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Series Preview: Angels in the outfield

Don’t look now, but the Blue Jays are undefeated since Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was recalled. The team is coming off of another series sweep against the Athletics. Fans were able to not only see the savior of this franchise make his debut over the weekend, but they were also able to witness some pretty exciting baseball as well.

The Blue Jays walked-off the A’s in two of their three games over the weekend. Unfortunately, the Blue Jays don’t face the A’s anymore this season. During their season series, the Blue Jays won all six games and averaged 5.2 runs/game, and only surrendered an average of 2.2 runs/game. Along with their series sweep, Guerrero Jr. has clearly sparked some life into this team and hopefully that energy continues into La La Land.

Tuesday at 10:07 ET

Clay Buchholz slightly came back down to earth in his last start against the Giants. It was the 34-year-old’s worst start of this young season. Buchholz once again gave up six hits, which he’s done in all three of his starts this season. His control of his pitches has continued to be the key for success in each of his starts. The Angels are one of the more patient teams in the AL, as they currently rank sixth in walks. Being patient at the plate is something that the Blue Jays could definitely benefit from, as they rank second-last in the AL in walks. Furthermore, Buchholz will need to be precise with his pitches to be successful in the opener of this series. Or he’ll be watching these Angels circling the bases around him.

Griffin Canning will be making his major-league debut in the opener of this series. Just like I mentioned above, the Blue Jays’ hitters will need to be patient at the plate in this game. Canning only made three starts at triple-A before being recalled. So there isn’t a lot of information on what kind of pitcher Canning is. In the three starts with the Salt Lake Bees, the California-native only surrendered one earned run and a pair of walks. Canning also created 17 strikeouts in the 16 innings pitched at triple-A. So if the Blue Jays aren’t patient with their approaches, then Buchholz won’t be receiving much run support in the opener of this three-game series.

Wednesday at 10:07 ET

StroShow has been the leader of this pitching staff with his 1.43 ERA and 36 strikeouts. His 1-3 record just proves even more how meaningless wins are for pitchers in baseball. Stroman has only given up more than three runs in a start once this season. The man with the most swag on this team has also recorded five or more strikeouts in all six of his starts. The Angels as a team have recorded the fewest amount of strikeouts in the AL. So Stroman will likely have to create a lot of ground balls to create outs in this start to be successful. Which lucky for him, he’s really good at doing.

Felix Pena will be taking the mound in game two of this series for the Angels. Similar to Buchholz for the Blue Jays, Pena relies on the location of his pitches to be successful. He doesn’t have the velocity to blow it by hitters. But he does have the deception on his off-speed pitches to fool hitters. He mainly relies on his sinker and slider, but also mixes in his 92 MPH fastball if batters sit on his off-speed pitches. To be successful, the Blue Jays will need to be patient at the plate again, and force Pena to pitch in the upper part of the zone. So that they will then be able to drive his pitches and not create weak contact.

Thursday at 10:07 ET

Aaron Sanchez looked a little wild at times in his last start. But thankfully it didn’t seem that any of that was because of his broken nail that he sustained a couple of starts of ago. Which is very positive news for this team, because the last thing they need is more finger issues with Sanchez. The Angels do create a lot of walks so fans shouldn’t be surprised if Sanchez gives up more walks than he’s accustom to in this start.

Tyler Skaggs will make his second-start since being activated from the now called “Injured List”. For whatever reason it needed to be changed from the “Disabled List”. Regardless, Skaggs pitched very effectively in his last start against the Royals. The 27-year-old went five innings and only gave up three hits and three walks, while also recording five strikeouts. Skaggs has historically surrendered a lot of hits throughout his career, but he’s also able to generate lots of swing and misses as well. So hopefully you have discovered the key to success for the Blue Jays in this series while reading this article. But in case you haven’t, the Blue Jays will be successful at the plate in this series if they remain patient and only offer at good pitches to hit.