After being swept by the Astros, the Minnesota Twins are now preparing a tough road test beginning Thursday against the Los Angeles Angels.
Coming off the worst series of the season, without a doubt, the Minnesota Twins must find a way to bounce back. They began the process by shuffling around their bullpen, but will that be enough to come out on top of a 4-game series with the Angels.
The Los Angeles Angels are sitting at 28-28, 2nd place in the AL West. A lot of that, of course, is due to reigning AL MVP Mike Trout. Trout, though, will be unavailable for the series against Minnesota as he is on the DL for the first time in his career.
As the Twins try to regain control of first place in the AL Central, they will have their work cut out for them. With a vital series here in early June, let’s take a look at the pitching match-ups and key players for this upcoming series.
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Game One – Adalberto Mejia (1-1, 4.64 ERA) vs Alex Meyer (2-2, 5.79 ERA)
Game Two – Kyle Gibson (1-4, 7.85 ERA) vs JC Ramirez (5-3, 3.38 ERA)
Game Three – Ervin Santana (7-2, 1.75 ERA) vs Matt Shoemaker (4-3, 4.26 ERA)
Game Four – Jose Berrios (3-1, 2.70 ERA) vs Ricky Nolasco (2-5, 5.07 ERA)
In conclusion, the pitching match-ups look fairly even and maybe even a little bit in the Twins’ favor. If all goes to plan, the only game Minnesota has a pitching disadvantage would be game two with Gibson on the hill.
Looking at the offensive side of the game, the Minnesota Twins may have the advantage with Trout out of the series. Still, Albert Pujols (.254/.303/.409) is always a threat at the plate, as he has 8 home-runs. Also, Andrelton Simmons (.275/.333/..396) will be another player to watch for Los Angeles. He leads the Angels in hits and also has 6 stolen bases to his credit.
Obviously, for the Twins, it would be nice to have Miguel Sano (.292/.406/.590) back in the line-up. He has missed the last two games with a stomach bug. Besides Sano, Joe Mauer (.286/.361/.404) and Jorge Polanco (.257/.308/.371) will play big roles in the series, as both of them have been hot as of late. They will look to keep it going in the City of Angels.
In conclusion, this is a series that the Minnesota Twins should and could dominate. As a team, they’re better on the road than at home. Also, with Mike Trout being on the DL, the pressure put on the pitching staff should go down. Hopefully, the bullpen will step their game up and the Twins can get back on track.