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Series preview: Giants vs. Angels

Monday kicks off a four-game home and home split series. That’s going to be interesting.

San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

After the Bay Bridge Series, we’re in need of a breather. Thankfully, the Giants now have to play a quartet of games against the best player in baseball. Whew.

This is going to be a weird one, as this is a split game home-and-home series. The Giants will fly to Anaheim for the first two games, then return to San Francisco to host Wednesday’s and Thursday’s games at Oracle Park.

One thing is for sure: us fans absolutely do not want to see the Oakland Athletics again for a while. Fire up your best “Beat L.A.” chants, because it’s Southern California hatred time!

The details

Who: San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Angels
Where: Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, California, AND Oracle Park, San Francisco, California
When: Monday (6:40 p.m.), Tuesday (1:10 p.m.), Wednesday (6:45 p.m.) and Thursday (6:45 p.m.)
National broadcasts: Monday, sort of ( Free Game of the Day)

Where they stand

San Francisco Giants

Record: 8-15, fifth place in the NL West
Run differential: -43, second worst in all of baseball!
Postseason standing: Five games out of the Wild Card. Somehow.
Current momentum: Lost four in a row

Los Angeles Angels (née California Angels [of Anaheim])

Record: 7-15, fourth place in the AL West
Run differential: -14, tied for sixth in the MLB West
Postseason standing: Six games out of the Wild Card.
Current momentum: Lost four in a row

Three Giants to watch

Brandon Belt: Belt cranked a dinger in his return to the starting lineup in the cleanup spot on Sunday, but the Belt Wars have flared up in a major way this season due to his struggles and propensity to strike out swinging. Let’s see if he can turn things around. (Most of this portion of the preview also applies to Brandon Crawford.)

Donovan Solano: The legend of Donny Barrels was put on pause for the time being when his 0-5 Sunday snapped his 17-game hitting streak. Will he continue to be a solid contributor at the dish and keep his average over .400? Or was the hot start to his season just a fluke?

Trevor Gott: After blowing the two worst blown ninth-inning leads in memory, back to back, we’ll see how Gabe Kapler uses him going forward. It’s possible he’s lost the closer role, but it’s also possible it will be a very long time before the Giants even look at a save opportunity again.

Three A’s to watch

Anthony Rendon: The former Nationals hero is finally settling in with his new team, and he’s blasted five home runs in his last six games. No one tell him about the Giants bullpen, please.

Jo Adell: The top Angels prospect has been scuffling since being called off, opening his Angels run with an embarrassing misplayed fly ball that turned into a home run and only hitting .167, but it always seems the Giants are the cure to getting to lay into some tasty big league meatballs.

Mike Trout: He’s Mike Trout, man. What are you gonna do, NOT watch him? Plus, he has dad strength now.

Best case/worst case

Best case scenario: The Giants take two on the road and then another two at home against a good team that’s playing almost as badly as the Giants are right now (or at least getting beaten by better teams just as often).

Worst case scenario: The Giants manage to blow a SIX-run lead in the ninth inning or later. Why wait another 90 years? Also, the Giants get swept in all four games of the split series.


Total for the four games, Angels 3-1. (The one win comes after the Angels forfeit due to Alex Dickerson falling into a Sarlacc pit.)