Series Preview: Angels Continue Road Trip With Three Game Set Against Twins
Shohei Ohtani, 2021 Season
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

After losing two of three to the Texas Rangers on the first leg of their road trip, the Los Angeles Angels head to take on the Minnesota Twins for three games. Unfortunately, the weather could play a role in multiple games over the weekend.

The two losses dropped the Angels to 65-85 on the season and nearly scored a series win after a late game collapse was capped off with a go-ahead homer from Rangers shortstop, Corey Seager, in the later half of the finale.

The Angels couldn’t benefit from their ace Shohei Ohtani getting a start against their division opponent, but he’s slated to pitch on Friday.

Game 1: Friday, Sept. 23, 5:10 p.m. PT

Ohtani gets the ball in the series opener with the Twins and looks to continue his run at a repeat MVP award. In his prior seven starts, he’s posted an ERA of 1.47 and tallied 44 punchouts over 43 innings, carrying a 4-1 record.

He’s coming off of an outing against the Seattle Mariners in which he completed seven strong innings, allowing no runs, and striking out eight. Ohtani needs just four strikeouts to reach the 200 mark this season, and heading into Friday, holds a 13-8 record with a 2.43 ERA.

With rain the forecast in at Target Field around the time of first pitch and throughout the game, Ohtani’s start could be pushed back, or skipped altogether, hindering his MVP case.

Louie Varland is scheduled to pitch for the Twins on Friday, and heading into the weekend set, the 24-year-old is making just his third start of the season.

Varland is coming off of an outing against the Cleveland Guardians that saw him allow four earned runs on nine hits across five innings.

Game 2: Saturday Sept. 24, 4:10 p.m. PT

Reid Detmers is scheduled to make his 24th start of the year against the Twins on Saturday and is coming off another solid performance against the Mariners.

Detmers lasted six innings, allowing just one earned run on four hits against the Mariners on Sept. 18, and in his most recent stay in MLB, has truly turned his season for the better and is looking like his status as a former first-rounder, is for real.

On the season, Detmers is 6-5 with a 3.71 ERA in 119 innings, and the young left-hander has notched 111 strikeouts.

San Francisco native, Joe Ryan gets the ball for the Twins, and the righty is enjoying a solid season for the Twins.

Ryan is 12-8 with a 3.61 ERA across 25 outings, and in his prior seven starts, Ryan is 4-3 with a 2.83 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP. He is coming off of back-to-back starts of seven innings of shutout pitching, making this a difficult matchup for the Angels.

Game 3: Sunday, Sept. 25, 11:10 a.m. PT

José Suarez starts for the Angels in the series finale and is attempting to wash the bad taste of his prior two starts away. In his last 10.1 innings, Suarez has allowed eight runs on 16 hits, and against a right-handed heavy lineup in the Twins, he will need to be near-perfect to limit the damage.

Suarez is 6-8 with an ERA of 4.11 this season, and the 24-year-old still has a considerable amount to refine, but the ceiling remains high for lefty out of Venezuela.

A huge bright spot for the Angels is that Dylan Bundy starts for the Twins on Sunday. The right-hander is 8-7 this season, with an ERA of 4.78 in 131.2 innings pitched.

In his last three starts, Bundy has allowed 13 earned runs in just 13.2 innings, while recording just five strikeouts. Bunday is a familiar face to Angels fans, but Mike Trout will be eagerly awaiting him on Sunday.

Trout has feasted on Bundy in his career, posting a .455 batting average, including two home runs.

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