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Series Preview: Twins take on Shohei Ohtani and the Angels in Anaheim

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Fernando Romero vs. Ohtani is going to be amazing.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Minnesota Twins Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Riding a five game winning streak, the Twins are in Anaheim to take on the Angels and Shohei Ohtani in a four game series. The Twins were pretty serious in their pursuit of Ohtani last winter, but it wasn’t in the cards.

Ohtani, the “Japanese Babe Ruth”, has lived up to the hype thus far. He pitches! He hits! And he does both pretty doggone well! He is batting .333/.385/.617 with four home runs. He has a 4.10 ERA and a 10.9 K/9. Somehow fate has conspired to match him up against the Twins’ own rookie phenom Fernando Romero on Sunday, and I couldn’t be more excited! Romero hasn’t given up a run in either of his big-league starts. This match-up could seriously end up as a preview of the AL Rookie of the Year race, although there is a guy in New York who will be getting votes too.

Ohtani isn’t the only good thing going on for the Angels right now though. They have won a bunch of games, and are making things in the AL West very interesting, at only half a game behind Houston. Andrelton Simmons has a top-five batting average in baseball, and Mike Trout is second in homers and slugging percentage. Albert Pujols is old, but still an impressive hitter, who had the 3000th hit of his career. At least he won’t set the milestone against us, like he did for his 600th home run last year. While the Angels’ pitching staff isn’t full of big names (outside of Ohtani), Garrett Richards and Tyler Skaggs have both been pretty decent for them.

Speaking of Richards, he is slated to start the first game of the series, opposite Jose Berrios. Richards currently leads the Angels in pitcher wins, and brings a 3.93 ERA and 3.88 FIP into the series. Here is how the Twins have performed against the defacto Angels’ ace: (by the way, all of these charts are courtesy of baseball-reference.com)

Berrios has similar pitching numbers, which will make this an interesting match up. His ERA is 3.98, and his FIP is 3.55 for the season. Here is Berrios versus the Angels

Game Two’s projected starters are Lance Lynn for the Twins, and Tyler Skaggs for the Angels. Lynn’s terrible April is well documented, but he looked significantly better in his last outing, going six innings and only surrendering two runs. Lynn currently owns a 7.68 ERA and 5.45 FIP. Here is the damage the Angels have done to him:

Skaggs has started the season with career best numbers, and looks to have turned a corner for the Angels. His ERA is 3.08, and his FIP is 2.73 in seven starts. The only Twins he has faced are former Astros, but here are the numbers:

The third game will be started for the Twins by Kyle Gibson. Bryz just looked at the improvements Gibson has made this season, and the results are impressive. His ERA is down to 3.49 and his FIP is 3.10. He’s seen the Angels quite a few times over the years, and the results are below:

Gibson’s opponent is currently TBD, but per Jeff Miller, likely to be Nick Tropeano. Tropeano is currently on the DL, but is eligible to be reactivated for this game. He has a 3.42 ERA, outperforming his 4.38 FIP by a bit. Here is how the Twins have hit against him:

And, of course, we have now come full-circle. Game four, on Sunday, will be the marque affair of Ohtani and Romero. Obviously neither rookie has any big-league appearances against the other team.

Pitching Match-ups:

Game 1: Thursday, May 10th; 9:07 pm CDT — Jose Berrios RHP vs Garrett Richards RHP

Game 2: Friday, May 11th; 9:07 pm CDT — Lance Lynn RHP vs Tyler Skaggs LHP

Game 3: Saturday, May 12th; 8:07 pm CDT — Kyle Gibson RHP vs TBD

Game 4: Sunday, May 13th; 3:07 pm CDT — Fernando Romero RHP vs Shohei Ohtani RHP

Notes:

  • Thursday’s game is on FS1 nationwide
  • It sounds very likely that Byron Buxton will be back for this series! It is much less likely, however, that we will get to see Miguel Sano.
  • Remember Luke Bard? The Angels took him in the rule-5 draft this winter, but he was unable to stick in their bullpen, and has been returned to the Twins organization.
  • An old friend, catcher Rene Rivera, is with the Angels this year. Another old friend, RHP Alex Meyer, is currently on their 60-day DL.

Poll

How many games will the Twins win against the Angels?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    4
    (19 votes)
  • 30%
    3
    (104 votes)
  • 38%
    2
    (131 votes)
  • 14%
    1
    (49 votes)
  • 10%
    0
    (34 votes)
337 votes total Vote Now