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New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Series preview

The Yankees hope to extend their winning streak as they embark on their first West Coast trip of the season.

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The Yankees travel to the West Coast for the first time this season. They open a three-game series with the Angels in Anaheim today, and then move on to Oakland for a four-game set with the Athletics.

The Yankees ride a five-game winning streak to California. They have outscored opponents 55–9 during this stretch, and they scored at least eight runs in each game. The Yankees have scored eight or more runs in a game 21 times this season, more than any other team in baseball. They've done it eight times in the last 14 games.

Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge currently leads the league in all three Triple Crown categories. He is hitting .344 with 21 home runs and 47 runs batted in. During the three-game sweep of the Orioles this weekend, Judge was 7-for-12 with three walks, three home runs, and six runs batted in.

His performance included a couple of dingers for the highlight reels. In Saturday's game, Judge hit a shot which had an exit velocity of 121.1 miles per hour. That was a new Statcast record. On Sunday, he blasted one that traveled 495 feet and cleared the left-field bleachers.

Several other Yankees put up monstrous numbers against Baltimore this weekend. Matt Holliday drove in six runs on the series. Starlin Castro padded his home run total, notching three blasts. Gary Sanchez continued his hot streak, blasting a 450 foot home run to left field. Aaron Hicks also had five RBI over the weekend.

In all, the Yankees battered Orioles pitching for 38 runs on 44 hits, while belting 12 home runs. They hit .400 on the weekend with a .428 on base percentage, .827 slugging percentage, and a whopping 1.255 on-base plus slugging.

Somewhat lost in the recent offensive outburst, is the performance by the Yankees pitching staff. It has been superb. The team hopes to continue its success on both sides of the ball upon arriving in California.

Masahiro Tanaka will take the hill for the Yankees in the first game of the series. He will oppose Angels right-hander Alex Meyer.

Game 1: Masahiro Tanaka versus Alex Meyer

Player Years W-L GS IP H ER BB SO ERA WHIP K/BB K/9 BA OBP SLG OPS ERA+ FIP
Player Years W-L GS IP H ER BB SO ERA WHIP K/BB K/9 BA OBP SLG OPS ERA+ FIP
Tanaka 2017 5-6 12 66.00 81 48 18 58 6.55 1.50 3.22 7.90 .298 .347 .566 .913 67 5.62
Meyer 2017 2-3 7 35.10 28 18 24 41 4.08 1.47 1.71 10.40 .219 .353 .352 .704 103 4.15

Masahiro Tanaka leads the AL in earned runs allowed, and has an awful 6.55 ERA. That’s the third worst among starting pitchers in Major League Baseball. He has also been trending in the wrong direction. Tanaka has a 10.72 ERA in his last five starts.

Tanaka was originally scheduled to make Sunday's start against Baltimore, but Girardi pushed him back to Monday at Anaheim. The Yankees skipper pointed out that Tanaka had faced the Orioles in his previous start and did not pitch well. He said that the Orioles are familiar with Tanaka, while the Angels have not yet seen him this year.

Girardi did not say this -- and would not say this -- but I'm sure he's hoping that Tanaka will have an easier time with an Angels lineup that is much softer without Mike Trout. Tanaka clearly needs a confidence booster, and if he pitches well versus the Angels, it could lead to him getting back on track. He has also pitched much better on extra rest, so hopefully the extra day will help as well.

Opposing Tanaka will be a 6-foot-9 Angels right-hander. Meyer was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 1st round (23rd pick) of the 2011 MLB draft. He was traded to Minnesota for Denard Span in 2012, and had a cup of coffee with the Twins in 2015 and 2016. He went to the Angels last summer with the trade that also brought them Ricky Nolasco. The Angels pitching staff was devastated by injuries, so Meyer joined the rotation.

In his last start on June 7 at Detroit, the 27-year-old Meyer allowed one unearned run on three hits, while walking four and striking out nine. He took the tough-luck loss.

Date: Monday, June 12, 2017
Time: 10:07pm EDT
Place: Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Broadcast: YES (TV); WFAN 660/101.9 FM (Yankees radio)

Game 2: CC Sabathia versus J.C. Ramirez

Player Years W-L GS IP H ER BB SO ERA WHIP K/BB K/9 BA OBP SLG OPS ERA+ FIP
Player Years W-L GS IP H ER BB SO ERA WHIP K/BB K/9 BA OBP SLG OPS ERA+ FIP
Sabathia 2017 7-2 12 71.10 67 29 23 58 3.66 1.26 2.52 7.30 .245 .311 .385 .696 121 4.18
Ramirez 2017 6-4 11 70.20 75 34 15 54 4.33 1.27 3.60 6.90 .278 .319 .463 .782 96 4.48

CC Sabathia went through a really rough stretch at the end of April and beginning of May, but he has since put together five straight stellar starts. During that span Sabathia is 5-0 with a 1.11 ERA. He has limited opposing hitters to three home runs during this streak.

