Look, Ma! I made a hip-hop reference. Also, the Angels get their first crack at the two-time defending AL West champions. If things go well, they might even be able to very temporarily dethrone them.
These teams have literally faced each other hundreds of times over the decades, but the Angels haven’t led the all-time series since the mid-1970’s. But over the last few years, the teams have more or less been even despite each team taking turns being up and down. That being said, the A’s have narrowly taken the season series for three consecutive years.
Chavez is in a similar boat to Santiago. No Halo has taken him deep yet, but he has been hit around pretty good.
We have real data to work with for Richards, but it ain’t pretty. Brandon Moss has tortured Richards and while nobody else crushes him, most everyone seems to handle him decently. This could get ugly if Richards can’t hold his focus.
Straily hasn’t been around long, but he has faced the Halos quite a bit already. That’s good news for the Angels because just about all the regulars, save Kendrick, have raked against Straily. This could be an ugly match-up for both sides.
The Angels are bit all over the map with Milone. Kendrick has dominated him, Aybar has good success as does Pujols. However, Trout has had a real hard time with Milone, as has Iannetta. The good outweighs the bad here though, so this is a promising match-up for the Angels, especially since Milone struggles away from Oakland.
The pitching match-ups favor the Angels, but I suspect that the A’s are just going to have too much talent for them to handle this time around. The lack of a real lefty in the bullpen could hurt too since the A’s have a roster built to exploit platoon match-ups. The Angels will grab one win here, blow one game late and outright lose another. It is all part of the Angels’ master plan to never get over .500.
UNOFFICIAL PREDICTION (so don’t hold me to it)
The Angels will wear their red jerseys and lose because what color jersey you are wearing has no impact on your play.