Wednesday is the end of a three-game set between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Los Angeles Angels. Pittsburgh is having a terrible month of August so far to accompany their terrible season. They had lost eight of their 10 games coming into Tuesday’s game but now have two straight wins over the Angels. On the season they are 50-69 and 13 games out of the last Wild Card spot in the National League.
The Angels are also 2-8 in their last 10 games but have a little bit of a better overall record. They are 58-63 in 2019 but are still 13 games out of the last Wild Card in the American League and 20.5 games out in the American League West. It seems that both teams’ playoff hopes are dusted, barring a New York Mets-type run.
For the Pirates, Chris Archer will make his 22nd start of the season. So far, Archer is 3-8 with a 5.23 earned run average. He has been nowhere near the pitcher that the Pirates thought they were getting when they traded away Austin Meadows, Tyler Glasnow, and Shane Baz. Meadows and Glasnow have shown to be legit stars in the Tampa Bay lineup, and Baz has shown promise in the minors.
Meanwhile, Archer has a BB/9 of 4.20 and a HR/9 of almost 2. It’s been a disaster of a season for Archer, who hasn’t recorded a win since June 6. He has been pitching better of late, however. In four of his last six starts, he has given a quality start (six or more innings, with three or fewer runs given up). However, his road splits are pretty garbage. Away from PNC Park, Archer holds a 6.66 (unlucky) earned run average.
For the Angels, Dillon Peters will take the mound for his ninth game and fourth start. Peters has pitched well for the Angels so far this season to the tune of a 2-1 record with a 3.45 ERA. His last start came against the Boston Red Sox on Aug. 8, when he went six innings and gave up three runs and ultimately took the loss in a 3-0 game.
A big problem for Peters so far has been giving up the home run ball. He’s surrendered seven homers in 31 innings pitched, and his HR/FB is an egregious 19.4 percent.
Batters To Watch
Josh Bell is an absolute monster, and if the Pirates were any good, he would be in the middle of the MVP conversation. He’s slashing .286/.368/.595 with 30 home runs and 95 runs batted in. Those home run and RBI numbers could be monstrous by the end of the season.
The Angels are playing? We need a batter to watch? One hundred times out of one hundred, the answer is going to be Mike Trout. Trout is going to shatter his career high in home runs, 41, as he is currently at 39 with 93 runs batted in. Trout is the odds-on favorite to win another AL MVP award at -1000, and the next closest is DJ LeMahieu at +800, according to Sportsbettingdime.com.
This is a tough one, but we’re going to go with the Angels here. Peters has pitched well in a small sample size, and, you know, Mike Trout. Take Los Angeles.