (O’s get swept)
    (60 votes)
  • 43%
    1
    (114 votes)
  • 22%
    2
    (59 votes)
  • 10%
    3 (O’s sweep the Angels)
    (27 votes)
260 votes total Vote Now