Blue Jays: Success in the upcoming Angels series lies with the opposing starting pitching
By Eric Treuden
The Toronto Blue Jays are set to take on the Los Angeles Angels for a three-game set in L.A. After a suboptimal start to the season in a three-game series against the Cardinals, the Blue Jays bounced back nicely, taking three out of four from the Royals in Kansas City.
To wrap up a long season-opening road trip, the Jays head to Los Angeles. Looking ahead at the starting pitching matchups, the series seems to lean heavily in the Blue Jays' favor, primarily because of the handedness of the three projected starters on the Angels.
Patrick Sandoval (Friday), Tyler Anderson (Saturday) and Reid Detmers (Sunday) are the three starters scheduled for the Angels and they all throw left-handed. The Blue Jays typically carry a roster that is right-handed heavy, but what makes this year's team special is the amount of left-handed talent that was injected into the starting lineup. The best part about this is the fact that two of three everyday lefties on offense have succeeded against southpaws to start the year.
All of the lineup regulars like Bo Bichette, George Springer, Matt Chapman, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and both catchers historically do well against lefties. Throw in the recently promoted Jordan Luplow, Whit Merrifield and/or Santiago Espinal and you have nearly a full one-through-nine lineup that torches lefties.
However, the presences of Kevin Kiermaier and Daulton Varsho are not to be forgotten. Kiermaier is three-for-five to start the year against lefties (.600 average) while Varsho is three-for-seven (.429 average) against same-handed pitchers.
Over the course of the two outfielders' careers, the lefty-righty splits are not as kind to them, but we'll take the early season success they have managed to come across against lefties.
Sandoval, Anderson and Detmers are no slouches on the mound by any means. However, the Blue Jays love hitting against southpaws so it almost feels like they're entering the series with an automatic advantage.