MLB Game Preview: Los Angeles Angels at St. Louis Cardinals

May 3, 2023

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Game: Los Angeles Angels @ St. Louis Cardinals

Time: 7:45 p.m.

Odds: Angels -144, Cardinals +133

Total: 8

With a 10.05 ERA in his first three starts, Miles Mikolas had a difficult start to the 2023 MLB season. The right-hander improved during his subsequent three starts, tossing 17.1 innings and allowing six runs (five earned). In the middle game of a three-game series, the St. Louis Cardinals will host the Los Angeles Angels and Mikolas, who has a 2.63 ERA over those last three starts, will look to maintain his recent success.

The Angels won 5-1 on Tuesday, giving them five wins in their previous seven games. The Cardinals have lost seven of their previous eight games and four in a row. In his last start, a 6-0 victory at San Francisco on April 27, Mikolas went 6.1 innings. He struck out six batters while blanking the Giants on four hits and two walks. In four games against the Angels in his career, including two starts, Mikolas is 1-2 with a 3.07 ERA.

Shohei Ohtani (4-0, 1.85) will make his first career start against the Cardinals. On April 27, Ohtani beat the Oakland Athletics 8-7 while allowing five runs on three hits (including two home runs), two walks, three hit batters, and two wild pitches. As good as Ohtani is, he is still human.

After hitting a double and moving around the bases in the previous half-inning, Ohtani struggled in the fourth. Ohtani claimed he wasn’t tired despite giving up five runs in the fourth inning, matching his previous 60-inning total. Despite allowing five runs in his last start, Ohtani still has the sixth-best ERA in the majors.

For this series, both teams changed their bullpens. Ryan Tepera (shoulder inflammation) was brought off the injured list by the Angels, and Andrew Wantz, a fellow right-hander, was demoted to Triple-A Salt Lake City.

Zack Thompson, a left-hander, was sent by the Cardinals to Triple-A Memphis. He was replaced by right-hander Guillermo Zuniga, who made his major league debut on Tuesday after traveling from Memphis.

The Cardinals will need to find a way to manufacture some runs. St. Louis has lost seven of its last eight games. In those seven losses, the Cards managed to score more than four runs just once. They were swept by the Dodgers last series and managed just six runs in three games.

The Angels and Cardinals don’t play each other all that often, but in the last ten meetings, they have combined to produce 10.2 runs per game. Over the last three, which date back to 2019, the teams have averaged just 7.3 runs per game.

Prior to his last start, Ohtani had given up just two earned runs on the season. In his first five starts, the Angels star had pitched 28 innings. Ohtani has 46 strikeouts in 34 innings pitched this season.

Mikolas gave up 29 hits and 16 earned runs in his first three starts this season. Since then, he’s allowed 16 hits and five earned runs in his last three starts.

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