Blue Jays set to face Angels in critical Wild Card series

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Jul 14, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; American League outfielder Mike Trout (27) of the Los Angeles Angels celebrates with third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) of the Toronto Blue Jays after hitting a lead off home run against the National League during the first inning of the 2015 MLB All Star Game at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays continue their road trip this week in Los Angeles, where they’ll face a 63-58 Angels squad that sits 3.0 games behind them for the top American League Wild Card spot. The Angels haven’t been surging lately, but if the Blue Jays are forced to settle for the one-game Wild Card playoff, they’d better be sure it happens at the Rogers Centre.

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All is not lost in the American League East, of course. Toronto sits just 1.5 games back of the Yankees, who continue to find wins in the most frustrating fashions. The two clubs will meet seven more times before the season is out. In L.A., David Price will kick things off for the Blue Jays, then be followed by Marco Estrada and R.A. Dickey.

The Angels’ lineup offers superstar talent in Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, but the lineup as a whole has not been particularly dominant. Their 489 runs scored rank them 17th in the MLB, while their cumulative average of .244 puts them 25th.

Blue Jays fans will finally get their live look at Trout, whose MVP case versus Josh Donaldson is becoming a 24/7 news story (make it stop!). On the season, Trout is hitting .297 with 33 home runs, 72 RBI and 10 stolen bases. Don’t sleep on Kole Calhoun, though, who has put 18 balls out of the park this year to go along with his .270 average and 67 RBI.

To get you set for yet another big series, let’s break down all three pitching matchups. First up: a battle of sub-3.00 ERAs as Toronto’s ace takes on the talented Hector Santiago.

Next: Game 1 Preview: The Ace is back!