Guardians (68-74) at Angels (65-76) Match-Up Preview | 9/9 9:07 PM EST

September 9, 2023

Andy Billman

Game 3 of Series Against the Angels

3 Things Preview For Today’s Game:

1 – Back in LA 

The first outing in a Guardians uniform did not go well for Lucas Giolito. Hopefully, a return to LA, where he pitched before getting picked up by Cleveland will be the trick in his second start. 

2 – Hentges Still Hot 

Sam Hentges is having a fantastic run as he still has not given up an earned run since July 23rd and his ERA which was at 6.75, is now at 4.f

3 – Silly Willy 

Speaking of hot, Will Brennan is having a fantastic start in September with an average of .480 getting twelve hits in 25 at-bats. 

Guardians Notes

The Cleveland Guardians’ season took a hit as they dropped to a 67-74 record after their Thursday defeat at Angel Stadium. This marked their fourth loss in five games, and as of Friday morning, they trailed the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins by 6.5 games.

In their last five games, Cleveland managed to score only 15 runs but gave up a staggering 38 runs in return. A particularly embarrassing moment occurred last Monday when they suffered a humiliating 20-6 home defeat at the hands of the Twins. In a desperate attempt to salvage the game, first baseman/catcher David Fry took the mound for the final four innings, but he struggled, conceding seven earned runs on ten hits and a walk.

Over the past two weeks and 489 at-bats, the Guardians’ batting statistics have been less than impressive, with a slash line of .247/.309/.397. They’ve managed just 29 extra-base hits and 14 home runs during this period. Bo Naylor has been a bright spot for the team, contributing four homers and nine RBI in that timeframe.

Looking ahead, Lucas Giolito is set to start on the mound for the Guardians at Angel Stadium on Saturday. The 29-year-old right-hander has had a disappointing season with a 7-12 record and a lackluster 4.88 ERA, accompanied by a 1.31 WHIP and a 168/60 K/BB ratio in 28 starts spanning 156.2 innings.

Giolito began the season with the Angels before being claimed off waivers by Cleveland. In his debut for the Guardians last Monday, he endured a challenging outing during the 20-6 loss to the Twins, pitching three innings and surrendering nine earned runs on seven hits and three walks.

Giolito’s recent performance has been far from stellar. Over his last six outings, he has posted a dismal 9.20 ERA, an alarming 7.84 FIP, and allowed opposing batters to record a robust 1.003 OPS in 30.1 innings of work.

Guardians Stats and Insights


  • The Guardians are 20-6 this season in games when they crush two or more bombs.
  • Cleveland has gone 19-6 in its 25 games this season with five or more extra-base hits.
  • The club has notched at least eight hits in 86 games this season and is 46-40 in those contests.
  • Cleveland has a 40-13 record in games this season when it scored five or more runs.
  • The Guardians have drawn at least five walks in 35 games this season, and are 19-16 in those contests.

Angels Notes

On Thursday, the Los Angeles Angels secured a narrow victory over the Guardians, improving their season record to 65-76 and breaking a six-game losing streak. Unfortunately, Shohei Ohtani was sidelined for the fourth consecutive game due to an oblique injury, but his teammates rallied to overcome a two-run deficit. Despite the win, the Angels are still far from the wild-card spot, having lost nine of their last 11 games overall.

In the past couple of weeks, the Angels’ batting statistics show a .249/.323/.406 slash line with 27 extra-base hits and 13 home runs in 446 at-bats. Among the standout performers, Luis Rengifo has contributed five of those 13 home runs, along with 11 RBIs and an impressive .420 batting average. Brandon Drury has also been productive, going 14-for-54 with two home runs and 11 RBIs in his last 13 games.

Taking the mound on Saturday will be Tyler Anderson, a 33-year-old left-handed pitcher who holds a 5-6 record with a less-than-stellar 5.55 ERA, a 1.53 WHIP, and a 108/58 K/BB ratio across 23 starts and two relief appearances, covering 128 innings in the 2023 season. Anderson has faced struggles throughout the season, with his previous five outings and 23.2 innings of work resulting in an unimpressive 8.37 ERA, a 6.72 FIP, and a .903 opposing OPS. In his most recent start last Sunday, Anderson pitched 5.1 innings and allowed three runs in a no-decision against the Oakland Athletics.

Angels Stats and Insights


  • They have won 34 of the 54 games this season in which they hit two or more home runs.
  • In 32 games with five or more extra-base hits this season, it has a record of 23-9.
  • They have won 49 of the 89 games in which they’ve collected eight or more hits this season.
  • Los Angeles has won 47 of its 68 games this season in which it scored more than four runs.
  • They have a 20-15 record this season when drawing five or more walks in a game.

Final Thoughts/Pick

Tyler Anderson will be facing the Guardians for the second time this season. In their previous encounter on May 12, Anderson pitched six innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits and three walks, but didn’t factor into the decision. On the other hand, Giolito has already faced the Angels twice in 2023 and came out victorious both times, despite having a 5.25 ERA over 12 innings of work.

In the past ten days, the Angels have posted a strong 113 wRC+ when facing right-handed pitchers, while the Guardians have managed a 98 wRC+ against left-handed pitchers. I have reservations about the starting pitching pair in this game, so I would lean towards the Angels due to their offensive capabilities. However, it’s a challenging bet to make since both teams have been struggling recently.

To add to the uncertainty, the Angels’ bullpen has not performed well in September, with a high 6.41 ERA and a 5.85 FIP. Similarly, the Guardians’ bullpen hasn’t fared much better, with a 7.36 ERA and a 4.96 FIP.

Our Pick: Take Angels and the Money Line

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