Fresh off back-to-back road victories, the Los Angeles Angels will return home for an interleague series against Pittsburgh. Game 1 of their series will be played at 10:07 P.M ET at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.
Bucs Continue Struggles
When the second half began, the Pirates were right on the edge of postseason contention, sitting one game below .500. Per FanGraphs, they had about a 10-percent shot at making the postseason back then but they’ve completely collapsed in the second half and currently have a zero-percent chance at postseason glory. In their last eight games, the Pirates haven’t emerged victorious once, bringing their second-half record to a putrid 4–24.
The pitching staff for Pittsburgh has been particularly bad since the break, allowing 6.3 runs per game (176 runs in 28 games). Opposing hitters have posted an .829 OPS in the same time-frame. As for the offense, they haven’t been great, scoring just four runs per game since the break, but they did put up nine in their most recent game, an 11–9 loss to St. Louis. Most importantly, though, Josh Bell, who made the All-Star Game earlier this year after 27 first-half home runs, hit his first two jacks of the second half. Before his two-HR game, he had been just 15-for-80 with zero jacks in the second half.
Moving forward, the losing streak may go a little longer, as Mitch Keller, a rookie who’s struggling severely, will get the start. In three starts, Keller has allowed 14 earned runs in 12 innings. All three starts have resulted in losses for the Bucs.
Halos Getting on Track
As of post time, the Los Angeles Angels have a zero-percent shot at making the postseason, according to FanGraphs. That’s not great for morale by any means, yet, that hasn’t stopped them from putting their best foot forward recently. The Halos overcame a monster losing streak where they dropped eight in a row to steal back-to-back games over Boston over the weekend. The wins brought their season record to 58-61 and could be the launching point to getting a few percentage points from FanGraphs if they continue winning. After all, the New York Mets have proven recently that anything is possible, and that momentum is one of the most important factors when it comes to postseason races. The Angels’ wins against Boston have brought them within 11 games of the final AL Wild Card spot.
Like Pittsburgh, however, the Angels are sending a pitcher to the hill on Monday that’s seen his fair share of struggles. Jose Suarez, the Angels projected starter, is coming off his worst outing of the season, allowing 10 hits and six earned runs in an 8-4 loss to the Reds. For the season, he’s made 10 starts but his 6.22 ERA leaves a lot of room for improvement.
- 11-6 in their last 17 interleague games.
- 8-4 in their last 12 games following a win.
- 4-24 in their last 28 games overall.
- 0-3 in their last 3 games with Keller starting.
- 7-24 in their last 31 road games.