Wednesday, May 31, 2023
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MLB Preview: Los Angeles Angels (22-22) at Baltimore Orioles (28-15)


LEADING OFF: Today, the Angels play the seventh (2-4) and final game on a road trip to Cleveland (1-2) and Baltimore (1-2; May 15-18)…Halos went 2-4 on last homestand against the Rangers (1-2) and Astros (1- 2)…LAA was 4-2 on last road trip at Milwaukee (1-2) and St. Louis (3-0).

.500 AGAIN: With a 22-22 record, Halos are back at .500 for a 10th time this season (also, 1-1, 5-5, 7-7, 8-8, 9-9, 10-10, 11-11, 12-12 & 14-14).

A LOOK AT THE STANDINGS: Angels enter play today in third place in the American League West standings (-4.5 games behind Texas; matches largest deficit of season)…Today Halos are looking to avoid a third straight loss, which would match longest losing streak of season (April 14-16).

LEAD OFF MICK: Mickey Moniak has hit leadoff home runs in two of his three starts for the Angels this season…He’s one of seven players in the Majors with multiple leadoff HR this year…He celebrated his 25th birthday on Saturday and became the first player in LB history to make his season debut on his birthday and hit a leadoff home run…Additionally, he was the first player in Angels history to hit a leadoff homer on his birthday.

ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER SHO: Monday night, Shohei Ohtani became the first pitcher to reach base safely five times in a game since Mel Stottlemyre for the Yankees on Sept. 26, 1964 at Washington…He finished a double shy of becoming the first starting pitcher in MLB history to hit for the cycle.

MORE HISTORY: Shohei Ohtani reached the 400 career innings pitched threshold on Monday night… According to ELIAS, his 509 strikeouts in his first 400 innings as a starter are the second-most all-time (Corbin Burnes had 539 strikeouts through his first 400 IP for Milwaukee).

VS. BALTIMORE: Today is the fourth (1-2) of seven matchups this season between the Angels and Orioles…In addition to the current series in Baltimore, the teams will meet again Sept. 4-6 at Angel Stadium… Last season, Halos went 1-6 against Orioles…LAA has lost 10 of last 12 games vs. O’s.

STREAK SNAPPED: Angels victory Monday night snapped a six game losing streak at Camden Yards, which dated back to Aug. 24, 2021 (streak finished tied for Angels longest at the ballpark; also had six game losing streak at Camden Yards in 2003).

LEAGUE LEADER: Shohei Ohtani, leads the Majors in opponent batting average (.145), and ranks third in strikeouts (71) and sixth in WHIP (0.91). PLAY FROM AHEAD: Halos have held leads in 36 of 44 games played this year.

SINGLE HANDED: Gio Urshela has hit 38 singles this year plus six extra-base hits (five doubles & one home run)…Urshela ranks second, behind Toronto’s Bo Bichette (40), for the American League lead in singles.

FRESH BODIES: RHP Zack Weiss and INF Livan Soto are both looking to make their season debuts with the Angels…Weiss was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake on Sunday and Soto was recalled from Double-A Rocket City on Monday.

ESTÉVEZ ENDING: This season, Carlos Estévez is pitching to a 1.42 ERA (19 IP – 3 ER) and has converted all nine of his save opportunities…Is looking to become first Angels pitcher to convert his first 10 save opportunities of a season since Ernesto Frieri converted his first 12 chances in 2012.

WALSH ON REHAB: Jared Walsh (headaches and insomnia) has played five games on his rehab assignment with Triple-A Salt Lake and is batting .412
(7/17) with four runs scored, one home run, four RBI and five walks.

THE INJURED LIST: Halos currently have 11 players on the injured list and have used the IL 14 total times this year.

ALL OVER THE INFIELD: Gio Urshela is one of six players in the Majors to appear at all four infield positions this season…He has made 16 starts at first base, 13 starts at third base, eight at shortstop and one at second base.

LATE COMEBACKS: Halos have three wins this season when trailing after eight innings, which matches the Angels total from each of the last two seasons…Last time LAA had more than three wins in a season when trailing after eight frames was 2017 (5).

