The Toronto Blue Jays hit the road for their first West Coast trip of the season to take on the struggling Los Angeles Angels.
The Toronto Blue Jays (3-12) are coming off a 2-1 series loss at the hands of the Boston Red Sox, and currently the worst start in MLB. Los Angeles (7-10) is coming off a 3-1 series loss to the Houston Astros, and are losers of 8 of their last 9.
History: The Blue Jays and the Angels have played each other a total of 406 times, with the advantage in the all-time series being split evenly at 203-203. Toronto has a 92-111 record on the road the versus the Angels since 1977. Toronto dropped the 2016 season series 4-3.
Pitching: 2017 Totals
TOR – (Starters) 3.93 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 1.27 HR/9, 8.8 K/9, .253/.305/.437
LAA – (Starters) 4.88 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 1.76 HR/9, 8.1 K/9, .265/.322/.460
TOR – (Relievers) 5.05 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 1.21 HR/9, 8.5 K/9, .254/.332/.420
LAA – (Relievers) 3.66 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 1.04 HR/9, 8.3 K/9, .223/.280/.378
Offenses: 2017 Totals
Toronto – R/G 3.00 – .213/.276/.323 – 33 XBH – 9.1 K/G
L.A.A. – R/G 3.35 – .238/.305/.359 – 37 XBH – 8.2 K/G
First Pitch – 10:07 EST
M. Latos RHP (2017: 0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. A. Meyer RHP (2017: 1-2, 4.57 ERA)
The Blue Jays will lean on the veteran, recent AAA call up, Mat Latos, to make the start tonight in Anaheim. Thus far this season has made 2 starts for the Buffalo Bisons to the tune of a (0-0, 1.00 ERA) over two games.
Over his career the journeyman starter has a (1-0, 1.89 ERA, 0.947 WHIP, 6.6 K/9) record against the Angels, with one start coming in 2016 where he put together a 6.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R start for a win.
Latos has pitched at Angel Stadium in the past, but has only 2.1 IP, 2H of work on his resume.
The Angels will counter with form Minnesota Twin, Alex Meyer. Meyer has a (0-0, 4.83 ERA, 1.600 WHIP, 10.8 K/9) record over three starts this season in AAA, and has yet to appear at the MLB level this season.
The 27-year-old has a faced the Blue Jays during his, and earned a win with the Angels in the process. His only appearance was a 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R performance last season.
Meyer has a decent time during his career pitching at Angel Stadium, as his (1-1, 4.15 ERA, 1.385 WHIP, 10.4 K/9) record can attest.
First Pitch – 9:07 EST
C. Lawrence RHP (2017: 0-1, 13.50 ERA) vs. T. Skaggs LHP (2017: 0-1, 5.19 ERA)
The Saturday game will see Toronto lean on another AAA call-up in, Casey Lawrence. Lawrence has made a few appearance with the big club this season, all in relief. He hasn’t has much success, but the Blue Jays are hoping he can turn things around with this start.
Since this is his rookie season, the career minor leaguer has never faced any of the Angels’ hitters at the MLB level.
Los Angeles will hand the ball the their left-hander, Tyler Skaggs, to oppose Lawrence. Skaggs is off to a rocky start to his season, and currently holds a (0-1, 5.19 ERA, 1.385 WHIP, 9.9 K/9) record for 2017, over 3 starts.
The California native currently holds a (1-2, 4.34 ERA, 1.286 WHIP, 3.9 K/9) record over his career when facing the Toronto Blue Jays. This also includes a 4 IP, 4 ER performance from 2016.
Skaggs has not pitched well at home thus far for the Angels, as his (1-4, 4.69 ERA, 1.423 WHIP, 7.4 K/9) record shows. Thus far, in 2017, he has made one start at Angels Stadium, putting up a 5.0 IP, 8 H, 5 ER showing.
First Pitch – 3:37 EST
M. Stroman RHP (2017: 1-2, 4.05 ERA) vs. J. Chavez RHP (2017: 1-2, 3.71 ERA)
The Sunday afternoon game will see Toronto get back to their regular arms in the roation as they send, Marcus Stroman, out the mound. Stroman had a great start to his season altered with a poor performance against the Red Sox, but still has a respectable record of (1-2, 4.05 ERA, 1.400 WHIP, 5.9 K/9).
During his career the hyper-competitive pitchers has made three appearances, including two starts against the Angels for a (0-1, 8.74 ERA, 2.118 WHIP, 7.1 K/9) record. His one start from 2016 resulted in a loss, but was a solid 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 ER performance.
At Angel Stadium, Stroman has a (0-1, 6.52 ERA, 1.862 WHIP, 6.5 K/9) record; however his quality start stated above did come there in 2016.
Toronto will see one-time Blue Jay, Jesse Chavez, take the hill for the Angels on Saturday. Chavez who signed with the Angels during he off-season, has gotten off to a (1-2, 3.71 ERA, 1.235 WHIP, 7.4 K/9) start with his new club.
When facing the Blue Jays he has a (0-3, 6.94 ERA, 1.543 WHIP, 10.0 K/9) record, but has not faced Toronto since 2015.
Over his career, Chavez, has a (0-3, 2.62 ERA, 0.990 WHIP, 7.1 K/9) record at Angel Stadium over 10 appearances, including four starts. So far his season he hasn’t fared quite as well with a (1-1, 5.40 ERA, 1.200 WHIP, 8.1 K/9) record over two starts.
First Pitch – 10:07 EST
F. Liriano LHP (2017: 1-1, 5.11 ERA) vs. R. Nolasco RHP (2017: 1-2, 4.76 ERA)
For the final game of the series Toronto will have, Francisco Liriano, take the mound. Liriano, has bounced back quite well from his disastrous start to the season to post a (1-1, 5.11 ERA, 1.541 WHIP, 12.4 K/9) record.
Over his lengthy career the left-hander has a (2-6, 6.20 ERA, 1.770 WHIP, 6.9 K/9) record when facing the Angels. This includes a (0-2, 7.71 ERA, 2.357 WHIP, 5.8 K/9) over two starts last season. It must be stated that one start came with each of the Pirates and Blue Jays.
Liriano, has a career record of (2-4, 5.24 ERA, 1.602 WHIP, 7.1 K/9) when pitching at Angel Stadium. This includes his one start there in 2016, where he put up a strong 6 IP, 6H, 4R, 2 ER performance.
Facing off with Liriano will be 12-year-veteran, Ricky Nolasco. Nolasco, who was the opening day starter for the Angels has put up a (1-2, 4.76 ERA, 1.324 WHIP, 6.8 K/9) record to start the season.
The right-hander has a (1-0, 3.70 ERA, 1.274 WHIP, 10.4 K/9) record over five starts when facing Toronto. This includes a 6 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 7 K performance in his one start against them in 2016.
Over his career, Nolasco, has a (4-5, 4.26 ERA, 1.177 WHIP, 7.0 K/9) record when pitching at Angel Stadium. Including a (0-1, 5.73 ERA, 1.182 WHIP, 8.2 K/9) record over two starts this season.
*All Pitcher vs Batter Stats provided by ESPN
**Featured Image Credit: bfick (flickr) – UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
THANK YOU FOR VISITING JAYS FROM THE COUCH! CHECK US OUT ON TWITTER @JAYSFROMCOUCH AND INSTAGRAM. LIKE US FACEBOOK. BE SURE TO CATCH THE LATEST FROM JAYS FROM THE COUCH RADIO.
Wade is a long time baseball fan who has been involved with the game for over 30 years. Including as a former college player, amateur pitching coach, and blogger.