The Los Angeles Angels host the Miami Marlins for a two-game series beginning Monday night after dropping three of their first four games to the Houston Astros.
Although the Angels didn’t start their season on the best note, manager Joe Maddon liked the way his team played and they received a strong performance from their starting rotation, which has been the Achilles heel of the team in past seasons.
The Angels enter the first game of the series with a record of 1-3 while the Marlins are 1-2 after losing their Opening Series to the San Francisco Giants.
The newly-signed Michael Lorenzen will make his team debut when he takes the mound in the first game of the series. The veteran right-hander has pitched in 295 career Major League games but he has only made 26 starts, with 21 of them coming in 2015.
Although the majority of his work has come in relief, Lorenzen went into free agency looking to switch back to a starting role and believes he made improvements that will allow him to stick in the rotation.
The 30-year-old owns a career 4.07 ERA and 4.27 FIP across 473.1 innings while striking out 7.72 hitters per nine and walking 3.75 per nine.
The Angels lineup will face Elieser Hernandez, a 26-year-old right-hander who pitched to a 4.18 ERA in 51.2 innings during the 2021 season.
Hernandez was highly touted after a strong 2020 season where he struck out nearly 12 batters per nine innings while walking less than two per nine, but multiple injuries kept him out of the majority of last season.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:38 p.m. PT.
In the second and final game of the series, Patrick Sandoval will make his first start of the season for L.A.
The 25-year-old southpaw is looking to take the next step this season and establish himself as a key member of the rotation. He is coming of a strong 2021 season where he threw 87 innings across 17 games (14 starts) and posted a 3.62 ERA and 4.03 FIP.
Sandoval’s breakout hopes are fueled by his ability to get players to swing and miss his pitches in the zone and chase the pitches he throws out of the zone. He also was among the game’s best at limiting exit velocity and preventing barrels last season.
The Angels’ lineup will be tasked with facing Jesus Luzardo, who was one of baseball’s top pitching prospects and was they key return in the trade that sent Starling Marie to the Oakland Athletics last season.
The 24-year-old left-hander has struggled to a 5.36 ERA and 4.82 FIP in 166.1 Major League innings, but he also possesses some of the highest upside in the game with an elite slider that he pairs with a great fastball and solid changeup.
First pitch is scheduled for 4:07 p.m. PT.