The Los Angeles Angels will try to stop the Oakland Athletics from advancing any further in the American League. They’ve been a tough out this season and are going to try to make one last push at the Houston Astros in the AL West. It’s going to be difficult, but they at least have a wildcard to fall back on if they come up short. The A’s are also on the mix to grab homefield for the Wild Card Game. With the Yankees looking like their likely opponent in that matchup, one team is going to have to travel cross country.
Neither place would be a fun place to go as a visitor, so we’ll see how things shake out. For the Yankees, it might come down to the health of Aaron Judge. Judge recently just got activated from the DL and I think the Yanks were being cautious with his wrist. They were not going to rush him back with an injury like that. The original timeframe for his return was three weeks, but that was clearly erroneous. A fractures wrist is something that can flare up again down the road if it isn’t healed properly, so the Yankees were doing their due diligence with their slugger.
2018 made for another disappointing year for the Angels. There was so much anticipation to get going with Ohtani and he’s played as advertised, when healthy that is. Despite facing Tommy John surgery in the offseason, Ohtani continues to hit at the plate at an impressive rate. If he didn’t injure his shoulder, I imagine we’d be seeing him putting up nice numbers on the mound. My vote for Rookie of the Year would be going to him.
The Angels would love to change spots with the Athletics, though. It’s going to be interesting to see what Mike Trout will do. The Angels want to keep him in Anaheim for the rest of his career, but we’ll see if Trout wants to go to a new with a better chance of going to the World Series. Money talks, though, and if the Angels give him a competitive offer, it might be tough to leave the only franchise he knows. While Angels’ fans ponder these questions, the A’s are gearing up for the postseason. Head below for our free Angels vs. Athletics pick.
L.A. Angels vs. Oakland Athletics Pick
Felix Pena (3-4, 3.75 ERA) vs. Brett Anderson (3-5, 4.35 ERA)
Brett Anderson returns home where he has felt much more comfortable this season. Anderson is coming off not the best of starts, but both came on the road where his numbers have been lackluster. He allowed 5 runs to the Astros in 2.2 innings at Minute Maid, and then the Orioles knocked him out after allowing 4 earned runs in 3.1 innings.
This was after he pitched 14.2 innings of scoreless baseball in Oakland. Dating back to August 3rd, Anderson hasn’t given up a run in 21.2 innings of work. He holds an ERA of 2.55 at home as opposed to a 5.36 ERA on the road. The Astros got to Anderson in Oakland in May, but that’s the only outing that he’s allowed a run. The Angels have been bad against Anderson, with a .188 batting average and only 1 long ball in 32 at-bats. He likely comes back strong at home following a couple trouble spots on the road.
Conversely, the A’s are hitting .269 with a .321 OBP in 26 at-bats against the Angels’ starter this evening, Felix Pena. In his last start against the Athletics, he gave up 5 hits and 3 runs in 5.2 innings. Pena has been good for the Angels this season, though. He enters Wednesday with an ERA of 3.75 and 1.35 ERA in his previous three outings. With his teammates struggling against Anderson, he might have to paint a pretty picture against the A’s. The Athletics bullpen has been tough to crack this year, as they are 2nd with an ERA of 3.25. It looks like a win for Oakland behind a bounce back performance from Anderson.