The Los Angeles Angels (46-63) and Oakland Athletics (41-68) meet Monday for the opening contest of a 3-game series. First pitch from Oakland Coliseum is scheduled for 9:40 p.m. ET.
Season series: Angels lead series 6-4
The Angels have alternated wins and losses across their last 5 outings, and are just 4-7 over their previous 11 outings as they continue to scuffle. L.A. is a solid 4-1 in the past 5 following a loss.
The Athletics were swept in a 2-game interleague set against the rival San Francisco Giants over the weekend, getting outscored 13-7. Oakland has won just 15 of its last 51 home games.
Angels at Athletics projected starters
LHP Jose Suarez vs. LHP Cole Irvin
Suarez (3-4, 4.55 ERA) makes his 12th start and 14th appearance overall. He has a 1.48 WHIP, 4.1 BB/9 and 8.6 K/9 in 55 1/3 IP.
- Is 1-2 with a 4.33 ERA with 23 K across 27 IP over 6 starts and 1 relief appearance on the road.
- Allowed just 1 unearned run on 5 hits and 2 walks allowed with 5 strikesouts over 5 innings in a win against the A’s Tuesday in his last start.
Irvin (6-8, 3.04 ERA) makes his 20th start. He has a 1.06 WHIP, 1.8 BB/9 and 6.1 K/9 in 115 1/3 IP.
- Has a 4-2 record with a sparkling 1.73 ERA and 43 K across 62 1/3 IP across 10 home starts.
- Opponents are hitting just .195 against Irvin at Oakland Coliseum this season.
- Is 0-2 with a 3.75 ERA across 12 IP over 2 starts vs. the Angels this season.
The Oakland Athletics play host to the Los Angeles Angels in the opening game of their divisional series from RingCentral Coliseum. While neither team will find itself in the playoffs come the fall, it still seems likely that they’ll battle off in a competitive series this week. These two have already met quite a few times this season, though Oakland has won each of the last two meetings, snapping the Angels’ run of three straight wins prior. With a limited schedule on Monday, there might not be a more competitive game on the calendar than this one.
Angels Aim To Stay Out Of Basement
It has been an up and down season for the Angels so far this year and while the playoffs appear out of reach, that doesn’t mean that they won’t be putting their best foot forward down the stretch. They’re coming off a nice four-game split with the Mariners but continuing the road trip could spell trouble for this group. They’ve only gone -6 over their last ten games and with one of baseball’s worst road records as well, it is expected to be a struggle for this group come Monday night’s opener.Injuries haven’t made it easy for this team to compete and being without Mike Trout (ribs), Matt Duffy (back), and Anthony Rendon (wrist), has been difficult. The main name to keep an eye on for Monday is the status of Shohei Ohtani (forearm), who is questionable for action.
According to MLB.com, Jose Suarez will get the ball as he looks to set the tone for the mid-week slate of games. The lefty has been decent this season, though it seems unlikely to see him dominate in this one. He comes in with a 3-4 record and 4.55 ERA but is coming off back-to-back shutouts, which is sure to give him some confidence as he takes the mound in this one. His last start was actually against the Athletics as well, where he allowed no earned runs across five innings of work.
The offense continues to be a struggle for this group and could be what holds them back over the weekend. Beyond having baseball’s worst strikeout rate, they also rank in the bottom five of baseball in runs, average, and OPS. The home run numbers have helped to prop them up but it seems unlikely that they’ll have enough in the tank to put the pressure on Oakland in this one.
The Athletics have steadily been one of baseball’s worst teams over the course of the season and while making a return to the postseason is out of the question, spoiling the season of others isn’t. They’ve gone 5-5 across their last ten games but with baseball’s worst record at home, it doesn’t appear there to be much home-field advantage for this group. Back-to-back losses to the Giants don’t help matters but they were able to take two of three games from the Angels just last week, which could be enough to turn the tides of this team’s confidence and momentum.
Injuries are about the only thing that hasn’t been brutal for Oakland this season, which could give them a leg up as they come down the stretch. They have no position players on the injury report heading into Monday night but with three relievers out, the bullpen woes aren’t likely to improve.
According to MLB.com, the Athletics will turn to Cole Irvin for the start on Monday night. Irvin’s record, sitting at 6-8 coming into this one, isn’t overly impressive, but his 3.04 ERA tells another story. Irvin hasn’t allowed more than two runs in a start since back on June 29th and his last time out against the Angels saw him allow only two runs across six innings of action.
Much like the case for their opponent on Monday night, the offense is likely what could cost Oakland in this week’s set of games. They rank last themselves on average while ranking 29th in runs and OPS. The strikeout rate has helped but doesn’t seem impressive enough to change their fortunes going forward. Over the last week, the majority of hitters are hovering between .100 and .200 for their average, which doesn’t give the best indication that things might be trending forward.