The Yankees make their first trip of the season to the west coast for three games against the Angels which means late games here in the Eastern time zone. The Yankees won two of three against the Angels in the Bronx the last time they met. They hope to take this series from the Halos as well.
Probable Pitching Match-ups
Yankees @ Angels
Who’s Hot?: Howie Kendrick has been on an absolute tear of late. Since the beginning of the week, Kendrick has hit well over .350. He has a couple doubles and has driven in a few runs in that span as well. Another unlikely hot hitter this week was Collin Cowgill. He has done even better then Kendrick hitting close to .400 with a few RBI. For the Yankees, Ellsbury and Teixeira are on fire. Mark Teixeira has four homers in the last week and Jacoby Ellsbury has not stopped hitting since Opening Day.
Who’s Not?: Even though it’s early, Albert Pujols is having a big year so far. Unfortunately, the last seven days have not been as kind. The first baseman is hitting just under .230 with no homers and just a couple RBI on his resume. The biggest struggles for the Angels this year have mainly involved Raul Ibanez. That hasn’t changed. In the same span, Ibanez is hitting under .150 with no homers. His season average now stands at .149. Ouch. For the Yankees, Jeter and McCann continue to hit poorly especially over the last seven days. Both are hitting under .200 over that time.
*What To Watch For*
David Phelps will get the call in the first game. Not many Angels have faced Phelps, but two that stand out are Erick Aybar and Howie Kendrick. Each are 3-for-6 against Phelps. One of those three hits being a homerun for Aybar. Interesting enough, Pujols is just 1 for 7 against the 27-year old.
Last time Hiroki Kuroda faced the Angels, he got hammered. That’s being nice. Many Angels have decent numbers against Kuroda which explains why he got hit so hard when he faced them in the Bronx. Pujols is 8-for-25 (.320) against the with a couple home runs against Japanese pitcher. Ian Stewart hits him very well also going 8-for-16 (.500) with one homer and six RBI. However, if Ibanez wants to get going soon, it most likely won’t be against the Kuroda. Against the 39-year-old, he is just 3-for-17 (.176) with no power numbers to go with it.
The final start of the series goes to Vidal Nuno. He did not pitch terrible against the Angels last time but he didn’t pitch great either. Since there were so few at-bats against Nuno from Angels’ hitters, I combined all their stats. Seven Angels hitters have seen Nuno and have gone a combined 4-for-14 with a homer and two RBI. In fact, only three of the seven have hit safely against the left-hander and they are Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, and Chris Iannetta.