I don’t like to brag, but...I will. Fact of the matter is, I know how to party. I’m talking all-out, can’t stop won’t stop, party like it’s 1999 kinda partying. Imagine MTV’s My Super Sweet Sixteen (if you can’t imagine this show, you’re a better man for it) amplified times 100 and then you’ll have the tiniest glimmer of what my party-life is like. So naturally on New Year’s Eve, I did the only thing that made sense: I watched LSU lose the Chick-fil-A Bowl by a field goal with two seconds left on the clock. And then I cried.
But the end of LSU’s season means spring is right around the corner which brings along two of my favorite things: break and baseball. And let me tell you – if April showers bring May flowers, the Angels’ April Showers are like those Herbal Essence commercials. You know...the one with the girl moaning uncontrollably in the shower while she washes her hair? Yeah, that’s the Angels’ April schedule. It’s that good.
The Angels open the 2013 Major League Baseball season on Monday, April 1 against the Cincinnati Reds at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. For decades, the first pitch of the Major League season was always thrown in Cincinnati. The fanfare around this series should be electric as Opening Day returns to GABP. Although they won’t have home field advantage, the Angels have a franchise record of 4-2 versus the Reds and are 2-1 in Cincinnati. The Angels historically do very well against the National League with an all-time record of 164-120 (.577%). Only the Yankees hold a higher all-time record in interleague play at 170-112 (.603%).
After 3 games in 4 days versus the Red Legs, the Angels fly to Arlington for a 3-game series versus the Texas Rangers. (This is especially exciting to me that I will get to see the Angels play before my friends in Anaheim do.) The tension between the Rangers and the Angels has grown stronger and stronger each of the past few years, but hatred has continued to mount as the Angels recently signed former Texas Rangers All-Star CF Josh Hamilton to a 5-year, $125 million deal. This signing also solidified the probability of a sparkling cider clubhouse celebration now that Hamilton joins straight-edge teammate C.J. Wilson, who the Angels signed from the Rangers last offseason, in Anaheim. Many Halo fans now consider the Texas rivalry to be the most important and this series promises to get the team fired up. The Angels face the Rangers for another 3-game series later in the month in Anaheim.
After a quick flight to Southern California and a day off, the Angels have their home opener against the Oakland Athletics. The Athletics took the AL West by surprise last season by posting a 94-68 record to win the division. The Athletics are 22-17 against the Halos since 2011. This series will be an exciting one as the Halos look to redeem themselves against the A’s. The Angels face the Athletics again at the end of the month in Oakland.
The Houston Astros move from the NL West after 51 seasons to join the Angels in the AL West this year. A 3-game series in Anaheim favors the Halos as Houston, who finished with the worst record in the majors in 2012 (55-107), is expected to repeat history again this season after cutting their payroll from $63.9 million in 2012 to an estimated opening day payroll of around $32 million.
The third weekend of the month the Angels face the Detroit Tigers in Anaheim. While some fans have deep hatred for the Tigers courtesy of Justin Verlander, many are excited to watch Torii Hunter (presumably) finish his career in Detroit. Though recent comments that, may or may not have been taken out of context, have left many Halo fans with a sour taste in their mouth toward #48, Hunter remains a fan favorite and will likely get a warm welcome in his return to Anaheim.
The Angels also play the Minnesota Twins and Seattle Mariners on the road in April.
The Angels have a lineup that features speed, power, and discipline at the plate with pitching to back it up. The team’s April schedule should propel them to the strong start the team so desperately needs to avoid going 9-15 as they did in April of 2012.
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