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Oakland A’s Series Preview #9: Angels final showdown of season

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Wrapping up the 2020 season series with the Halos

Los Angeles Angels v Oakland Athletics
Third time’s a charm against Dylan Bundy?
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Oakland A’s still have the best record in the American League, after salvaging a split against the Arizona Diamondbacks this week. Now they’ll get back to AL West division competition.

Their next opponent is the Los Angles Angels, who are having another disappointing summer. These three games will complete the season series against the Halos, so unless they right their ship quickly and make the playoffs, we won’t see them again until 2021.

Los Angeles Angels

  • 2020 record: 8-18

The 2020 season is not going as the Angels hoped. Their record is the exact opposite of Oakland’s, winning fewer than one out of every three contests. They aren’t technically out of it yet, but this is exactly the kind of early slump that everyone was trying to avoid digging themselves into. (Unless it’s not a slump and the Halos are just bad, which is also possible.)

They already lost their highest-ceiling rotation hope in Shohei Ohtani, though he’s still DHing. They already sent their biggest offseason rotation signing to the bullpen, in record time even for them (just three starts). The bullpen already leads the AL with seven blown saves (that’s one out of every four games). Jo Adell has looked like Franklin Barreto at the plate, striking out 44% of the time so far, and Justin Upton has a negative OPS+ mark. If you weren’t already sure that Albert Pujols was done, he’s most definitely done (but still signed for one more year).

Mike Trout is still the best, and Anthony Rendon is crushing, and a few other hitters are staying strong. Dylan Bundy may just have been a hidden gem. But that’s not enough in this full-team sport, and it will continue to not be enough until they finally prioritize pitching above trying out a couple buy-low veterans every winter.

Projected lineup

  1. 2B David Fletcher (R)
  2. DH Tommy La Stella (L)
  3. CF Mike Trout (R)
  4. 3B Anthony Rendon (R)
  5. LF Brian Goodwin (L)
  6. 1B Albert Pujols (R)
  7. RF Jo Adell (R)
  8. C Anthony Bemboom (R)
  9. SS Andrelton Simmons (R)

The slumping Ohtani is out of the order Friday. Good to see Simmons back after an injury earlier this season. Fletcher, La Stella, and Goodwin are all having nice years so far.

Starting pitchers

These are the three expected starters:

  • Fri: Andrew Heaney (L) vs. Mike Fiers (6:40 p.m.)
  • Sat: Griffin Canning (R) vs. Chris Bassitt (1:10 p.m.)
  • Sun: Dylan Bundy (R) @ Frankie Montas (1:10 p.m.)

The A’s haven’t seen Heaney since Opening Day, when he pitched into the 5th and allowed one run — against an Oakland lineup that has come a long way since then.

Canning has been roughed up by the A’s twice already, while Bundy has completely shut them down twice. We’ll see if those trends continue!

Bench/Bullpen

Here’s the full Angels 28-man roster:

L.A. Angels 28-man roster
Pitchers Hitters
Starters

Andrew Heaney (L)
Dylan Bundy (R)
Griffin Canning (R)
Matt Andriese (L)
Patrick Sandoval (L)

Relievers

Hansel Robles (R)
Ty Buttrey (R)
Mike Mayers (R)
Kenyan Middleton (R)
Felix Pena (R)
Noe Ramirez (R)
Julio Teheran (R)
Hoby Milner (L)
Jose Suarez (L)
Jacob Barnes (R)
Catchers

Jason Castro (L)
Anthony Bemboom (R)

Infielders

Albert Pujols (R)
Anthony Rendon (R)
David Fletcher (R)
Tommy La Stella (L)
Andrelton Simmons (R)
Luis Rengifo (S)

Outfielders

Mike Trout (R)
Shohei Ohtani (L)
Justin Upton (R)
Brian Goodwin (L)
Jo Adell (R)

10-day IL: RHP Cam Bedrosian (thigh), RHP Dillon Peters (oblique), RHP Jose Quijada (undisclosed), C Max Stassi (quad/knee)

45-day IL: RHP Justin Anderson (TJS)