The Los Angeles Angels pounded the Baltimore Orioles last night, as they rang the score up to 12-0 before the O’s did anything. The story in the evening was Albert Pujols’ 3000-hit club quest. Pujols came a hit short, so he will be in the spotlight tonight to accomplish the feat. Meanwhile, on our side, the Astros’ bullpen collapsed on us, as they couldn’t get the save up 5-3 in the 9th inning. The Astros had the Yankees in the bottom of the order, but Will Harris couldn’t hold on.
Harris gave way to Brad Peacock, who gave up another runner of Harris’s responsibility. That kind of stuff just didn’t happen often with the Astros last season, the bullpen was reliable. But now we’ve seen a couple of games in a row where they’ve had bullpen issues. The offense has been spotty, too. Nevertheless, it’s only early May and we’ll see how things shake out. I can say, though, it won’t be as easy as it was last year against the Yankees. Anyway, moving on to tonight in Seattle.
While the Angels were pummeling the Orioles, the Mariners got 4 early runs and cruised from there. The pitching took care of the rest, as Wade LeBlanc put together an impressive 4 innings for Seattle. He gave up 3 hits and no runs in 4 innings to pace the Mariners to the 4-1 victory. The Mariners’ pitching staff will likely be a roller coaster ride for the majority of this season.
One game they’ll pitch like that, and then in another they look like the complete opposite. The Angels moved to 19-12 and the Mariners to 18-12. If the Astros continue to find issues with their bullpen, who knows, it might open the door up for the Angels or Mariners. I do like the ‘Stros offense to spring to life eventually, so that could be a little more difficult for teams to keep down. Reading into one month of play can sometimes give the wrong impression. A tough beat yesterday in Houston, but let’s get it back today. Get our free Angels vs. Mariners pick below.
L.A. Angels vs. Seattle Mariners Pick
Garrett Richards (3-1, 4.88 ERA) vs. Mike Leake (3-2, 6.48 ERA)
Garrett Richards has had one notable problem in his career: he hasn’t been able to stay healthy. Richards hasn’t been plagued by injuries, derailing what could have been a pretty successful career. He hasn’t pitched full-time since 2015 where he got 32 starts and an ERA of 3.65. In 2014, Richards was successful again with 26 starts, posting a 2.61 ERA in what has been the best year of his career. The last two seasons when Richards has been on the mound, he’s been good. However, he only made 6 starts in each of those campaigns. Richards finished in 2016 with an ERA of 2.34, and then a 2.28 ERA last season, so he was consistent across the board in the limited time he was out there.
Richards is already up to five starts in 2018, so if he can manage to stay healthy today, he will finally get more than six outings. His last was a train wreck against the Yankees, where he was battered for 5 hits and 5 earned runs in 1.2 innings. His ERA jumped from 3.46 to 4.88 in just that one start alone. Mike Leake is coming off three awful starts.
The Astros scored 5 runs on him, and then he was hammered against the White Sox for 8 runs. Finally, the Indians drilled him for 4 more runs on April 28th. It all adds up to an ERA of 9.98 and 1.76 WHIP in those three showings. The Angels are hitting him for a .302 batting average, with Mike Trout hitting at .333. Anaheim has also been an excellent 11-2 on the road in 2018. I lean towards the Angels in this one on Friday night on the west coast.