RANGERS (25-23) AT ANGELS (22-28)
10:07 p.m. ET; FS-W, MLBN, FSSW, MLB.TV
Mike Minor will take the mound for the Texas Rangers on Saturday night against the Los Angeles Angels, and that’s bad news for the Angels.
Minor seems to have the Angels’ number – he’s never lost to them in six career games (four starts), going 3-0 with a 2.39 ERA.
That includes a complete-game shutout on April 16, one of five shutouts in the American League this season, and the first of Minor’s career. Minor allowed just three singles and two walks in that game while getting through nine innings in 103 pitches.
Though that was Minor’s best game of the season, he’s been good against other teams as well, ranking among the league’s best in several categories.
Overall, he’s 5-3 with a 2.64 ERA, and his WAR (wins above replacement) is 3.26, tied with Angels center fielder Mike Trout for third in the major leagues among all players.
That kind of resume has given Minor the ace’s tag on the Rangers’ pitching staff.
“He wanted to be the guy,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “He’s just committed himself to saying, ‘I don’t like that people think I’m not a No. 1.’ He wants to prove that. He’s taken ownership of that on this staff, and obviously, he has proven it every time he’s gone out.”
Minor has been especially good at home in Texas – he recently set a club record for consecutive scoreless innings at Globe Life Park in Arlington with 29, which included the nine shutout innings against the Angels.
But on the road, Minor has not been as good, going 2-2 with a 3.30 ERA.
Mike Trout (4 for 11, one homer) and Zack Cozart (4 for 15, two homers, one triple) have hit Minor well.
Tyler Skaggs will start for the Angels, with the left-hander coming off a loss in his last start to Kansas City. Overall Skaggs is 4-4 with a 5.01 ERA, but he’s been better at home, going 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA in three starts.
An issue for Skaggs this season has been his inability to pitch deep into games. He’s lasted at least six innings just twice in eight starts. And it’s been an issue for the entire Angels starting rotation, as their nine quality starts (at least 6 innings, 3 earned runs or fewer) are the lowest in the majors.
“There’s some concern, for sure,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. “Pitching is a big part of winning baseball games. … We need guys to pitch well to win games. And when they don’t pitch well, we generally lose them. So it’s a concern.”
Against some of the Rangers hitters, it’s been feast or famine for Skaggs. Shin-Soo Choo is 8 for 16 with four doubles and Logan Forsythe is 5 for 10 with two doubles against him, but Rougned Odor is 0 for 17. In his career, Skaggs is 5-2 with a 4.80 ERA in 11 starts against Texas.
After Texas’ 4-3 win on Friday, both the Rangers and Angels are riding five-game streaks – the Rangers have won five in a row and the Angels have lost five in a row.
–Field Level Media