The Braves return home to Turner Field almost in the same position they left in. While the first two games in Colorado were in their favor, the last two blowouts were much more akin to the shortcomings that were exposed by a good Seattle pitching staff on the last mini homestand. Still waving the flag of inconsistency, the Braves now face a team who are very much in the same position.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, or as I call them The The Angels Angels of Anaheim, are a team full of star power who have notably underperformed in recent history. Currently they sit at second in the AL West, behind the mammoth of a team that is the Oakland A’s team that they just took two out of three from.
Angels in the Outfield:
A majority of production from the Angels offense has come from none other than Mr. Mike Trout. But the fact is, Trout is having a bit of a down year by Trout standards. A lot of the slack has been picked up by Colin Cowgill, who is slashing .297/.374/.448, mostly in place of Josh Hamilton, who has been extremely solid when not injured.
Around the rest of the diamond, Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar has been a solid middle infield tandem, but the change of scenery hasn’t been kind to David Freese and power aside, Albert Pujols is still just a shell of who he was. Anchoring and keeping the Angels afloat has been the production of Chris Ianetta, offsetting the disaster that has been Raul Ibanez.
Angels pitching is almost a direct reflection of their offense; good, not great. Jered Weaver and Mr. Head and Shoulders C.J Wilson are a solid one two punch, but the lack of strikeouts and increased longballs have limited their true efficiency. At the bottom half of the rotation, Clayton Richards is the standout performer, with the highest K/9 rate on the staff. The Angels pen has been mostly solid, minus incumbent closer Ernesto Frieri, who is currently sharing the role with Joe Smith. Smith’s performance has been a lot less vanilla than his name, and he may the biggest bullpen challenge the Braves will face this weekend.
7:35 PM EST, Friday, June 13th
7:15 PM EST, Saturday, June 14th
8:00 PM EST, Sunday, June 15th
Braves vs. Angels tickets