The Los Angeles Angels will try to keep charging closer to an American League wild-card spot when they host the Toronto Blue Jays in the third game of their four-game series Saturday night at Angel Stadium.
The Angels (41-35) won the first two games of the series and three straight overall to move within five games of the Seattle Mariners for the second wild-card spot in the AL. The Mariners have lost a season-high five straight games, allowing Los Angeles to make up 3 1/2 games since Tuesday.
We still have a long ways to go, Angels designated hitter Albert Pujols told Fox Sports West following a 2-1 victory against the Blue Jays on Friday night.
Stroman is 1-1 with a 5.14 ERA in four career appearances against Los Angeles, including three starts. The 5-foot-8 right-hander threw a complete game the last time he faced the Angels, allowing two runs (one earned) and seven hits in a 6-2 win at Angel Stadium on April 23, 2017, the start of a six-game winning streak for Stroman.
He finished with a career-high 13 wins last season, but hasn’t earned a victory since Sept. 24 against the New York Yankees.
Angels rookie right-hander Jaime Barria is scheduled to make his 10th career start and first against the Blue Jays.
Barria (5-3, 3.57) is tied for the AL lead in wins among rookies this season, and ranks third in ERA among rookies with at least 40 innings pitched.
The Angels have struggled to close out games this season, but the bullpen threw two perfect innings to complete the win on Friday, and their relievers have allowed two runs in 7 2/3 innings in the series.
There’s no doubt, that as that back end of our bullpen grows, that’s going to really help our club, Angels manager Mike Scioscia told reporters after the win on Friday.
AJ Mass: I’ll give you two players to consider snatching up for the rest of the season — one bat and one arm — should their current fantasy managers be frustrated enough to let them go for a song.
Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers (ADP of 26.4, 99.2 percent rostered): Currently, he’s the No. 37 outfielder in terms of points league production, which is certainly a disappointing placement for an overall third-rounder. While his road stats are pretty much in line with what he did in his rookie campaign, at home he definitely seems to be pressing. In 2017, he hit .268 and slugged .571 in Los Angeles. This year it’s a sad .207 and .415. He’s batting just .172 since June 9, but looking at all his underlying numbers (BB/K, GB/FB, SwStr%, etc.) there’s nothing glaringly different from last season. I still think he’ll finish with at least 30 HR.