Halo Effect: A frustrating start

It’s been yet another frustrating start to the season for the Los Angeles Angels. As bad as the Halos started last season, they were actually a game better at this point (11-17) than they are in 2013 (10-18). A mark of eight games below .500 also matches their low point from last year.

Blanton still winless

On Thursday, starter Joe Blanton fell to 0-5 -- the Angels have lost all six of his starts. The righty has actually given the team a chance to win in his past two starts, but has gotten a total of three runs of support. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last starter to lose the first five decisions of his Angels career was Ray Chadwick in 1986.

Blanton has allowed 55 hits and 11 walks in 34 2/3 innings. That equates to a WHIP of 1.90. The only starters who have allowed hitters to reach at a higher rate this season are Jarrod Parker (2.01 WHIP) and Vance Worley (1.92 WHIP).

Most Well-Hit Balls Given Up This Season (all pitchers)

Joe Blanton -- 36

Wei-Yin Chen -- 35

Cliff Lee -- 34

Brandon McCarthy -- 34

Trumbo one of few bright spots

In a season of underachieving in Anaheim, one bright spot has been Mark Trumbo. His hitting has improved nearly across the board compared to last season; he’s hitting 25 points higher while maintaining an ISO (isolated power metric) in the .220s.

Maybe the most impressive number for Trumbo is that he’s reached base in all but one game this season.

Today’s matchup

Miguel Gonzalez (BAL) vs. Jason Vargas (LAA)

Just like Blanton, Jason Vargas is seeking his first win in an Angels uniform. He’s coming off one of his better starts, in which he took a tough-luck loss in Seattle -- giving up just two solo homers in eight innings.

An odd trend so far for the Angels lefty is that he’s struggled to get lefties out this season -- they are hitting a robust .405 against him. That’s fourth-worst among starters and the worst among left-handed starters. Last season Vargas held left-handed hitters to a .239 BA.