Padres: Three things to know ahead of Angels series

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

The Padres meet up with the Angels for a quick two-game series. Here are three things to know ahead of their matchup.

Having not met since the 2018 campaign, in which the Padres were swept at home by the Angels, the two-game series between the two clubs will be an intriguing one. Joe Maddon‘s first year in LA could not be off to a worse start after the tremendous success he had in Chicago. The Angels had a splash signing in the form of Anthony Rendon in the offseason, but they failed to address any significant pitching.

As a result, the Angels pitching staff are in the bottom half of the league with a 5.01 ERA as a group, entering Wednesday night’s game. Of course, they still have the game’s best player in Mike Trout, who is doing Trout-like things this year, posting a .268/.359/.602 line with 12 home runs and 32 RBI.

And here are the pitching matchups:

Given that the Oakland A’s (the Padres next opponent) have recently had a COVID-19 case in their clubhouse, it would seem to make sense that Mike Clevinger makes his Padres debut on Thursday.

Here are three things to know ahead of the Angels series:

1. Eric Hosmer is due for a big game against Teheran

Julio Teheran is no longer the pitcher he once was, as demonstrated by his inflated ERA this year and general decline over the last few seasons, so the Padres should be able to capitalize on the opportunity. Of all San Diego players who have faced Teheran, Eric Hosmer has had the most success, hitting .364 with two homers and two RBI with four walks in an 11 at-bat sample size.

Hosmer has been a much-improved player this year, mainly because he is elevating the ball. He’s averaging a career-best launch angle (9.4 degrees) since StatCast began logging it in 2015, while also recording his best hard-hit rate (48.1 percent). Padres hitters will have to preach patience against Teheran, who is walking 3.6 BB/9 and allowing a career-worst 11.7 H/9.

2. The Angels offense remains potent

Despite poor pitching efforts, the Angels offense ranks tenth in the league with 171 runs scored. For reference, the Padres lead the league with 211 runs scored. David Fletcher might be one of the most underrated players in baseball. He is second on the team in runs scored (24) and within striking distance of Trout, who has 26 himself. Anthony Rendon is having a fine season with a .291/.435/.500 line with six homers and 19 RBI with 17 runs scored. And despite pitching potentially no longer being an option, Shohei Ohtani has five long balls and 18 RBI on the year. Ohtani has been a bit of a disappointment in terms of his slash line, as he’s hitting only .189 on the year, but he shouldn’t be approached carelessly.

3. Look for Jurickson Profar to have an impact on Thursday

Andrew Heaney has had a decent year thus far for the Halos, posting a 4.62 ERA while fanning 41 batters to 13 walks in 37.0 innings of work. He leads the starting rotation with a 10.0 K/9. But look for Jurickson Profar to play on Thursday, given his numbers against the southpaw. In his career, Profar is hitting .385 in 13 at-bats against Heaney with five hits, including one long ball and one RBI.

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Manny Machado is the only other player, who has previously faced Heaney, to have success off him, hitting .375 in eight at-bats, launching two home runs, and driving in four runs as well.