Do you think the L.A. Angels have given up on the season or what? Falling for the sixth game in a row, the Angels have slipped to 49-64. They have yet to win a game on this road trip, with Cleveland being their third different city after time in Seattle and Chicago. The Mariners swept them away, and then the Cubs took two from the Angels. The Angels of Anaheim had a decent push in them to start the second-half, but it seems as if after they realized there will be no chance at coming back, they’ve mailed it in and are focused on the offseason. Well, that’s how they have been playing lately, at least.
The offense has been stagnant, and it’s going to be another wasted year for one of the best in baseball, Mike Trout. It’s a hard realization for Trout that he may never be a winner with the Angels. Management has been some porous decisions over the past several seasons and it’s spilled out onto the field.
The Angels will be going for their first win in seven attempts tonight. The Indians are in the midst of a pennant race, and have Corey Kluber on the hump tonight. The Angels’ season is toast, but the Indians are a team very much competing for something. Cleveland came up with a L yesterday, unable to win another one against the Washington Nationals. The Tigers are currently tied up with the Mariners.
A win would bring them to within 2 games of the Indians, a loss and everything remains the same. Dangerous waters for the Tigers and Indians over the next month. Either of these teams take a nose dive and lose a step, and it could be game over. Right now, both are hoping that happens to the other, but they’re holding strong and holding serve back and forth. A 3 game lead seems huge at the moment in the AL Central. Kluber has found a step and has been looking a lot better. The Angels will deal with him and the Indians tonight in yet another game away from California.
L.A. Angels vs. Cleveland Indians
Jhoulys Chacin (2-5, 5.22 ERA) vs. Corey Kluber (11-8, 3.22 ERA)
It was a fairly treacherous road the first couple of months of the season for Corey Kluber. He was getting dinged left and right. The question was whether it was a temporary hitch, or a sign of things to come for Kluber. Needless to say, he’s shaken off the jitters from earlier in the season. The Indians need him to be at his best now and Kluber has been delivering. He’s unhittable at home of late, allowing only 1 run in his last three home starts. Kluber has notched a 2.95 ERA pitching in Cleveland in 2016. Overall he owns a 2.05 ERA and 0.91 WHIP across his last three starts.
Contrast that with Jhoulys Chacin, who is part of the problem in the Angels’ rotation. The Angels’ pitching staff could certainly be better, and it probably could have been, if they didn’t already back up ten Brink trucks in Albert Pujols’ backyard. Chacin has a 5.22 ERA on the season, along with a dismal 11.12 ERA in his last three outings. Note the sky high WHIP of 3.09. In other words, he averaged just over bases loaded in every inning. This will be his second opportunity at sticking in the starting rotation, who was thrown in the bullpen after failing to impress as a starter. I see the Indians blasting the Angels tonight and cushioning up the lead in the American League Central.
PICK: INDIANS -1.5 (-110)