The Arizona Diamondbacks will head to sunny California to take on the Los Angeles Angels for a two game series starting on Monday. Both teams are coming into this series having lost their last two games. The Diamondbacks dropped the final two games against the Mets over the weekend, while the Angels were defeated by the Athletics on Saturday and Sunday.
The Diamondbacks are a legitimate playoff contender in 2018, and are currently atop the National League West division. The Angels will have to really turn things on if they are going to compete for a playoff spot. The Angels are 9.5 games behind the Astros in the AL West, and are currently in 4th place in the division. The Arizona Diamondbacks are -108 over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday.
Pujols Still Providing Power for Angels
Future Hall of Famer, Albert Pujols, continues to display some power in the Los Angeles Angels lineup. Pujols has hit 11 home runs and driven in 39 runs in the 2018 season. The former St. Louis Cardinal has regressed at the plate, but can still do damage if the pitcher makes a mistake against him.
Mike Trout continues to be the offensive star for the Angels, but Andrelton Simmons has stepped up in a big way this season as well. Simmons is hitting .318 on the season, which ranks him second on the team behind Trout. The Angels have a very dangerous lineup, but will face a tough task against Zack Greinke in the series opener.
Diamondbacks Struggling to Find Offense
The Arizona Diamondbacks have struggled to find consistency on offense all season long. The team ranks 28th in the Majors in batting average, hitting just .227 as a team. If Arizona can’t find a way to hit for a better average, they will struggle to stay atop the National League West division. They can hit a ton of home runs, but eventually will need to start hitting for a higher average to be one of the top offensive teams in baseball.
One of the main reasons for the D-Backs struggles has been the rough year for former All-Star, Paul Goldschmidt. Goldschmidt is the face of the Arizona franchise, but his hitting numbers are way down from where they usually are. The perennial .300 hitter is batting just .265 on the season, and the Diamondbacks need him to get going.
Arizona Takes Game 1
The Angels will be sending 21 year old, Jaime Barria, to the mound to start on Monday night. Barria is off to a great start in his first big league season, and is 5-2 with a 2.61 ERA through his first 8 career starts. Barria will face a tough challenge against the veteran lineup of the Diamondbacks.
Arizona appears ready to contend with the Dodgers all season long, but they still need more production from their offense. If Goldschmidt can return to the player that he has been in years past, this team could take off in the second half of the season. The Diamondbacks are better than the Angels and should take game 1 of this series behind Zack Greinke. Take the Arizona Diamondbacks -108 over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday.