Angels Series Preview: 2021 Draft Pick Chase Silseth Makes MLB Debut
Chase Silseth
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels travel to the Oakland Coliseum for a four-game series with the Athletics that includes a doubleheader on Saturday.

After an eventful homestand in which the Angels took two of three from the Washington Nationals and the Tampa Bay Rays, traveling upstate to play the last-place Athletics with some youth slated to pitch for L.A. in each of those games is exactly the matchup they need.

Riding the emotional high of Reid Detmersno-hitter on Tuesday night, manager Joe Maddon and his Angels roster were humbled by an outstanding performance from Rays left-hander Shane McClanahan, who turned in seven shutout innings with 11 strikeouts in the final game of the series.

The Angels have won 6 of their last 10 games and carry a record of 21-12 and sit in second place behind the surging Houston Astros.

Game 1: 6:40 p.m. PT

Chase Silseth will make his major league debut in game one for the Angels and will become the first player from the 2021 Major League Baseball draft to reach the Major Leagues. Silseth, who turns 22 on May 18, has spent the beginning of the 2022 season in Double-A with the Rocket City Trash Pandas.

In five starts this year, Silseth is 2-0 with a 1.73 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 26 innings. He features a mid to upper 90s fastball with a curveball that profiles more like a slurve and a mid 80 mph slider.

Silseth also becomes the ninth different starter used by Maddon this season.

The Athletics counter with Daulton Jefferies who is coming off three outings in which he’s allowed 15 runs in 13 innings on 22 hits. The 26-year-old has struggled mightily with a 5.22 collective ERA and is 1-5 in his six starts.

Jefferies won’t have it easy against an Angels lineup that has been putting up runs in bunches and with opponents racking up a .286 batting average against him.

Doubleheader- Game 2: 1:07 p.m. PT

The Angels continue to rely on their young arms when they call up Johnathan Diaz from Triple-A Salt Lake to start the first game of the doubleheader. He is expected to be the 27th player for the Angels and will get another shot to prove his 1.96 ERA with the Bees in 23 innings this season can translate to the MLB level.

Diaz pitches in the Pacific Coast League, which is known as a ‘hitter’s paradise’ due to many of the ballparks having a reputation for being a launchpad, and he has still managed to hold hitters to a .150 batting average.

Paul Blackburn gets the ball for the Athletics and should be confident after a strong outing on May 9 against the Detroit Tigers that lowered his season ERA to 1.74. Blackburn is sporting a 0.87 WHIP in 31 innings so far.

Doubleheader- Game 3: 6:40 p.m. PT

Michael Lorenzen will pitch in the nightcap coming off his second disappointing outing of the season against the Nationals. In just 4.2 innings he allowed five runs on five hits which included two home runs, but a bright spot for Lorenzen is of the 14 batters he retired, he struck out seven of them.

Lorenzen has said he feels his best as a starter, and hopefully, he regains his form against the Athletics.

Game 4: 1:07 p.m. PT

In what could be the premier pitching matchup of the series, Patrick Sandoval will duel it out with Athletic’s starter Frankie Montas. Sandoval’s last outing against the Nationals on Mother’s Day ended in a walk-off win for the Angels after he tossed 5.2 innings while allowing three runs on seven hits.

Sandoval’s season ERA stands at 2.03 and is averaging about one strikeout per inning. The Mission Viejo-born left-hander will face an Athletic lineup that has a 5-4 record against lefty starters this season.

The A’s have their ace, Montas, for the series finale and will look to see him rebound after having two rough outings in his past three starts. Montas has a 3.77 ERA on the season and is holding opposing hitters to a .205 batting average and features a 3.64 FIP.

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