at LOS ANGELES ANGELS
First pitch: Friday, 10:05 p.m. ET
Line: N/A, Total: N/A
The Angels will be hoping to earn a big victory over the Astros in Los Angeles on Friday.
The Astros don’t really have to worry about the Angels winning the AL West this season, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be looking to win this series in a big way. Houston wants to halt the momentum of all of the teams in its division, and Los Angeles certainly has just that. The Angels have played some very good baseball over the past couple of weeks and they now find themselves fighting for a spot in the postseason. This will, however, be a very tough series coming up, and the Angels can’t afford to get swept here. In fact, they’d be in a pretty bad spot if they were to lose this series at all. The starters in this Friday night meeting will be RHP Collin McHugh (1-2, 4.01 ERA, 31 K) for Houston and RHP Parker Bridwell (7-1, 2.92 ERA, 47 K) for Los Angeles. McHugh is coming off his best start since returning from an injury, but Bridwell has been the Angels’ best pitcher this season. Los Angeles has not had an ace in quite some time, so it’d be interesting to see if he is capable of keeping things up moving forward.
Collin McHugh is coming off of a very impressive start for the Astros, as he pitched six shutout innings against the Athletics on Aug. 19. It was McHugh’s second good outing in a row, as he gave up just two earned runs in 5.2 innings of work against the Diamondbacks on Aug. 14. If he can give Houston six solid innings of work then the team should have a good chance of beating Los Angeles in this one. He’ll just need to make sure he is throwing strikes in this one, as he can plague his team by putting too many batters on base. As for Houston’s offense, it’s always a safe bet to assume that 2B Jose Altuve is going to come through at the plate. Altuve has been the best hitter in baseball for the past couple of seasons, and he has a very good chance of winning the AL MVP award this season. And guys like SS Carlos Correa and OF George Springer will also do their best in this one. Both guys have ridiculous power, so they’ll make Bridwell pay for any mistakes.
The Angels have had a very strong second half of the season and will be doing everything they can over the next couple of weeks in order to secure a spot in the playoffs. They’ll be sending Parker Bridwell to the hill on Friday, and Bridwell has been remarkable for them this season. The 26-year-old has allowed two or fewer earned runs in eight of his past 10 starts heading into this game, and he’ll be hoping to keep it up beginning Friday. He has, however, faced offenses that are nowhere near as good as the Astros and will need to make sure he is on point with his command here. If he hangs any pitches too high then Houston will make him pay. Offensively, the Angels will be counting on OFs Mike Trout and Kole Calhoun here. Both guys have been scorching hot lately and they should have a good chance of getting to McHugh in this game.