After a rollercoaster of a 2022 regular season, the Los Angeles Angels are now at their final home series. They welcome the Texas Rangers — a team they’ve struggled with all season long — to the Big A in the midst of a great stretch.
The Angels have won four straight games — including a sweep of the Oakland Athletics — and are 9-4 in their last 13 games. Since Aug. 26, the Halos are 18-13, meaning the bookends of the 2022 season have gone exceptionally well.
Combining the first 44 games of 2022 and the last 31, the Angels went 45-30, a 97-win pace. In the middle 81 games, the Angels went 25-56, an embarrassing 50-win pace.
Meanwhile, the Rangers have hovered at far below expectations for nearly the entire season. After spending big on a brand new middle infield — Corey Seager and Marcus Semien — and some starting pitching, they have remained near the bottom of the AL standings.
But the Angels have not phased the Rangers this year, as the Halos are just 6-10 against their AL West opponents. This final series is a chance to even things up heading into a crucial offseason.
Game 1: Friday, Sep. 30, 6:38 p.m. PT
Reid Detmers takes the mound for the final time this season, hoping to end his sophomore campaign on a high note after a difficult September. He has a 6.05 ERA in his last four starts, and has struggled with the Rangers throughout the season.
However, his last start against the Rangers — on July 31 — was one of his best outings of the year. He allowed just one earned run on three hits and three walks while striking out 12 over seven innings. Detmers has routinely been able to bounce back from difficult outings, making this a real opportunity for the young starter.
On the season, Detmers has compiled a 3.88 ERA and 1.228 WHIP in 123.0 innings. And in the opener of this series, he matches up against Glenn Otto, a pitcher with relatively similar stats.
Otto has tossed 123.2 innings, but with higher walk and home run totals, he faces an ERA of 4.73 and a WHIP of 1.342. He has significantly higher numbers there despite a near-equal amount of hits and similar strikeout figures. The Angels have performed well against Otto this season, scoring five runs in 10.0 innings.
Game 2: Saturday, Oct. 1, 6:07 p.m. PT
Jose Suarez has a chance to get his season ERA below 4.00 if he plays his cards right on Saturday evening. Given how he started the season, losing his spot in the rotation and being demoted to Triple-A for a short period, that would be a remarkable feat.
And it all comes back to his resurgence since the All-Star break. In his last 10 starts since the Midsummer Classic — 57.0 innings — Suarez’s ERA is 2.84 and his WHIP is 1.105. He’ll have a fresh slate against the Rangers, a team he hasn’t started against since April 17.
Meanwhile, he’s hopeful to get some run support with Cole Ragans on the mound for the Rangers. Ragans has pitched just 35.0 innings this season, but he has struggled in that time, posting an ERA of 5.40 and a WHIP of 1.543. Ragans pitched once against the Angels this season, allowing two runs on seven hits.
Game 3: Sunday, Oct. 2, 1:07 p.m. PT
The series finale — and the 19th meeting between these two teams in 2022 — does not have a probable pitcher on either side. On the Angels side, this is a slot that has bounced between a number of pitchers this season, including Tucker Davidson, Mike Mayers, and Touki Toussaint.
The Angels skipped this spot last time through the rotation in order to expedite the next starts of Patrick Sandoval, Michael Lorenzen, and Shohei Ohtani. This was so that Ohtani could get two more starts on the season instead of one, as he is now projected to start in the 2022 season finale.
In the last home game of the season, the Angels may need to rely on the bats to secure a win.