Angels from Anaheim to Boston Preview and Prediction
Coming into this series the Angels have always been the better team at Fenway park. Winning their last six games there the Angels look to bounce back this season and continue their hot streak in Boston. The series was originally scheduled to begin on Friday night, but rainy weather in Boston forced a postponement to Saturday, when the two squads will play a day-night doubleheader.
Game 1: Felix Doubront (4-2) vs. Tommy Hanson (2-2)
Taking the mound for the Halos in the early game will be Tommy Hanson, who returned to action May 31 after missing almost four weeks on the restricted list to deal with a loss in the family. The right-hander allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits over 6 1/3 innings vs. the Astros and took the loss. Hanson has pitched against Boston only one other time in his career, throwing six shutout innings while allowing two hits and walking two and striking out a pair for the victory. Opposing Hanson for the Red Sox will be Felix Doubront. After struggling through the early part of the season, the lefty has settled into a nice rhythm of late, going 1-1 with a 2.50 ERA in his last three starts. After a five-game absence, Jacoby Ellsbury stepped back into the Red Sox's lineup on Thursday night against the Rangers at Fenway Park, returning to his customary leadoff spot and playing center field. The hot hitter for the Sox right now is Dustin Pedroia who enters play with a 10 game hitting streak and also is 5th in the majors in batting average.
Prediction: Angels win 4-3
Game 2: Clay Buchholz (8-0) vs. CJ Wilson (4-4)
Just about 2 and a half hours after game 1 this afternoon the teams will matchup again tonight but this game might be more of a pitcher's duel. The Red Sox's Clay Buchholz enters tonight's game still without a loss this season and in his last start was masterful throwing 5 shutout innings versus the Yanks in New York earning a complete game shutout due to the rain the ended the game. Buchholz leads the Majors among qualified starters with a 1.62 ERA. To face him will be C.J. Wilson who is coming off a pretty good game versus Houston. Limiting Houston to three runs in 7 1/3 innings of a tough-luck loss, Wilson gave up six hits, struck out nine and walked none for the second straight outing, his only real mistakes being two homers. As said in the beginning of the article the Angels have always had the upperside of the Sox and this left-hander has owned the Red Sox throughout his career, going 5-1 over 55 innings with a 2.62 ERA, holding them to a .210 batting average. While the Red Sox are third in the Majors in batting average against righties (.284), they're 15th (.249) against lefties. As two great starts come in to face two lineups that are on 3 hours of rest expect few hits and lots of swings in tonight's part 2 doubleheader Saturday!
Prediction: Red Sox win 3-1
Game 3: Ryan Dempster (3-6) vs. Joe Blanton (1-9)
After dropping game 1 and then winning the night cap the Sox find themselves in a rubber match now for the 10th time this season as they have usually come out on top in the end, especially when at Fenway. Boston outfielder Shane Victorino was activated before Game 2 of the doubleheader against the Angels on Saturday, playing center field and batting in the leadoff spot. He finished the game going 1-for-5 with a run scored. For game 3 the Sox will send Ryan Dempster to the mound who comes in with an ERA at 4.39 which isn't too bad for his career. Dempster had great command of his fastball his last time out against the Rangers, holding them to three runs over seven innings while striking out six. The 35-year-old has been inconsistent, but continues to strike out batters at a career-high rate. Through 12 starts this season, he's struck out 77. He managed 153 strikeouts through all of last season. "I had a good fastball, good command. The pitches I got burned on were hanging sliders," Dempster said after the start. "Other than that, I felt in command for the most part." To face him will be a guy who has been used to seeing his name beside the loss department coming into this game with 9 Joe Blanton. Blanton notched his third consecutive quality start against the Astros on Monday, allowing two runs on three hits while tying a career high with 11 strikeouts, but took his second straight loss. Though you may think with 9 losses and an ERA over 5 Blanton is getting beat up always but in reality it is not always just him. Enduring plenty of tough-luck losses, the Angels right-hander has notched a quality start and been the losing pitcher five times. The Angels have also scored fewer than three runs for him on six occasions. Playing 2 games yesterday will be interesting to see how the teams bounce back into this rubber match as first pitch will be at 1:35pm at Fenway!
Predicton: Red Sox win 6-3