UNEARNED: Angels have allowed 26 unearned runs this season, which is the most in the Majors…Halos have committed 31 fielding errors this season, which is also the most in the Majors.

ON THE BOARD: Halos have not been shut out since Aug. 21, 2022 at Detroit…Current streak of 85 games without being shut out is the longest active streak in the Majors and fifth-longest streak in Angels history (fourth longest streak was 90 games in 1995).

NET-OW: Zack Neto has been hit by seven pitches this season, which is tied for fourth-most in the Majors… Since 1901, Neto’s seven HBP through his first 15 career games are the most in MLB…He also was the first player in Angels history to be hit a pitch in four consecutive games (April 18-21).

TWINS ON DECK: Following the current series in Baltimore, the Angels will return home and begin a nine game homestand with a three game set against the Minnesota Twins…Last season, Halos went 4-2 against Minnesota to take the season series for a second consecutive year

1-0, 5.26 ERA
First career appearance vs. Orioles

  • TODAY’S GAME: Making eighth start of the season and fourth at home…Is in eighth Major League season and made seventh straight Opening Day roster…Signed a three-year contract with Angels, Nov. 16, 2022.
  • BACK ON TRACK: Pitched 6.0 scoreless innings in Angels debut on April 2 at Oakland, before allowing 5+ runs in each of next three starts…In last three starts, has a 3.06 ERA (17.2 IP – 6 ER) and 14 strikeouts.
  • LEFT OUT: This season, is holding left-handers to a .222 average (8/36) compared with a .301 (34/113) average against right-handers.
  • FASTBALL DAMAGE: This season, opponents are batting .333 (16/48) against his fastball, but are hitting .257 (26/101) against the rest of his arsenal.
  • LAST TIME OUT: Took no-decision in last start last on Friday at Cleveland after tossing 6.0 innings and allowing three earned runs on six hits with three walks and one strikeout…Marked third quality start of the season.
  • HURT BY THE HOMER: Nine of 24 runs allowed this season (37.5%) have scored on home runs.
  • VS. BALTIMORE: Today marks first career appearance vs. Baltimore…Orioles are one of three teams he has not faced in career (also, Twins and Pirates).
  • AT CAMDEN YARDS: Today is first career appearance at Camden Yards…Becomes 27th different ballpark with a pitching appearance.
  • HALO DEBUT: Earned the win in Angels debut on April 2 at Oakland after working 6.0 shutout frames, allowing four hits and two walks with four strikeouts.
  • GOOD DAY: Is 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA (10 IP – 6 ER) in two day game starts this season…Last year, made six starts in day games for Dodgers and pitched to a 2.70 ERA (33.1 IP – 10 ER) and 31 strikeouts.
  • THE CHANGE: Last season, held opponents to a .179 (41/229) average against his changeup


YESTERDAY’S NEWS: The Orioles defeated the Angels last night, 3-1, in the third game of the four-game set at Oriole Park…The O’s lead the series, 2-1, and will look to clinch the victory in today’s finale.  Kyle Bradish earned the win after allowing one run on four hits (1 HR) with five strikeouts in a season-high 6.2 innings of work, his third quality start of the season and second in a row.

Austin Hays connected on his fifth home run of the season in the fifth inning, his first long ball since April 21 vs. Detroit.  Marked Baltimore’s 10th game allowing one or zero runs this season, fourth in the AL and tied for fifth in MLB; the O’s are 10-0 in such games.

WHAT’S TRENDING: The O’s have won 19 of their last 27 games, 22 of 31, and 24 of 34…The 28-15 overall record ranks second in MLB to start the season behind only the Tampa Bay Rays (32-12).

Last season, the Birds did not reach 28 wins until the 65th game on June 16 (28- 37); they did not reach 29 wins until the 66th game on June 17 (29-37).

The Orioles are 90-64 since June 1, 2022, a 95-win pace; the .584 winning percentage during that time is the second-best in the AL and fourth-best in MLB, trailing the Braves (.677, 105-50), Dodgers (.675, 106-51), and Astros (.632, 98-57).

