Opposite dugout: After hot start, Angels have hit the skids

Manager: Mike Scioscia (19th season)
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Record: 41-41

Last 10 games: 3-7

Who to watch: CF Mike Trout (.320 with 23 HR, 91 hits); SS Andrelton Simmons (.313 with 36 RBIs, 82 hits); LF Justin Upton (17 HR, 44 RBIs); 1B Albert Pujols (12 HR, 74 hits); LHP Tyler Skaggs (6-5, 2.69 ERA); RHP Blake Parker (9 saves, 3.29 ERA)

Season series vs. Orioles: 3-0

Pitching probables:

June 29: RHP Felix Peña (0-0) vs. RHP David Hess (2-4), 7:05 p.m., MASN
June 30: LHP Tyler Skaggs (6-5) vs. RHP Andrew Cashner (2-8), 4:05 p.m., MASN
July 1: RHP Deck McGuire (0-0) vs. RHP Kevin Gausman (3-6), 1:05 p.m., MASN

Inside the Angels:

When the Angels welcomed the Orioles to Anaheim for a three-game series at the beginning of May, things were looking up for the Halos. The team had just capped off a 14-11 month of April, and blockbuster free-agent acquisition Shohei Ohtani - who at the time was hitting .341 and had amassed a 2-1 record on the mound - was making headlines around the world. Then, as it so often can, it all came to a screeching halt. For one, the injury bug bit Ohtani - and seemingly half of the entire Angels roster over the next two months - while competition from a loaded American League West resulted in a steep drop in the standings. Still, the Angels find themselves hovering around the .500 mark, and after outscoring the Orioles 25-12 in their earlier series, will welcome another matchup against Baltimore.

The most notable injured Halo is easily Ohtani. The two-way phenom was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a Grade 2 sprain of the UCL in his right elbow, and his timetable for return depends entirely on whether or not he needs surgery. If he can avoid going under the knife, look for Ohtani to be back in action sometime after the All-Star break. Even with Ohtani's bat out of the lineup, the Angels are still a decent hitting team. They rank 15th in the majors with a .245 batting average and pack plenty of punch, ranking fourth in home runs with 110. Leading the charge is center fielder (you may have heard of him) Mike Trout. Trout is in the middle of his seventh full major league season, and is on track to finish in the top five in American League MVP voting yet again. Entering Thursday, the 26-year-old was hitting .323 with 23 home runs, 48 RBIs and 91 hits. Also providing the power is left fielder Justin Upton. The veteran outfielder is second on the team, with 17 home runs, and should easily eclipse the 30-homer mark for the third straight season. Shortstop Andrelton Simmons is a three-time Gold Glove winner, but is showing he can be a force at the plate, too. On the year, Simmons is hitting .314 with 81 hits and just 12 strikeouts. Don't forget 38-year-old Albert Pujols. Even though he's in his 18th season, the slugger can still hit. He's racked up 12 home runs on 73 hits, and became a member of the 3,000-hit club earlier this year.

After making a few appearances in the Angels bullpen earlier this season, Felix Peña has been shifted to the team's starting rotation. He's kept his pitch count low in both starts, throwing 74 and 83 pitches in his two starts, so don't expect to see him throw too deep into the game. As a starter, Peña's held his own. He gave up an earned run over four innings in a start against the Diamondbacks, and allowed three earned runs over five innings in a loss to the Blue Jays. Saturday's starter, Tyler Skaggs, has quietly put up an impressive month of June. In four starts, the left-hander is 3-1 with a 0.67 ERA. During that stretch, he's amassed 30 strikeouts to only seven walks, and has pitched at least seven innings in each of his last three starts. It will be newly acquired right-hander Deck McGuire pitching for the Angels in the series finale. McGuire began the season with the Blue Jays, but was selected off waivers by the Rangers on June 15. Four days later, the Angels purchased McGuire's contract from the Rangers, and the 29-year-old will make his first start of the year. McGuire's never faced the Orioles during his brief career, but has faced American League East teams in both of his relief appearances with the Halos.

Handling the closer duties for Los Angeles is 33-year-old Blake Parker. Despite earning a save on opening day, Parker has just nine saves on the year. A rocky start to the season sent Parker to middle relief duties, but since re-establishing himself as the closer toward the end of May, he has earned eight saves in 10 chances. Maybe the most valuable asset Parker has going for him is his health. Relievers Jim Johnson (back strain), Keynan Middleton (Tommy John surgery) and Blake Wood (Tommy John surgery) are all out of commission, while rookie Jake Jewell, who made his major league debut less than two weeks ago, broke his right fibula against the Red Sox last Friday, and will require season-ending surgery.

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