The Los Angeles Angels starting rotation has been one of the best in the major leagues this year, and it’s about to get stronger with the return of its ace on Wednesday night. Let’s take a look and see if Jered Weaver is worth backing in his first start since May 28.
Los Angeles is one of
the hottest clubs in all of baseball at the moment, but do they show any signs of slowing down?
The Angels have won
the first two games of their interleague series with the San Francisco Giants,
including a 12-5 blowout victory at home on Tuesday night. Since May 22,
Los Angeles has put together a 19-7 record, which ranks second in the majors to
the New York Yankees (20-5) over that span. San Francisco is 2-3 on its
current 10-day, nine-game road trip, but has still gone 14-8 in its last 22
Weaver is back,
pitcher Jered Weaver (6-1, 2.61 ERA) will return to the mound after spending
time on the disabled list with a strained lower back, as he was last seen on
the mound on May 28 in a 9-8 home win over the New York Yankees. The
right-hander has gone 4-0 with a 0.83 ERA in five home starts this year,
issuing just two walks and striking out 30 in 32.2 innings, while limiting
opponents to a .139 batting average. Weaver will be on an 80-90 pitch
limit in his first career start against the Giants.
Ryan Vogelsong (6-2,
2.29 ERA) will not receive the same amount of media attention as his
counterpart in this matchup, but he has led the Giants to nine wins over his
last 10 outings. The right-hander has notched a victory in his last three
starts, including a 4-2 road win over the Seattle Mariners last time out,
allowing two runs and four hits over seven frames. In three interleague
starts this season, Vogelsong has compiled a perfect 3-0 record and 1.25 ERA.
Pujols is starting to
deliver in a big way
Albert Pujols received
a lot of money in the offseason to occupy the No. 3 spot in the Angels lineup,
and he’s starting to deliver in a big way. The former St. Louis Cardinals
slugger has hit 11 home runs and collected 39 RBIs since May 1, and those
numbers could improve in the series finale. He has gone 6 for 15 with a
home run in his career against Vogelsong.
Bullpens figure to
play a major role in determining a winner
San Francisco (3.21)
and Los Angeles (3.27) rank 10th and 11th respectively in the majors in terms
of overall bullpen ERA, which is an important factor to handicap in this
matchup, especially with Weaver on a pitch count. It’s important to note
that the Angels have an edge in this category due to this series being played at
Angel Stadium, producing a 2.79 ERA at home, while the Giants have a 3.84 ERA
by their relievers on the road.
I’m going to back the
Angels in this contest, as they seem to have NL opponents figured out at this
point, posting a major league-best 71-33 interleague mark since 2007. The
Giants are just 16-26 as a road underdog of +125 to +150 over the last two-plus
Pick: Los Angeles