Sabathia will oppose J.C. Ramirez. The Angels picked up Ramirez off of waivers from the Cincinnati Reds in June of last year amid their pitching problems. He pitched out of the bullpen last season, but was converted to a starter this year.

In his last start on June 8 at Detroit, Ramirez gave up four runs — all earned — on 10 hits, while walking one and striking out four. He pitched five innings and earned the win. In his previous start at home versus the Twins, he got hammered for seven runs, also all earned, on eight hits. He gave up three home runs and only lasted 4.1 innings.

Date: Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Time: 10:07pm EDT
Place: Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Broadcast: YES (TV); WFAN 660/101.9 FM (Yankees radio)

Game 3: Michael Pineda versus Matt Shoemaker

Player Years W-L GS IP H ER BB SO ERA WHIP K/BB K/9 BA OBP SLG OPS ERA+ FIP
Player Years W-L GS IP H ER BB SO ERA WHIP K/BB K/9 BA OBP SLG OPS ERA+ FIP
Pineda 2017 7-3 12 71.20 64 27 17 75 3.39 1.13 4.41 9.40 .235 .283 .412 .695 130 4.13
Shoemaker 2017 6-3 13 74.20 67 35 27 67 4.22 1.26 2.48 8.10 .241 .315 .446 .761 99 4.93

Michael Pineda has been a pillar of consistency throughout the 2017 season for the Yankees. He was 6-2 with a 3.32 ERA in his first eight starts. He only gave up more than three runs on one occasion, and that was his first start of the year, where he allowed four.

Then Pineda turned in a clunker on June 2nd at Toronto. He allowed five earned runs on 10 hits. He allowed two home runs in five innings pitched and took the loss. Pineda rebounded nicely, though, in his most recent start, a 9-1 win versus the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on June 8th. He allowed one unearned run on four hits in seven innings, while walking two and striking out eight.

Pineda will face off against Matt Shoemaker, who has made five quality starts this season, including four of his last six starts. In his most recent outing at Houston on June 9th, Shoemaker gave up four earned runs on seven hits, while walking one and striking out four. He threw seven innings and got the win.

Date: Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Time: 10:07pm EDT
Place: Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Broadcast: YES, ESPN (TV); WFAN 660/101.9 FM (Yankees radio)

Injury update

Yankees

  • Jacoby Ellsbury is on the 10-day disabled list with a concussion. He rode the stationary bike and treadmill. He also played catch. He has yet to ramp up full baseball activities as of June 10th, and he will not be making the West Coast trip with the Yankees.
  • Aroldis Chapman is on the 10-day disabled list with left shoulder rotator cuff inflammation. He threw 18 pitches in a simulated game June 10th, and he is expected to begin a minor league rehab assignment on June 13th. Chapman will not be available to pitch in the series with the Angels, but he may possibly be activated during the series with the Athletics.
  • Greg Bird is on the 10-day disabled list with a right ankle bruise, and he began a Triple-A rehab assignment on June 8th. It is unclear when he will be activated.
  • Tyler Austin began his rehab assignment with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on May 26th, and was optioned there on June 5th. Barring an injury to someone on the 25-man roster, Austin will be eligible to be recalled on June 15th.

Angels

  • Center fielder Mike Trout had surgery to repair a torn UCL and a dorsal capsule in his left thumb. He is expected to be out of action until at least mid-July.
  • Starting pitchers Andrew Heaney, Garrett Richards, Tyler Skaggs, and Nick Tropeano are all on the 60-day disabled list and will not be available to pitch during the series with the Yankees.
  • Relievers Andrew Bailey and Huston Street are on the 60-day disabled list and will not be available to pitch during the series with the Yankees.
  • Reliever Cam Bedrosian is on the 10-day disabled list with a right groin strain. He experienced renewed discomfort while on a rehab assignment and it is unknown when he will return.

Yankees notes

  • The Yankees lead MLB in run differential (+115).
  • The Yankees pitching staff leads the AL in ERA (3.60), WHIP (1.18), batting average (.228), OBP (.293), SLG (.373), and OPS (.666).
  • The Yankees offense leads the AL in runs scored (353), home runs (102), OBP (.351), SLG (.476), and OPS (.827).
  • The Yankees are second in the AL in batting average (.275) behind Houston (.277).
  • The Yankees are one of only three MLB teams that haven't been shut out by an opponent this season. Minnesota and Washington are the others.