Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (18-15) @ Texas Rangers (20-14)
Starters: LAA - Joe Saunders (5-1, 2.66 ERA) TEX - Kevin Millwood (3-3, 2.92 ERA)
Game Info: 5:05 PM PT TV-Fox Sports West, Radio-KLAA 830 AM, KFWB, KWKW 1330 AMIts off the Texas for the Angels to take on the first place, yes that's correct, Texas Rangers. The Angels have their first real opportunity this season to jump back into the AL West driver's seat by taking down the Rangers who lead them by 1.5 games. With all the lousy luck and adversity the Angels have faced this year, a sweep of the Rangers coupled with a move into first would be the biggest boost to the confidence the Angels could possibly ask for.
Questions of the Night:
- Can the Angels handle the heat? No, not Kevin Millwood's fastball, but the actual temperature. It is looking like it will be pushing 90 degrees at game time and that could take a toll on a depleted Angels bullpen after yesterday's extra innings thriller. Jose Arredondo and Darren Oliver both could be off limits to Mike Scioscia tonight due to fatigure while Scot Shields might be off limits due to not wanting to lose.
- How little faith does Mike Scioscia have in Howie Kendrick? Erick Aybar is hitting second tonight. The same Aybar who has walked just 3 times all season and has a .321 OBP. Granted, Kendrick's OBP is much worse (.285) but at least he has some pop in his bat. Of course this begs yet another question. What isn't Abreu hitting second since he clearly is missing his power stroke this year?
- Can Saunders keep the magic from his shutout in his last start going? The Angels pushed him back a day, so he should be well rested, but his track record in Arlington is staggeringly bad (9.77 ERA in 15.2 innings).