Happy Monday! Today we’ll take a quick look at three games that should be especially fun this coming April.
Monday, April 1: Angels @ Reds (1:10 PM)
Josh Hamilton will get to take his first hacks against the team that gave him a chance by drafting him in the 2006 Rule V draft. Mike Trout will play in his first Opening Day game. A rested–and healthy–Jered Weaver will take the bump against a loaded Cincinnati lineup. What’s not to like?
The Reds will start their ace Johnny Cueto. Only three Angels have faced Cueto before, and those Angels (Pujols, Callaspo, and Iannetta) are a combined 8-for-33. The right-hander could give the Angels fits on Opening Day.
It’s Opening Day. It’ll be fun.
Friday, April 5: Angels @ Rangers (11:05 AM)
Hamilton’s second series in an Angels uniform will come against the team he spurned this offseason. This one’s another day game, and Hamilton is notorious for struggling in day games. (In his career, Hamilton has hit .260/.326/.461 in day games and .319/.376/.580 in night games). This will be a story line to follow, but the bigger storyline will be Hamilton’s return.
The 31-year-old will have plenty of chances to irk Rangers fans this season, and this will be a chance for him to get the ball rolling.
Outside of that, the Angels will take on another talented, albeit Hamiltonless, Rangers club.
Friday, April 19: Tigers @ Angels (7:05 PM)
The outfielder that Hamilton replaced, Torii Hunter, will make his return to Anaheim, now donning a Tigers uniform. Hunter publicly voiced his disappointment with the Angels’ management after the Hamilton signing, and later in the offseason made a few controversial statements about hypothetically having a homosexual teammate.
Angels fans will probably give Hunter an ovation, and it will probably be an awkward ordeal. The schedule suggests that both clubs will use one of their top starters (Verlander/Scherzer vs. Weaver/Wilson), so this could be one of the more exciting games of the young season.