The Los Angeles Angels wrapped up their road trip with a sweep of the Oakland Athletics and return to Angel Stadium to take on the Minnesota Twins in a three-game set beginning Friday.
The Twins were on the unfortunate end of being swept in a two-game beatdown at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers. This knocked them out of first place in the American League Central. Manager Phil Nevin and his club are in a different spot with a 49-63 record and remain 10 games out of the wild card race as of Thursday.
2022 isn’t entirely a lost season, as the Angels could flip a switch and keep themselves in contention for a dart-throw shot at a wild card spot, but the club is looking for positives on their roster while perhaps playing the role of spoiler to other playoff-bound teams.
Game 1: Friday, Aug. 12, 6:38 p.m. PT
The series opener on Friday features Patrick Sandoval and Twins right-hander Tyler Mahle. Outside of Shohei Ohtani, Sandoval has been one of the Angels’ most consistent arms and is coming off of his second-best outing of the season in which he held the Seattle Mariners scoreless for 5.1 innings.
Sandoval has a 3.41 ERA on the season, but his 3.10 FIP is much more representative of who he is on the mound. One constant for him this year has been his ability to limit damage in terms of home runs, but with more self-inflicted wounds via the walk, Sandoval has walked a tight rope for much of 2022.
For the Twins, Mahle has been much improved as of late and his 3.26 ERA in his prior seven starts is more of what they’d like to see from their deadline acquisition from the Cincinnati Reds. However, in his only start for the Twins, Mahle gave up four earned runs in six innings, including three home runs.
Game 2: Saturday, Aug. 13, 6:07 p.m. PT
Saturday’s matchup creates another opportunity for the Angels to showcase what Reid Detmers has in his bag. Since being sent down after a rough stretch following his no-hitter, Detmers has been nothing short of electric.
Since July 8, he is 2-0 with a 1.16 ERA and a FIP of 2.15 over five starts. Whether it was a wake-up call or a change in sequencing, the 23-year-old is showing why he was worthy of a first-round draft pick in the 2020 MLB Draft.
The Twins counter with Dylan Bundy who has a 5.01 ERA on the year and has struggled to miss bats with only 74 strikeouts in 93.1 innings pitched. He has allowed an opposing batting average of .272 thus far, the second highest mark of his career.
The former Angel hasn’t had it easy this season and the Angels would prefer to continue that trend on Saturday.
Game 3: Sunday, Aug. 14, 1:07 p.m. PT
The series finale features the worst pitching duel of the three games with Tucker Davidson and Chris Archer squaring off. Both starters have struggled mightily this season, and there isn’t much to highlight about both, except the offensive output they both allow.
In Archer’s last seven games, he’s allowed 17 earned runs while walking 17 batters in just 30 innings, good for a 5.10 ERA. Opposing hitters are hitting just .212 against him, which would be the lowest mark of his career, and perhaps it’s a product of poor defense behind him or his inability to limit the free pass.
Davidson had a rough debut for the Angels after being brought over from the Atlanta Braves in the deal that sent Raisel Iglesias away as a salary dump. In his first start with the Angels, Davidson allowed six runs in just four innings.
On the season, he is 1-3 with a 7.91 ERA in 19.1 innings of work between both Atlanta and as a member of the Angels. The offense will need to explode in the finale.
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