The Los Angeles Angels and St. Louis Cardinals will duel in a Sunday night game to cap off a three-game weekend series. Los Angeles will try and salvage the final game of the set after dropping the first two games by a combined score of 9-3. Both teams have fared pretty well in the month of June this far, with the Angels going 11-10 and the Cards 12-8. The Angels are all but out of their division race, but only four games back of the Wild Card. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are a game out of the National League Central and only half a game out of the Wild Card. The Cardinals would love to get the sweep to stay on track with the Cubs and Brewers in the Central.
For the Angels, Tyler Skaggs will take the hill for his 14th start of the season. So far, he is 6-6 with a 4.61 ERA. Skaggs has had a pretty up-and-down 2019 campaign up until this point. In five of his starts, he has given up four or more earned runs, with only one of them going deeper than five innings. On the flip side, he has given up two or less earned runs in six of his starts.
Most recently, he dominated the Blue Jays in Toronto, going 7 1/3 innings and giving up three hits (one being a home run) and striking out six. It was his second straight win after not recording one since May 13.
The area where Skaggs gets in trouble is his road splits, unfortunately. He is 4-4 with a 5.27 ERA away from Los Angeles. Every home run he has given up this season has come on the road, and his wOBA is 50 points higher on the road as well. While Skaggs has not faced the Cards in six years, he is pretty good at interleague play. He has a career 3.72 ERA in 29 innings.
For the Cardinals, Miles Mikolas will get the ball to make his 16th start of the season. In his first 15 starts, he is 5-7 with a 4.48 ERA. Albeit against the Marlins, Mikolas’ last outing was terrific and sorely needed. It was his first win since the first week of May against the Phillies. He went six innings on Monday against Miami and didn’t give up a single run or walk.
That seems to be Mikolas’ M.O. in his career. He’s not a big strikeout guy, only 6.43 K/9 in his career, but he walks virtually no batters. His BB/9 is 1.60 in 2019, and BB% is only 4.3%. Opposite of Skaggs, Mikolas’ home splits are outstanding. Every single metric is miles better when pitching in St. Louis, including his ERA going from 7.76 on the road to 2.55 at home.
Batter To Watch
Give me a hundred Angels games to cover, and a hundred times Mike Trout will be the batter to watch. He is an absolutely other-worldly talent, and even with all the praise and awards he received, he is still probably the most underrated player in the game. He’s batting .306 with 22 home runs and 56 RBI this year and has racked up 5.3 WAR already. Lefty or righty it doesn’t matter, but Mikolas is a righty so let’s look there. It’s his better of the two splits (his lefty numbers are terrific as well), hitting .315 with 17 home runs this year.
As terrific as Trout is, Mikolas’ numbers at home are insane, and the Cardinals are hot. Give Pujols the standing ovation, but give St Louis the win. Take the Cardinals.