Friday, July 18, 2008

Series Preview: Boston Red Sox

For the second time this year, the Angels take on the Red Sox, this time in Anaheim. Last series, the Halos managed to take two of three from Boston at Fenway, just as both teams were entering, or already in, slumps. This time, the Sox are on a bit of a tear, having won seven of their last ten to reclaim a half game lead over the 7-straight-loss Rays. The Angels are six games up in the West, as Oakland continues to build for next year.

The starting pitching should be fun this series, with tonight's game featuring Clay "I steal laptops" Buchholz and John "Thunder Mountain" Lackey. Clay has been underwhelming this year, and after returning from a rehab stint for his last start vs. Baltimore, gave up 4 runs and 5 walks in 5 innings. Lackey, on the other hand, reeled off his second crappy start, allowing 6 earned in 5 2/3 inning. That said, I don't think Buchholz is going to have what it takes to beat Lackey at home.

Saturday's game has Jon "I don't need strikouts" Garland against Josh "Regression to the mean" Beckett. Beckett has, thankfully, regressed from his ridiculous season last year and moved more towards the pitcher he actually is. He's back to walking lots of guys and is regaining his suceptiblility to the long ball, something which has been a problem from him throughout his career. Garland, on the other hand, is surprisingly good in Angel Stadium, so we'll see. I think the Angels lose this game.

Sunday has the AL wins leader in Joe Saunders taking the hill against Tim Wakefield. Wakefield is the only picher on the Sox I like because it's impossible to hate knuckleballers. They've made careers out of throwing a trick pitch, and particularly good knuckleballs are always fun to watch. Joe Saunders, who, mark my words, will be a leage-average pitcher in the second half, will probably still find a way to get his 14th win, as Wakefield is on a long string of successful starts and is probably due for standard knuckleballer regression.

Go Halos.

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