For the first time since 1996, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have won 10 consecutive home games, according to MLB Stat of the Day on Twitter. Win No. 10 came Sunday against the Astros, thanks in large part to a standout performance from starting pitcher Garrett Richards.
Richards, who has surprisingly emerged as the Angels' true ace this season, allowed just one run over 7.1 innings while piling up a career-high 11 strikeouts. With Sunday's strong outing, the 26-year-old right hander improved his ERA to 2.71 and his record to a lofty 10-2.
Though it was Richards who led the way in Sunday's 6-1 win, the entire Los Angeles team has been excellent at home this season. Carrying a 30-14 home record into Monday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Angels own an MLB-best .682 winning percentage at home.
Unfortunately for the Halos, the division rival Oakland Athletics sport baseball's second-best home record, sitting at 28-15 (.651 winning percentage) after Sunday's 4-2 win over the Blue Jays.
While the Angels are just 21-22 on the road this season, the A's have gone an impressive 27-18 away from home. Thus, despite sporting MLB's best home record, the Angels sit 3.5 games out of first place in what's shaping up as the American League's most competitive division.
The Angels have an excellent opportunity to make it 11 straight home wins Monday night, when they face shaky Blue Jays lefty J.A. Happ at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Already without starting second baseman Brett Lawrie, the Jays lost star first baseman Edwin Encarnacion to a quad injury during Monday's game. With long-time ace Jered Weaver scheduled to pitch, the Angels look like a heavy favorite to make it 11 in a row at home.