Chicago Cubs have a perfect opportunity with Mike Trout-less Angels in town

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Angels looked outmatched in Friday’s opener

In the field, on the mound and at the dish Friday, the Angels simply looked overmatched. Chicago was legging out infield singles, launching some of the longest home runs we’ve ever seen from this group at Wrigley Field and Cole Hamels was simply masterful over eight innings of work.

Q: So what should we, or baseball fans, in general, expect from Los Angeles this season?

A: The expectations for this year, as always for the Angels, depends on health. If the team can stay reasonably healthy, this is a team with enough talent to contend for a Wild Card spot and win around 85-88 games. Given the amount of talent in the AL East, the Wild Card might be a dream but I expect them to be playing meaningful games into September, which I haven’t been able to say in the past. 

When it comes to pitching, Chicago will see a familiar face on Sunday in former Cub Trevor Cahill. But there’s a lot more to this staff than the guy I affectionately nicknamed ‘Big Country’ when he played on the North Side.

Q: Break down the Halos’ pitching staff for us – who should we keep an eye on? Who’s toeing the rubber?

A: Unfortunately for the Cubs, you’ll be avoiding Matt Harvey this weekend, who has been a complete disaster thus far. He has a solid whiff rate, but batters are making hard contact very consistently against him. The Angels have Chris Stratton and Trevor Cahill lined up for the final two games of the series. 

Stratton is the prototypical fifth starter. He won’t go very deep into games, and he is very beatable. His spin rates have ranked amongst the top of the league for years, but he has yet to fully put it together on the mound for the Angels. 

On Sunday, if the teams play, Cahill will take the mound. He was a mess on Opening Day, but in his two starts since has pitched 12 innings and allowed three runs. His strikeout numbers have shot up and he has only walked one batter in those two starts. If there’s one starter the Cubs want to miss, it’s Cahill.