Minnesota Twins vs. Los Angeles Angels Pick & Prediction MAY 21st 2023

Stadium: Angel Stadium of Anaheim Anaheim
Logo Minnesota Twins
Logo Los Angeles Angels

8o -110
-1.5 +140



Mickey Moniak may or may not be in the starting lineup Sunday afternoon when the Los Angeles Angels host the Minnesota Twins in Anaheim, Calif.

As the Angels' fourth outfielder, Moniak knows his job is to be ready when called upon.

It's not a situation Moniak is accustomed to, considering he was the No. 1 overall pick in the Major League Baseball draft in 2016 by the Philadelphia Phillies. But the 25-year-old has overcome an up-and-down start to his professional career and understands what he needs to do to succeed.

And it starts with actually being in the big leagues.

Moniak started the season at Triple-A Salt Lake after the Angels decided to go with Brett Phillips as their fourth outfielder. But Phillips was designated for assignment, and Moniak's success with the Bees -- he hit .308 with eight homers and 23 RBIs in 33 games -- earned him a spot on the major league roster.

Moniak, acquired by the Angels in a trade-deadline deal last July that sent pitcher Noah Syndergaard to the Phillies, is hitting .450 (9-for-20) with a double, triple, two home runs, three RBIs and a 1.376 OPS in seven games since being called up May 12. That includes a start in center field Friday in which Moniak singled, doubled, tripled and made a home-run-robbing catch.

"It feels incredible," Moniak said of his recent success. "I think that the ultimate goal is just to be here and help the team win. And I feel like I've been able to do that the last week being up here. And just kind of focusing on one step at a time, one day at a time."

Moniak did not get much of a chance with the Phillies, playing in a total of 47 games over parts of three seasons, hampered by injuries (broken right wrist and broken left middle finger) and a .129 batting average. But Moniak, who was drafted out of high school in the San Diego area, seems to feel more at home in Anaheim.

"He's done everything we've asked," Angels manager Phil Nevin said. "He went down with a great attitude after spring training after having a great spring. I know he was disappointed but kept his head up. Did a heck of a job for a month or so in Salt Lake and got an opportunity, and he's ... running with it."

Shohei Ohtani (5-1, 3.23 ERA) will make his 10th start of the season for the Angels. The right-hander picked up a victory in his most recent start on Monday against Baltimore despite giving up five runs in seven innings.

Ohtani, who is 1-0 with a 2.38 ERA in two career starts against Minnesota, hit his team-leading 11th homer in Saturday's 6-2 loss to the Twins.

Right-hander Pablo Lopez (2-2, 4.00) will make his 10th start of the season for the Twins. He is coming off a no-decision in his last start after allowing five runs and five hits in 4 2/3 innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Lopez, who spent the first five seasons of his major league career with the Miami Marlins before being traded to the Twins in January, has yet to face the Angels.

The Twins thought so much of Lopez that they signed him to a four-year, $73.5 million contract extension after the season began, inking the deal on April 21.

"It's rare ... when you read the scouting reports that you look on paper and the player exceeds everything that's written there and it says 'high character' and it says 'incredible work ethic' and it says everything about the quality of the pitcher that he is," said Derek Falvey, the Twins' president of baseball operations. "Then he comes to the doors and you get to know the person -- the living, breathing human being who is there, and (he's) just over and above."

Twins outfielder Byron Buxton is questionable for the series finale after having to leave Saturday's game with tightness in his right leg.

--Field Level Media

Minnesota Twins
Los Angeles Angels

Minnesota Twins vs. Los Angeles Angels Recap MAY 21TH 2023

Kyle Farmer had three hits and Joey Gallo homered to lead the Minnesota Twins to a 6-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday night in Anaheim, Calif.

The Twins had 12 hits in all, while getting five-plus serviceable innings from starting pitcher Louie Varland and four shutout innings from the bullpen to seal the victory. The only runs the Angels scored off Varland came on an RBI groundout by Jared Walsh and a solo homer from Shohei Ohtani.

Varland (2-0) began the sixth inning but gave up the homer to Ohtani and a single to Hunter Renfroe before hitting Brandon Drury with a pitch. Twins manager Rocco Baldelli went to his bullpen, summoning Jovani Moran, who retired the next three hitters in order to get out of the inning.

Relievers Jorge Lopez, Brock Stewart and Jhoan Duran followed Moran to close it out.

The Twins took a 3-0 lead against Angels starter Patrick Sandoval (3-3), getting RBI singles from Farmer and Kyle Garlick and a squeeze bunt from Willi Castro that scored Farmer from third.

Varland kept the Angels off the scoreboard until the fourth, when Renfroe singled and went to third on a double by Drury to lead off the inning. Walsh, making his season debut after recovering from neurological symptoms, drove in Renfroe with a groundout to first to cut the Angels' deficit to 3-1.

The Twins upped their lead to 4-1 in the top of the sixth on Gallo's leadoff homer. It was his 11th home run of the season. Ohtani matched it, also hitting his 11th homer by ripping a solo shot in the bottom of the sixth to get the Angels within 4-2.

Sandoval took the loss, giving up three runs on five hits and four walks in 4 2/3 innings with three strikeouts.

The Twins increased their lead to 6-2 against Angels reliever Andrew Wantz in the seventh. Trevor Larnach hit an RBI triple but also scored on the play after a throwing error from Drury.

--Field Level Media