Series Preview: Angels Face Rangers With Pitcher Shohei Ohtani On The Mend
Shohei Ohtani
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It feels as though every series is magnified at this point in the season for the Los Angeles Angels. Only 43 games remain on the schedule and the Halos sit 6.5 games back of the third and final wild card spot. And now, they get the American League West-leading Texas Rangers on the schedule.

The headline of this series actually comes from who won’t be playing. Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani has opted to skip his start, which would have come on Wednesday in the series finale, citing arm fatigue. It won’t keep him out of the lineup as a batter, but means the Angels need to pivot in the ever-important series.

The natural choice to replace Ohtani on Wednesday would be Griffin Canning. The Angels starter was activated from the injured list on Sunday, but with the resurgence of Chase Silseth, Canning was unable to reassume his place in the rotation. Slotting him in on Wednesday would get him back in the rotation without compromising anyone else’s position for the time being.

And while the Angels deal with fluctuation in the pitching staff, they still are missing key pieces of the offensive side of the diamond. Mike Trout and Logan O’Hoppe remain out but are steadily progressing toward returns. O’Hoppe began a rehab assignment last week and Trout is now facing high velocity pitching out of a machine.

It’s possible both make their returns by the end of the month, but neither will be available for this series.

The Rangers, meanwhile, are without starter Nathan Eovaldi due to his ongoing injured list stint. Eovaldi threw a 20-pitch bullpen session on Aug. 9, but it doesn’t appear he’ll be ready to go for the Angels. Instead, two trade deadline acquisitions — Max Scherzer and Jordan Montgomery — will take the bump for the Rangers.

The Rangers are all in on contending this season, and they have no plans to let a divisional opponent stand in their way of increasing their lead on the Houston Astros in the AL West.

The Halos are 4-3 against the Rangers this season, but are facing two pitchers that were not with the team the last time they faced off.

This series closes out an AL West road trip before the Angels return home to face the Tampa Bay Rays and Cincinnati Reds.

Angels vs. Rangers Series Preview & TV Info

Game 1

Monday, Aug. 14, 5:05 p.m. PT
TV: Bally Sports West
Patrick Sandoval vs. Max Scherzer

Game 2

Tuesday, Aug. 15, 5:05 p.m. PT
TV: Bally Sports West
Lucas Giolito vs. Jordan Montgomery

Game 3

Wednesday, Aug. 16, 5:05 p.m. PT
TV: Bally Sports West
TBD vs. Jon Gray

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