December 9, 2023

Series Preview: Angels at Phillies, June 3 – 5


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The Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout show has made its way to the City of Brotherly Love!

Trout returns to his hometown as Ohtani makes his first trip to the birth of liberty as the Phillies look to turn things around this weekend against the Angels as Rob Thomson makes his managerial debut.

The Phils were supposed to match up with the Halos on the first weekend of July in 2020, but we all know what happened with that. So two years later, we get the treat of seeing two of the most prominent baseball players in the world.

Here are some storylines for this highly-anticipated series:

Welcoming Ohtani

All of you know who this guy is, but if you do not, here you go. The 27-year-old star from Japan, Shohei Ohtani, is the first real two-way star (pitcher and hitter) since Babe Ruth over a hundred years ago. Ohtani won the American League MVP last season when he slugged a slash line of .257/.372/.592 with a .965 OPS. In 537 at-bats, Ohtani clubbed 136 hits, 26 doubles, a league-leading eight triples, smashed 46 home runs (just second in the MLB), and recorded 100 RBIs from the left side of the plate. So far this season in 189 at-bats, Ohtani has a slash line of .249/.324/.471 with a .795 OPS including eleven homers and 32 RBIs.

Not only is he doing this from the plate, but he can do it from the mound as well. Unfortunately (or fortunately) we will not see the 6-foot-4 209-pound beast on the bump this weekend. So far this season in 47.1 innings, Ohtani is 3-3 with a 3.99 ERA with 65 strikeouts and a 1.16 WHIP.

2021 AL MVP Ohtani will match up against the 2021 National League MVP in Bryce Harper. Both will be sticking as the designated hitter this weekend in Philadelphia.

Slumping Halos

The Angels’ best hitters have been in a bit of a funk.

Trout, who is returning home for the first time since 2014, has been the biggest standout of the group. In the past six games, he is hitting just .160 with a .192 OBP and .320 SLG. It should be interesting if a switch goes off in Trout’s body as he returns to his hometown. Although looking at the latest struggles from the Phillies, Trout may be able to turn it around.

Taylor Ward is also struggling. He has a slash line of .154/.267/.462 in his last six. And that Ohtani guy that I just talked about, he is also putting up a lousy .176 batting average in his last six, despite a .952 OPS.

What’s up with Bryce?

Harper was scratched from the lineup Wednesday night after he claimed he felt some soreness in the forearm the past couple of days. Harper does not think it’s from continuing to play or that it means he is not moving in the right direction and he seemed unconcerned about it. He said the goal is to play Friday night in the series opener, which he has acheived. It may affect his swing, however.

This is something to take note of as he was supposed to miss just two games after his shot a few weeks ago and ended up missing five and now two weeks later he is missing games again merely by DHing. This could be a constant issue moving forward. Especially in a snakebit world of 12.5 back on June 3rd and a finger injury means 2 ½ months on the IR.

Also, Jean Segura was placed on the 10-day IL with a fracture of his right index finger. He will be out for 10-12 weeks as he needs surgery. The Phillies recalled LHP Cristopher Sánchez and INF Nick Maton from Lehigh Valley (AAA) Wednesday as Roman Quinn was DFA’d.

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Zach Eflin (RHP, 1-4, 4.60 ERA) vs. Noah Syndergaard (RHP, 4-3, 4.02 ERA)

Game 2: Zack Wheeler (RHP, 3-3, 3.16 ERA) vs. Patrick Sandoval (LHP, 3-1, 2.70 ERA)

Game 3: Kyle Gibson (RHP, 3-2, 3.83 ERA) vs. Michael Lorenzen (RHP, 5-2, 3.19 ERA)

The numbers

  • Run Differential:
  • Phillies: 1
  • Angels: 34
  • Run Scored Per Game:
  • Phillies: 4.51
  • Angels: 4.72
  • Runs Allowed Per Game:
  • Phillies: 4.49
  • Angels: 4.04

Game times and broadcasts

  • Friday, June 3, at 7:05 ET NBC Sports Philadelphia, 94.1 WIP, WTTM 1680
  • Saturday, June 4, at 7:15 ET on FOX, 94.1 WIP, WTTM 1680
  • Sunday, June 5, at 1:35 ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, 94.1 WIP, WTTM 1680

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