Tonight, the Rays will begin their third series against the Los Angeles Angels. The Rays have not performed well thus far against the Angels, as they are down in the season series one game to four.
Here are the splits for the Angels hitters:
(Favors means the split is +/- .020 points)
Matchup favors LHP: Abreu, Conger, Bourjos, Branyan, Amarista
Matchup favors RHP: Izturis, Hunter, Callaspo, Trumbo, Mathis, Wilson
Matchup is a push: Aybar, Kendrick
Analysis after the jump…
There are three new batters this series that weren’t on the Angels roster the previous times they played. Two of these are most likely non-factors – Bobby Wilson and Alexi Amarista. Wilson has been mostly used as a defensive replacement at first base and catcher. Amarista is a utility fielder who can play second base or outfield.
However, there is a new player on the team who may make an impact on this series, namely Russell Branyan. Branyan was signed by the Angels after being released by the Arizona Diamondbacks at the end of May. He is a left-handed batter that absolutely destroys right-handed pitching. He is fairly weak against left-handers, though, so we may see Cesar Ramos or JP Howell come in to face him.
In the 5 games so far, Joe Maddon has tabbed 15 relief pitchers. Ten of these 15 appearances came from either Juan Cruz, Kyle Farnsworth or Joel Peralta.
The first batters Cruz faced were Kendrick, Aybar and Bourjos. Neither Kendrick nor Aybar has any split of which to speak. Bourjos has hit right-handed pitchers much better in his career, but isn’t exactly a huge offensive weapon either way.
The first batters Farnsworth faced were Vernon Wells twice and Trumbo. Wells is on the disabled list, so this matchup will not come into play. So far in Trumbo’s career, he has hit left-handed pitchers better.
The first batters Peralta faced were Conger, Bourjos and Hunter twice. Both Conger and Bourjos have hit right-handed pitchers better in their career, but Hunter has struggled against them more than left-handed pitchers. It is possible that we will see Peralta come in to face Hunter again in this series.