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Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics Series Preview

The Los Angeles Angels have gained some ground in the American League West and looking to be heading for sunnier days as they take on the Oakland Athletics in a key three game series.

The Los Angeles Angels have gained some ground in the American League West and looking to be heading for sunnier days as they take on the Oakland Athletics in a key three game series.

Now sitting one game above .500 at 33-32, they swept two of the weaker teams in baseball in the Kansas City Royals and Arizona Diamondbacks.

They face a tougher test in Oakland though who is 40-27 and leads the AL West by two games over the Houston Astros and six games over the Angels.

What Makes the Athletics So Tough?

Oakland has hit 85 home runs this season, seventh in Major League Baseball. The Athletics are 8-2 in their last 10 games with a .266 batting average, a 2.53 ERA and a plus 26 run differential.

Matt Olson leads the club with 18, homers averaging one every 12 at bats.Olson has his team-leading 17th and 18th homers of the year Sunday.

Matt Chapman, the other Matt in Oakland, has 12 hits in 40 at-bats (.306 AVG), including three doubles, two homers and eight RBI in the month of June.

Chapman was hitting .203/.315/.341 with six doubles, five homers and 21 RBI in April and May. He had walked 31 times and struck out in 70 at-bats.

Chapman put the boots to the Kansas City Royals with seven hits in 13 at-bats in their weekend series with three doubles, two homers and five RBI and one strike out.

The Athletics though are 10-13 against A.L. West teams in 2021.

What Do The Angels Bring?

The Angels and their offence bring a lot in this six game win streak, all without Mike Trout. Trout has been sidelined by a calf injury since May 17, with the Angels posting a 14-9 mark since.

Who then is providing the Angels with much needed offence? Max Stassi has returned from injury and been on a tear. Stassi hit a 440-foot homer to center against the Diamondbacks on the weekend.

Between a sprained thumb in April and a concussion in May, he is starting to get going. He as a .339 Batting Average, Five Home Runs, and OPS Of 1.042 in 62 at bats. He is also the American League Player Of The Week.

Jared Walsh has a .293/.363/.556 slash line with 43 RBI, 34 runs scored and two stolen bases over 251 plate appearances. With Albert Pujols release and subsequent move to the Dodgers, first base now belongs to Walsh.

Shohei Ohtani continues to be the true Angels MVP candidate and All-Star with 17 home runs and a slugging percentage of .608.

He has a .961 OPS, .353 On-Base Percentage and a WAR of 3.8. He has also struck out 68 batters in 47⅓ innings with a 2.85 ERA as a pitcher. 

The American League MVP should really come down to Ohtani and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Guerrero, ranks first in batting average (.344), on-base percentage (.450) and slugging (.688), for a major league-best OPS of 1.137. He also leads the majors with 21 home runs and 55 RBI,

Game one goes tonight Dylan Bundy for the Angels who is 1-6 with a 6.16 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 55 strikeouts against the Athletics Sean Manaea who is 5-2 with a 3.09 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and 73 strikeouts.