Pittsburgh Pirates versus Los Angeles Angels (August 12)
In this interleague match up, the NL Central’s last place Pirates take on the AL West’s fourth place Angels.
Mitch Keller is scheduled to start on the mound for the Pirates and Jose Suarez is set to start the game for the Angels.
Offensively, the Pirates are averaging 4.6 runs per game, around the NL average. Josh Bell leads the team in home runs with 27 and RBI with 89.
He and Starling Marte have hit 47 of the team’s 123 home runs.
Bryan Reynolds (.330 average) and Kevin Newman (.302 average) lead the team in hitting, while only five players on the team have hit at least ten home runs.
For the Angels, they are paced by the big bat of Mike Trout, who has 39 home runs and 92 RBI. Kole Calhoun is a strong second power threat, having hit 25 home runs.
Albert Pujols has shown he still have some life left in the bat, with 18 home runs and Tommy LaStella leads with a .300 average.
All told, the Angles have hit 171 home runs and average five runs per game.
Mitch Keller, who is making only his fourth Major League start, has gotten hit around so far.
Although striking out 15 in 12 innings, he’s allowed 21 hits and has an ERA of 10.13. Francisco Liriano has been the most worked out of the bullpen and has posted an ERA of 3.31 in 54 1/3 innings.
Kyle Krick has also been effective with an ERA of 3.64 in 42 innings. If the Pirates can get the ball to closer Felipe Vazquez they are in excellent shape.
He’s struck out 72 in 45 1/3 innings with an ERA of 1.79. As a team the Pirates are allowing a lofty 5.5 runs per game.
Jose Suarez has also struggled this season, particularly with keeping the ball in the park. In 46 1/3 innings he’s given up a 14 home runs, 2.7 per nine innings. This has contributed to his high ERA of 6.22.
The bullpen trio of Ty Buttrey, Cam Bedrosian and close Hansel Robles have been solid, posting a combined ERA of 3.13 in 158 innings. As a unit, the Angels have allowed 5.2 runs per game.
This has all the makings of a slugfest. Neither starter has proven he can hold a team in check.
Should the pitchers find their rhythm, the bullpens are relatively difficult to score on.
The Pirates should take Suarez deep at least once and hit their average per game.
However, the Angels could feast off an inexperienced Keller. Look for an Angels win in a high scoring, 9-5 contest.