After a three-game exhibition series with their cross-town rivals, the Los Angeles Angels will open their 2021 season. While usually against a divisional opponent, it will be the young and talented Chicago White Sox facing off against the Halos in a four-game set beginning on April 1.
The Angels will also get these first four games at home to begin the season. Reportedly, the stadium will be open at 20% capacity to start, meaning approximately 9,000 fans will be at Angels Stadium. And as was previously announced, it will be Dylan Bundy against Lucas Giolito in Game 1 of 162.
Now, the entire opening series rotation has been announced, with Bundy leading the way and Shohei Ohtani getting to pitch on Sunday, via The Angels:
Four more days until #OpeningDay!
The rotation for our four-game Opening Series vs. the White Sox:
⚾️Shohei Ohtani pic.twitter.com/KT83nKUCNU
— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) March 28, 2021
According to the Angels, it will be Bundy on Thursday, Andrew Heaney on Friday, Alex Cobb on Saturday, and Ohtani on Sunday. This is likely the correct order for multiple reasons.
First, it gives Bundy the chance to follow up his career year by being the ace in the rotation. It also allows Ohtani to hit on Opening Day since he will be three days away from pitching. While it’s unclear exactly how the Angels will handle his workload on offense, three days ahead of time should not create any issues.
Finally, it prioritizes the four best and most proven pitchers in the rotation. Griffin Canning and Jose Quintana, who could be wild cards for the Angels, will likely be the first two pitchers in their subsequent series against the Houston Astros.
Bundy, Heaney, Cobb, and Ohtani will be tasked with stopping an offensive attack led by Luis Robert, Yoan Moncada, Jose Abreu, Nick Madrigal, and other talented bats.
Angels make shocking decision, option Ty Buttrey
The Angels made a surprising decision on Sunday by choosing to option reliever Ty Buttrey to the Minors. He was expected to be one of the main bullpen arms for them this season, but the club clearly felt otherwise.
Buttrey can be called back to the Majors at any time, but will begin the season off of the 26-man roster, making room for another bullpen arm to make the team.