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New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Angels: Series Preview

Shohei Ohtani is the name on every fan’s lips and the Yankees are the next team tasked with trying to stop the superstar.

Los Angeles Angels v Texas Rangers Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images

Yesterday, Aaron Boone pushed every wrong button to ensure the Yankees dropped the first series of the second half, despite a pair of dominant outings by Clarke Schmidt and Gerrit Cole. The road trip continues tonight in Los Angeles as they get set for three games against the Angels. Mike Trout may be out with a broken hamate, but Shohei Ohtani takes center stage right as his name is surfacing in trade rumors.

Monday: Luis Severino vs. Griffin Canning, 9:38 pm ET

With Nestor Cortes making steady progress toward a return, time is running out for Luis Severino to justify keeping a spot in the rotation. He has been downright miserable in all but a few outings, allowing seven earned runs in each of his last two and six runs or more in four out of nine starts. He’s been unable to get a handle on the walks and the ball has been leaving the yard at an alarming rate. Noah recently investigated how he’s suffered from changes he’s made to his pitch mix so keep an eye on his pitch distribution tonight. In nine starts, Severino is 1-4 with a 7.38 ERA (57 ERA+), 6.38 FIP, and 37 strikeouts in 42.2 innings.

Griffin Canning is still finding his footing after missing all of 2022 with a stress fracture in his back. He’s got some swing and miss in his game sitting around the top-third of the league in walk, whiff, and chase rates, but gives up a ton of hard contact sitting in the bottom decile in exit velocity and hard hit rate. He’s got a mid-90s four-seamer and high-80s slider which he throws in roughly equal quantities, rounding out his pitch mix with a changeup and curveball. He pitched against the Yankees in the Bronx on April 19th, holding them to two runs on four hits in 5.1 innings. In 14 starts, Canning is 6-4 with a 4.62 ERA (96 ERA+), 5.05 FIP, and 71 strikeouts in 74 innings.

Tuesday: Domingo Germán vs. Patrick Sandoval, 9:38 pm ET

Domingo Germán was dominant in his last outing, holding the Cubs to two runs on one hit against nine strikeouts, yet inexplicably was lifted by Aaron Boone at only 74 pitches as the team would go on to lose. It’s been a boom-or-bust campaign for the 30 year old — he has three starts where he’s given up six or more runs and nine starts where he’s surrendered one earned run or fewer including the perfect game against Oakland. In 17 starts, Germán is 5-5 with a 4.32 ERA (98 ERA+), 4.62 FIP, and 92 strikeouts in 91.2 innings.

Patrick Sandoval broke out for the Angels last season, putting up a four-win campaign in just shy of 150 innings. He hasn’t quite hit those heights this season but continues to excel at keeping the ball in the yard with the seventh-lowest HR/9 rate among starters. He’s in the top quartile in exit velocity and hard hit rate and top-third in barrel rate and whiff rate so the stuff clearly plays. That said, the Yankees did tag him for five runs on four hits in four innings back in April. In 16 starts, Sandoval is 4-7 with a 4.41 ERA (101 ERA+), 3.96 FIP, and 70 strikeouts in 85.2 innings.

Wednesday: Carlos Rodón vs. TBA, 7:07 pm ET

Carlos Rodón finished his last outing on a strong note, striking out four of the final six batters faced, but by that point the damage had been done. He admitted that it took him too long to adjust his sight-lines for the slider and that he hopes to make that adjustment earlier on in his next outing. It’s encouraging to see the fastball velocity right in line with last year, now it’s just a matter of working off the rust after the delayed start to his season. The last time he faced the Angels was way back in 2018 — he’s a completely different pitcher now so you could say he’s pitching with a clean slate this time against the Halos.

The Angels have yet to name a starter for the series finale. There’s a slim chance that we’ll see Ohtani on the mound — LA typically operates with a six-man rotation to give him a little extra rest. He last pitched on the 14th so he would be going without that extra day of recovery, not to mention the Angels may look to take advantage of the off-day following the series against the Yankees. He’s given up five runs in each of his last two starts so perhaps the plan will be to get him rested in time to pitch the series opener against the Pirates.