AGAINST THE ANGELS: The O’s and Angels continue a seven-game season series today with the finale of a four-game set at Oriole Park…The Orioles will travel to Angel Stadium for three games from September 4-6…The Birds went 6-1 against the Angels in 2022, including sweeping a four-game series from July 7-10 at Camden Yards for the first time against the Angels since 2003.

FEELS GOOD TO BE HOME: The Orioles wrap up their longest homestand of the season today…The 11-day, 10-game homestand began with three games against the Rays from May 8-10 (2-1) before an off day on May 11 and continued with a three-game weekend series against the Pirates from May 12-14 (2-1) before the current four-game set against the Angels from May 15 through today (2-1)…The O’s are 6-3 through the first nine games and won four straight from May 9-13.

LOOKING AHEAD: The O’s hit the road for a seven-day, six-game road trip beginning tomorrow in Toronto, the first meeting between the O’s and Blue Jays this season… After an off day Monday, the Orioles make their first trip to Yankee Stadium this year with three games against the Yankees from May 23-25.

WHAT A RELIEF: The Baltimore bullpen owns an MLB-best 2.89 ERA (52 ER/161.2 IP)…Baltimore’s 2.22 reliever ERA (20 ER/81.0 IP) at home ranks second in the majors behind Toronto (2.12)…O’s relievers have 12 wins this season, tied with New York-AL for first in the AL and fourth in MLB, trailing Arizona, Cincinnati, and Miami (13)…The O’s are second in MLB with 192 strikeouts from the ‘pen, trailing Kansas City (207).

THE CANO SHOW: Yennier Cano has surrendered just four hits and one hit batter in 21.2 scoreless innings over 17 appearances to begin the season after being recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on April 14…He allowed his first extra-base hit of the year on a one-out double from ittsburgh’s Tucupita Marcano on Saturday…Opponents are slashing .061/.075/.076 (4-for-66) against him, all of which lead MLB pitchers with at least 15 appearances…His .150 OPS against is less than half of the next closest player (SD’s Josh Hader, .361).

Cano’s 17-game scoreless streak is the third-longest to begin a year by an O’s pitcher in team history (since 1954), trailing Donnie Hart (18 G) in 2016 and Will Ohman (25 G) in 2010.

His streak of 17 straight games without allowing a run or a walk is tied with Toronto’s Paul Quantrill (2001) for the second-longest to start a season since at least 1901, behind a 19-game streak by Houston’s Ryan Pressly to open the 2019 campaign.

He leads all O’s and ranks tied for eighth among all MLB pitchers with 1.9 bWAR, per Baseball Reference.

His sinker is worth -10 Run Value, the best pitch by an Oriole and tied for the fourth-best pitch in MLB, per Statcast.

His changeup has a Run Value of -4 and a 45.3 percent Whiff Rate, per Statcast; the pitch also has the second-highest Put Away percentage on the team at 36.2 percent and he has yet to allow a base hit with it.

LET BRYAN BAKE: After allowing a career-high-tying three earned runs on Opening Day in Boston, Bryan Baker has allowed just one earned run over his last 20 appearances (19.2 IP)…Among pitchers with at least 18.0 innings pitched since March 31, Baker’s 0.46 ERA (1 ER/19.2 IP) ranks second in MLB, behind only teammate Yennier Cano (0.00) and ahead of fellow O’s hurler Félix Bautista, whose 0.95 ERA (2 ER/19.0 IP) in that span ranks fifth.

Baker’s 21 appearances lead the team, rank tied for fourth in the AL, and tied for fifth in MLB.

According to Statcast, Baker ranks in the top six percent of MLB in xBA (.174) and xSLG (.270), the top 10 percent in strikeout rate (32.1%), and the top 12 percent in Hard-Hit Percentage (30.2%).  His changeup has a 69.2 percent strikeout rate, tied with Bautista’s splitter for the highest on the team, and a .058 xBA, the lowest on a pitch by an Oriole in 2023; it also has a 46.2 percent Whiff Rate, the second-highest on a pitch by an O’s hurler behind Bautista’s splitter (59.4%).

