Angels Series Preview: L.A. Faces Struggling Red Sox Club
Shohei Ohtani, 2021 Season
Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels head to Boston for a three-game series against the Red Sox with hopes to flash more of the offense that carried them to such a hot start this season.

After splitting four games with the Chicago White Sox that resulted in being shut out twice and a near ninth-inning collapse in Sunday’s game, it put a damper on what could’ve been a productive series against a struggling club.

The Angels still hold a 2.5-game lead over the second-place Houston Astros, and even with the White Sox blanking them for 18 innings, L.A. still is tied for the league lead in team wRC+ and are No. 2 in wOBA, behind the Colorado Rockies.

Winners of seven of their last 10 games, the Angels can use that momentum against the Red Sox who just dropped a series to the Baltimore Orioles.

Game 1: 7:10 p.m. PT

Noah Syndergaard makes his turn to the mound after he was scratched from the series opener in Chicago, and brings his repertoire of high-powered stuff that hasn’t missed many bats this season but has found the defense when hit. He improved his strikeouts in each start this season and will continue to build his arm up to go deeper into games.

Michael Wacha will start for the 9-14 Red Sox in what will be his fifth outing this season. The long-time St. Louis Cardinal has made a few stops but has found a home and some early success with a 1.77 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP over 20.1 innings.

His most recent outing lasted six innings, with only four hits and allowing only one earned run. Wacha has limited opponents to a .143 batting average so far.

Game 2: 7:10 p.m. PT

Shohei Ohtani has rebounded after his early issues on the mound and has bounced back with two straight wins. In starts against the Astros and Cleveland Guardians, Ohtani only allowed two earned runs and six hits, with 16 strikeouts. His struggles at the plate haven’t impeded his ability to find a rhythm when pitching and will need to find some swing and miss stuff with the Green Monster in left-field to avoid any avoidable runs. However, against a Red Sox lineup that ranks 26 in MLB in wOBA, Ohtani could do something special.

The Red Sox welcomed 25-year-old Garrett Whitlock because of his ability to pitch in high leverage spots and provide more than just one inning of work. His 0.54 ERA in 16.2 innings so far proves that when he is on, he is borderline untouchable.

Whitlock will serve as an opener capable of pitching a few innings before the Red Sox go to their bullpen.

Game 3: 1:35 p.m. PT

The series finale features two lefties, both are coming off of solid starts and showing improvement. Ried Detmers tossed a clunker on April 15 against the Texas Rangers but has since posted nearly identical stat lines in back-to-back games. His most recent outing vs. the Guardians was his best of the season, with five innings, two hits, and one earned run.

With José Suarez being optioned to Triple-A, manager Joe Maddon will need Detmers to maintain his progression to keep the stress off of an already thin bullpen.

The ageless wonder, Rich Hill is back where it all started for him, as a Red Sox, and since a tough start bounced him after 4.2 innings of six-run(two unearned) baseball on April 18, Hill has given the Red Sox eight straight shutout innings.

Hill has lowered his season ERA to 3.71 in 17 total innings.

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