Aug 20, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Los Angeles Angels teammates gather around starting pitcher Garrett Richards (on the ground) after Richards was injured against the Boston Red Sox during the second inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
Seattle @ Los Angeles Angels
Probable Starters: Felix Hernandez vs. Jered Weaver
David Freese was abysmal during the first two months of the year, but since June he has been significantly better than Peter Bourjos, the piece that the Halos gave up for the third baseman during the offseason. Albert Pujols has also been healthier, and his 23 homers already has surpassed his 2013 total (17).
Mike Trout may be marginally worse, but .288/.374/.556 is still better than anything Seattle has. Even as Josh Hamilton continues to severely underperform, the offensive battle goes to the Angels, and it’s not remotely close.
If Garrett Richards were healthy, he would be as good an adversary for Felix as Lester. In two starts this year against the Mariners, Richards went 15.0 innings, giving up only a single run on three hits and four walks.
With him gone, the Angels can choose between Weaver (13-7, 3.70 ERA), C.J. Wilson (10-8, 4.59 ERA), and Matt Shoemaker (12-4, 3.56 ERA). Shoemaker has the better numbers, but Mike Scioscia would shock the world by selecting the rookie over the workhorse.
However, Weaver has been only good against Seattle this year. After getting drubbed late in the season opener at Angels Stadium, Weaver has gone six innings in his two other starts against the Mariners, giving up three runs at Safeco on May 27 and two runs at The Big A on July 18. Those starts simply will not cut it against Felix, who is 2-0 in three starts against the Angels.
Assuming that Seattle is able to line up Felix (or even Hisashi Iwakuma) for the game, they will have a decided advantage on the mound.