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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Angels series preview

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The Cubs head into another interleague series.

Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

There are lots of familiar faces on the Angels, even though the Cubs see them in the regular season just once every three years. Former Cubs Tommy La Stella, Trevor Cahill and Felix Pena are all on the active roster, along with ex-Cub minor leaguer Justin Bour. The Angels also feature several former N.L. Central rivals: Jonathan Lucroy, Matt Harvey, Zack Cozart and Albert Pujols. So it’ll be a familiar feel this weekend at Wrigley Field. Here’s hoping TLS gets a warm welcome back.

We’d like to thank TLS for going 3-for-9 (all three hits home runs) against the Brewers. You can stop now, Tommy.

For more on the Angels, who are riding a six-game winning streak, I asked Jessica DeLine, manager of our SB Nation Angels site Halos Heaven, to update us on her team.

Outside of Mike Trout, the Angels offense has struggled greatly to start the season. Granted, Mike Trout alone can be enough to burn a team – and he already has been directly responsible for at least two Angels wins this year. Outside of Trout, the offense has been pretty lackluster. Brian Goodwin has been a surprising addition who took Justin Upton’s place and as of this writing even has a higher batting average than Trout. The Angels’ third best hitter is David Fletcher though for some reason they keep playing Tommy La Stella over him (against righties).

Starting pitching has been somewhat unpredictable for the Angels, though Trevor Cahill and Tyler Skaggs have pitched well. Early in the season, the Angels strung-together bullpen has been one of the best in the majors despite not having any huge names outside of Cody Allen. A solid bullpen combined with a team that has been good at scoring runs later can spell trouble for teams who are behind later in games.

According to this article, Trout, who suffered a groin strain Tuesday in Anaheim, hopes to be able to play in this series.

Fun fact

The Cubs swept four games from the Angels in 2016, two in Anaheim and two at Wrigley Field, and outscored them 23-3 in those four contests.

Pitching matchups

Friday: Cole Hamels, LHP (1-0, 5.73 ERA, 1.364 WHIP, 4.64 FIP) vs. Tyler Skaggs, LHP (1-1, 2.45 ERA, 1.091 WHIP, 3.46 FIP)

Saturday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (0-2, 6.48 ERA, 2.640 WHIP, 7.29 FIP) vs. Chris Stratton, RHP (0-1, 6.48 ERA, 2.040 WHIP, 6.25 FIP)

Sunday: Tyler Chatwood, RHP (0-0, 6.00 ERA, 1.833 WHIP, 5.76 FIP) vs. Trevor Cahill, RHP (1-1, 3.50 ERA, 0.889 WHIP, 3.89 FIP)

Times & TV channels

Friday: 1:20 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Chicago, MLB Network (outside Cubs and Angels market territories)

Saturday: 1:20 p.m. CT, ABC7 Chicago

Sunday: 1:20 p.m. CT, WGN

Prediction

The Angels are always an enigma. Since 2009 they have neither won nor lost 90 games, except for their anomaly of a 2014 98-win season from which they were dispatched in a division series sweep by the Royals. We do thank them for sweeping the Brewers this week. On the other hand, even though they are on a six-game winning streak, that came after a 1-5 start. The Angels have won only one road game and this is their first foray outside the Pacific time zone. They also have had only one game-time temperature lower than 60. Welcome to Chicago in April, Angels!

The Cubs will win this series two games to one.

Up next

The Cubs head on the road for a single series, three games against the Marlins in Miami beginning Monday evening. They will likely be happy to get out of Chicago weather for a few days.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Angels?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    3
    (37 votes)
  • 48%
    2
    (59 votes)
  • 16%
    1
    (20 votes)
  • 4%
    0
    (5 votes)
121 votes total Vote Now