While the Los Angeles Angels may no longer have a competitive window for the 2022 season, they still have some recent success to capitalize on. As they head into a three-game home set against the Seattle Mariners, the Angels are 5-1 in their last six games, 7-3 in their last 10, 9-6 in their last 15, and 12-9 in their last 21.
They are also 7-5 against the Mariners this season despite Seattle’s 11.5-game lead on the Angels in the standings. A 2-2 series last week kept L.A. in the lead, and they hope to continue playing spoiler with the playoff hopefuls in town.
The Mariners are coming off of a series loss to the Texas Rangers. However, this may have been a let-down from perhaps their biggest series win of the season when they stole two of three from the New York Yankees. They are sure to be on the hunt for a bounce-back with the Angels.
Below, we’ll break down the pitching matchups and important things to watch in this Monday to Wednesday affair at Angel Stadium.
Game 1: Monday, Aug. 15, 6:38 p.m. PT
The premier pitching matchup of this series comes in the opener, when Shohei Ohtani faces off against Luis Castillo. Castillo was acquired by the Mariners at the trade deadline, and has allowed just three earned runs in 14.2 innings with his new team.
Meanwhile, Ohtani has been one of the best pitchers in baseball all season long. In 111.0 innings, Ohtani holds a 2.68 ERA, a 1.05 WHIP, and a career high 157 strikeouts. His 10-7 record makes him the fourth player in the history of baseball (Negro Leagues included) to win 10 games and hit 10 home runs in the same season.
Ohtani is also the Angels’ leader in home runs and RBIs with 26 and 68 respectively. But the Angels offense must do some of its best work against Castillo, an All-Star in 2022 and two of the last four seasons.
Game 2: Tuesday, Aug. 16, 6:38 p.m. PT
What makes the Mariners such an intriguing team this season is their starting pitching, as they go from Castillo to 2021 AL Cy Young winner Robbie Ray. It’s been well documented that Ray is not putting up anywhere close to his award-winning numbers. But he has remained solid, reliable, and available in his 136.0 innings pitched.
On the Angels side, it’s Jose Suarez taking the mound. After a difficult start to his 2022 campaign, Suarez has been lights out over his last three starts. In his last 17.1 innings, he’s allowed zero runs on 10 hits and five walks, to go along with 16 strikeouts.
It all stems from the introduction of a new pitch — a second changeup — into his repertoire. If he can continue this type of production on Tuesday, it could be another marquee matchup on the mound.
Game 3: Wednesday, Aug. 17, 1:07 p.m. PT
The Halos have not made an official announcement as to who starts the series finale on Wednesday. But given the recent schedule, it stands to reason that Touki Toussaint would be the leading candidate.
Toussaint excelled in his most recent start and has not been needed for a long relief outing in the days since. Perhaps between Toussaint and Mike Mayers, the Angels can get through this finale and into a Thursday off day with a well-rested bullpen.
On the Mariners mound, it is George Kirby. In 85.0 innings this season, Kirby has a 3.39 ERA and 1.20 WHIP, striking out 86 batters while allowing 90 hits. His ERA suggests that he has limited damage well, but he can be susceptible to traffic on the bases.
If the Angels can win two or more games in this series, it would be their first time winning three consecutive series’ since early May, when they won four straight between May 3-15.