clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Angels: Series preview

New, comments

The Yankees head home for a rematch with the Angels.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Los Angeles Angels Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The last time the Yankees played the Angels, New York conducted a three-game sweep in Anaheim. That came at the tail end of an nine-game winning streak. In many ways, this was right when the Bombers came into their own.

Since then, the Angels have cooled down. They hit the skids over the last week and now sit five games behind the Astros. The Halos still field two of the best players on the planet in Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, but not a lot else is working in their favor. It would be sweet to see the Yankees take the season sweep, wouldn’t it? If you’re in the New York area and want to attend one of these games, you can get your tickets from StubHub by clicking here.

Game One: Luis Severino vs. Andrew Heaney

Severino struggled in his last outing against the Royals. That is, of course, by his standards. The right-hander held Kansas City to three runs over six innings — not terrible, but not his usual dominance. Still, Severino owns a 2.35 ERA with a 1.96 FIP. He remains one of the top-flight pitchers in the American League. While in Los Angeles, he held the Angels to three runs over seven innings while striking out eight.

As for Heaney, he also has pitched well. The southpaw has worked to a 3.35 ERA (3.24 FIP) over 40.1 innings. His 10.26 K/9 is well above his career norm of 7.89, and the same can be said of his home run rate. Heaney owns a 0.89 HR/9, whereas his career average is 1.46. Some regression would be nice! He kept the Yankees in check the last time the two teams met, allowing one run on five innings pitched.

Game Two: Sonny Gray vs. TBA

Which Gray will show up on Saturday? The one who tossed eight innings of one-run ball against the Royals? Or the one who allowed five runs in as many innings against the Athletics? Gray has been an enigma all season, pitching to a 5.48 ERA and 4.68 FIP. The Yankees need him to build on his recent success and deliver a strong outing against the Angels.

With no started listed for Angeles, it’s tough to predict who gets the ball. Jaime Barria would have hit in this spot, but he was optioned to the minor leagues for roster flexibility purposes. If he does receive the call, the 21-year-old won’t be a pushover. He’s made five starts for the Halos, pitching to a 2.13 ERA and a quality 3.22 FIP. We’ll have more on this as it develops.

Game Three: Masahiro Tanaka vs. Garrett Richards

It’s been a season of mediocre performances by Tanaka. The right-hander has a 4.95 ERA and 4.83 FIP to show for it. The occasional gem punctuated a string of poor starts. He really could use a strong outing to kick off a stretch of successful pitching. One of his better starts of the season came in Los Angeles. He shut the Angels down, allowing one run over six innings. He also struck out a season-high nine batters.

This was supposed to be Ohtani’s spot, but instead it will go to Richards.

I suppose this is good news because Richards, for whatever reason, cannot get the Yankees out. He’s pitched to a respectable 3.31 ERA (4.05 FIP), but the got torched by the Bombers last month. Richards allowed nine runs — five earned — in just 1.2 innings. I wanted to see Ohtani pitch, but I will take a win instead.