TOP GUNN: Gunnar Henderson has hit safely in five straight games for the first time in his career and has also reached base safely in eight straight games since May 9…In 15 May games, he has slashed .205/.340/.477 (9-for-44) with two doubles, two triples, two home runs, eight runs scored, four RBI, and nine walks compared to .189/.348/.311 (14-for-74) with three doubles, two home runs, 15 runs scored, four RBI, and 17 walks in his first 23 games of the season…Owns an .817 OPS in May compared to a .659 OPS in March/April…Has a 94.1 mph average exit velocity this homestand, per Statcast; his season average was 90.8 mph entering this stretch.

QUICK HITS: Scheduled to make his ninth appearance (eighth start) of the season, fifth start at home, and fifth career appearance (second start) against the Angels this afternoon…Went 7-7 with a 4.25 ERA (49 ER/103.2 IP) in 23 starts for the O’s in 2022…Made his first career start on April 10, 2022 at Tampa Bay; dealt the loss after allowing four runs on three hits (1 HR) with two walks and two strikeouts in 1.2 innings…Did not walk a batter in five consecutive starts from April 21 to May 15, 2022, becoming the only Oriole starting pitcher in franchise history (since 1954) to not walk a batter in five consecutive games…Allowed three earned runs-or-fewer in 17 straight starts from April 16 to July 15, 2022…Ended the 2022 season on the 15- day Injured List with right shoulder inflammation…Also spent time on the Injured List with lower left side discomfort in 2022…Originally selected by Minnesota in the 15th round of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft out of Cal State, San Bernardino before being taken by the Orioles in the Rule 5 Draft on December 10, 2020.

LAST TIME OUT: Won his third straight decision on May 13 vs. Pittsburgh… Worked a career-high-tying 7.0 scoreless innings (also 4/21/23 vs. DET) on one hit with two walks and a career-high eight strikeouts…Set a career high with 17 swings and misses…Retired 17 batters in a row after Carlos Santana’s single in the second inning before issuing a two-out walk to Santana in the seventh; became the first Oriole to retire 17 in a row since Kyle Bradish set down the first 17 hitters of the game on September 22, 2022 vs. Houston… Marked his second start of the year of at least 7.0 scoreless innings (also 4/21 vs. DET); is the only O’s starter to go 7.0 scoreless frames this season and one of 12 MLB pitchers with at least two such starts in 2023…Threw 96 pitches, 59 strikes.

WATCH ME WHIP: Wells enters play today leading MLB with a 0.72 WHIP… Also ranks among qualified pitchers in opponent on-base percentage (1st, .201), batting average (2nd, .152), H/9 (2nd, 4.79), OPS (4th, .518), and BB/9 (10th, 1.72)…He posted a 0.72 WHIP in April, tied for the seventh-lowest mark by an O’s pitcher in a calendar month in club history (since 1954) and lowest since Scott McGregor recorded a franchise-record 0.61 WHIP in May 1978…Wells issued just three walks and allowed 18 hits in 29.0 innings through his first five appearances (four starts) in April.

CAREER AGAINST THE ANGELS: Making his fifth career appearance (second start) against the Angels…Did not factor into the decision in his last start against Los Angeles-AL on July 8, 2022 at Oriole Park, allowing three runs on six hits (1 HR) with two walks and three strikeouts in 4.0 innings of work… Threw 81 pitches, 49 strikes…Owns an 0-0 record with a 3.38 ERA (3 ER/8.0 IP) through his first four career appearances (one start) against the Angels.

CAREER AGAINST THE AL WEST: Making his 13th career appearance (fourth start) against the AL West today…Owns a 1-1 record with a 3.60 ERA (10 ER/25.0 IP) and one save through his first 12 career outings against the division…Opposing batters slashed .185/.227/.359 (17-for-97) in those games…Did not factor into the decision in his last appearance against the AL West on April 3 at Texas, working 5.0 scoreless innings with two strikeouts in relief…Threw 47 pitches, 33 strikes.

LOVING LEFTIES: Opposing left-handed batters are slashing .180/.221/.320 (58-for-322) against Wells through his first 75 career games (30 starts)…He has recorded more career strikeouts against lefties (86) than hits allowed (58)…Owns the third-lowest on-base percentage and fifth-lowest batting average to lefties in MLB since he debuted in 2021 (min. 300 BFP).

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