On Deck: Blue Jays at Angels
Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hits a home run in the ninth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on April 20, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (BOB LEVEY/Getty Images)
TORONTO BLUE JAYS at L.A. ANGELS of ANAHEIM
FRIDAY 10:07 p.m.
RHP Mat Latos (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. RHP Alex Meyer (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
With Aaron Sanchez and J.A. Happ on the DL, the Jays will turn to minor-league depth to kick off the four-game series on the west coast.
SATURDAY 9:07 p.m.
RHP Casey Lawrence (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. LHP Tyler Skaggs (0-1, 5.19 ERA)
Lawrence, 29, likely will take the hill as the Jays raid the triple-A Buffalo Bisons for the weekend.
SUNDAY 3:37 p.m.
RHP Marcus Stroman (1-2, 4.05 ERA) vs. RHP Jesse Chavez (1-2, 3.71 ERA)
Coming off giving up six earned runs over 4.2 innings in his worst start of the season, Stroman is looking to bounce back.
MONDAY 10:07 p.m.
LHP Francisco Liriano (1-1, 5.11 ERA) vs. RHP RIcky Nolasco (1-2, 4.76 ERA)
After not being able to make it out of the first inning in his 2017 debut, Liriano has put together solid starts in two straight outings.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
SP Marcus Stroman, Blue Jays
Already one of the vital ingredients to the Jays’ contention hopes this season, Stroman is even more important with J.A. Happ on the DL and Aaron Sanchez struggling with blisters. He needs to be the slump-stopping arm that all aces pride themselves on being.
CF Mike Trout, Angels
In just five full seasons, Trout has already put up staggering, HOF-type numbers to start his career, won a pair of MVP awards, and makes the highlights on a nightly basis due to his home-run-stealing glove. Drink Trout in and enjoy it.
TOP 3 STORYLINES
1. Rotation games
This is the first series that will show the lack of rotation depth in Toronto. On the bright side, Aaron Sanchez should be ready to return from a blister issue shortly, but the Jays will be relying on an interesting cast of characters on the west coast.
2. Where’s the offence?
Dropping two of three to division-favourite Boston wasn’t ideal, but the Blue Jays showed signs of life, even if it wasn’t enough to steal a couple of games. Missing Josh Donaldson doesn’t help anything, but the Jays are due to score some runs.
3. Beatable team
If the Jays are going to dig themselves out of this horrific hole, now might be a good time. While the Angels aren’t pushovers by any means, they’re not considered a contender and these are the types of series the Jays need to win if they’re to climb back into the early-season race.
The Jays still haven’t won a series this season, making this road trip a fairly important one for a team just looking to keep its head above water. It might not be pretty, considering the Jays are already delving into their minor-league rotation depth, but they will hope the arms can help give the offence time to break out of its season-long funk.