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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Angels series preview

The Cubs are in Anaheim for the first time in seven years.

Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

The last time the Cubs played in Anaheim, it was the Opening Series of 2016. The Cubs took two games, 9-0 and 6-1, and you know what happened that year.

As the SB Nation Angels site is no longer being updated, here are some thoughts about the Angels from Jessica DeLine, who runs the Angels site Crashing The Pearly Gates:

The newly retooled Angels have a much different look than the team they put on the field in 2022. The elephant in the room is that Shohei Ohtani wants to win and he’s in the last year of his contract as an Angels. With that in mind, Perry Minasian set out to rebuild the roster. He did just that with varying degrees of success. Tyler Anderson was added to the rotation after coming off a career year with the Dodgers last season. So far he has not nearly lived up to expectations. Carlos Estevez and Matt Moore were also added to the bullpen, both of whom have been lights out – but Moore landed on the IL recently with a Grade 2 oblique strain. Bats were added in the form of Brandon Drury, Gio Urshela, Hunter Renfroe, and Brett Phillips. Fan favorite Phillips is now gone and the other three have had varying degrees of success with Urshela leading the way in terms of raw ability to get on base.

Despite the desire to win, the Angels have hovered around .500 for much of the year. Sometimes it’s hard to know who this team is when they go from sweeping the Red Sox to getting swept by the Marlins in back to back series. They hit, then they don’t pitch. They pitch, then they don’t hit. They just haven’t seemed to get firing on all cylinders for any length of time.

Some exciting newcomers have joined the squad since the season began in the form of Zach Neto — the 2022 draftee who has become the Angels’ flashy regular shortstop — and Ben Joyce, who blows 102-103 heat at the best of MLB hitters coming out of the pen. Logan O’Hoppe, the rookie catcher also broke camp with the Angels but had a season-ending injury in April after starting the season on a tear. Oft-injured Anthony Rendon is also on the IL as of this writing.

These teams haven’t played each other since 2019 so this is going to be a fun series to watch.

Fun fact

The Cubs have played only seven previous games on the road against the Angels. They have played fewer at the home of only one current team: the Rays (5).

As noted above, Cubs’ last visit to Anaheim was for two games to open the 2016 season. Their starting batting order in the second game, on April 5, 2016: Fowler CF, Heyward RF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist 2B, Soler DH, Russell SS, Szczur LF, Ross C. Fowler and Rizzo hit 2-run homers; Szczur, a solo shot. Jon Lester (seven innings), Trevor Cahill (two-thirds), Travis Wood (one-third) and Pedro Strop (one inning) combined on a no-walk four-hit shutout. (Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)

Probable pitching matchups

Tuesday: Hayden Wesneski, RHP (2-2, 4.81 ERA, 1.279 WHIP, 5.65 FIP) vs. Tyler Anderson, LHP (2-1, 5.47 ERA, 1.595 WHIP, 5.35 FIP)

Wednesday: Jameson Taillon, RHP (1-3, 7.05 ERA, 1.514 WHIP, 4.12 FIP) vs. Jaime Barria, RHP (2-2, 1.59 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 3.11 FIP)

Thursday: Drew Smyly, LHP (5-3, 3.56 ERA, 1.112 WHIP, 3.80 FIP) vs. Reid Detmers, LHP (0-5, 5.15 ERA, 1.539 WHIP, 3.62 FIP)

Times & TV channels

Tuesday: 8:38 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network, MLB Network (outside Cubs and Angels market territories)

Wednesday: 8:38 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network, MLB Network (outside Cubs and Angels market territories)

Thursday: 8:38 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network, MLB Network (outside Cubs and Angels market territories)


The Cubs are 11-7 vs. LH starters this year. The Angels are sending two LH starters against them. Thus, I believe the Cubs can take two of three.

Up next

The Cubs continue their trip up the California coast to San Francisco, where they will face the Giants in a three-game series beginning Friday evening.


How many games will the Cubs win against the Angels?

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  • 12%
    (17 votes)
  • 43%
    (61 votes)
  • 34%
    (48 votes)
  • 10%
    (14 votes)
140 votes total Vote Now