Two of MLB’s young dynamos hit the field in Los Angeles this evening with their clubs hovering around .500. Both Mike Trout and Jose Abreu have been nagged by injuries recently, but their talents will be on display tonight. Which budding star is more valuable to their teams’ playoff chances? Let’s go to the numbers.
The White Sox are 2nd in the AL Central, sitting 2.5 games behind the Tigers. Likewise, the Angels are also 2nd in the AL West, but are sputtering and have fallen 5.5 games back of the A’s. Despite Trout’s struggles at the plate in May, a recent surge has his slash line up to .295/.379/.557 (batting average/on-base %/slugging %), which puts him back in a statistical realm similar to his first two big-league seasons.
Meanwhile, since returning from the Disabled List on Tuesday, Jose Abreu has driven in five of the team’s eight runs while going 4-for-11 with a pair of home-runs. The 27-year-old Cuban defector ranks third in the American League in HRs, and sixth in RBIs. That said, there’s still one thing preventing him from breaking into the upper echelon of batsmen. While the truly elite hitters in the league already have 30-40 walks this season, Abreu has just 11 free passes. That’s tied for 111th in the AL. While his OBP is just .318, Abreu is still an impressive run producer. Once the inexperienced masher learns to be a bit more selective, he'll take off as a slugger.
In tonight's matchup, look for Angels' ace Jered Weaver (6-4, 3.33 ERA) to pitch around Abreu whenever possible. Chicago will do their best to get base-runners on ahead of the young slugger, forcing Weaver to pitch to the Cuban rookie more often than not. The pressure will be on the top of their lineup to set the table.
Call the action on SnapCall as the Angels host the White Sox tonight at 10pm!