Any time a baseball fan can get an evening of Mike Trout at-bats, it’s a good evening.
Any opportunity to win some money on a Saturday night while watching Mike Trout slug a baseball all over Orange County also sounds like a great way to spend the weekend.
On FS1’s marquee Saturday baseball game this week, the sport’s premier player will be in the spotlight as the Los Angeles Angels host Nelson Cruz, Byron Buxton, Josh Donaldson and the explosive Minnesota Twins lineup.
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Before you start answering questions, here’s a glimpse at what the two teams are up to heading into the weekend set.
For a team many expected to contend for the American League Central title, it has been a bumpy start. Thursday’s 4-3 win over the Boston Red Sox snapped a five-game losing streak for the Twins, who are 6-7, despite having outscored opponents by 13 runs so far this season. That run differential is third-best in the American League, behind Boston’s +23 and the Chicago White Sox’s +16.
The Twins are top-10 in just about every major offensive category, and they were ninth in ERA (3.30) heading into Thursday night. Where have things gone wrong? Mostly in the bullpen, which has blown three saves while compiling a 1-5 record and 4.08 ERA.
Buxton, however, has been the biggest storyline, with five homers and nine RBIs in just 32 at-bats this year. He and Cruz form a middle-of-the-order that is as good as any team’s. Donaldson is just returning from a season-opening trip to the injured list, so a summer filled with homers could be on tap for the Twins.
Los Angeles Angels
The Angels are what they always tend to be – great at the plate and suspect on the mound. A 7-5 start had them on the heels of Seattle in the AL West going into Thursday’s action.
But unlike the Twins, the Angels are minus-4 in run differential, and the 65 runs they’ve allowed to this point are tied for second-most in the American League. (Only Tampa Bay’s 68 are worse.)
Trout is – well, Trout.
He’s hitting .381 with four homers and an OPS of 1.271. But he doesn’t lead the Angels in RBIs; that honor falls to Shohei Ohtani, with 12.
But again, the Angels’ problem is pitching.
The Los Angeles staff has a 4.88 ERA – 22nd in the majors – and the relievers are allowing a 1.37 WHIP, which is in the bottom third in MLB.
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