Boston Red Sox (6-11) @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (12-6)
Pitching Probables: LAA – Tyler Chatwood (1-1, 3.75 ERA) BOS – Josh Beckett (2-1, 1.80 ERA)
Game Info: 7:05 PM PT; TV - Fox Sports West; Radio - KLAA 830 AM
Oh boy, it's finally here! I don't know about you but I've had this date marked on my calendar since December 8th 2010. As much as I want to see this Angels vs. Red Sox game, I just can't, this is Carl Crawford vs The Angels. This guy is going to stroll into Anaheim like he's some sort of king on top of his $140 million dollar throne. It's time to show him that money can't buy you wins, let the boo-birds commence!
It pains me to see the Red Sox finally hitting their stride, I would have loved to see the Angels sweep the Red Sox after the beating they put down on us last year. I'm not saying a sweep against the Red Sox is impossible, it's just going to be extremely difficult. This series all rests on the shoulders of Tyler Chatwood, it's time to put him in a serious test of his skill. His outings against the Indians and White Sox? Chump change, today's start is where the money is at. If Chatwood can rise to the occasion as shut down an awakened Red Sox offense, against Josh Beckett of all people...we'll let's just say that is some serious street cred for the kid. Most importantly, he needs to shut down Carl Crawford (although that shouldn't be hard considering his awful start).
Monkey See Monkey Do: Do expect to see the jitterbugs hit Chatwood hard early on, this is easily the best offense (at least talent-wise) that Chatwood has faced so far and he knows it. If Chatwood can keep the Sox down this will do wonders for the rest of the series, what the clubhouse look like if the best offense in the game get shut down by a rookie with only 2 starts under his belt. That will take the Red Sox out of the game mentally and set the tone for the rest of the series, just don't expect taking them out to be easy. However, if Chatwood gets lit up in his start that will possibly damage his fragile confidence and take him out of the game. I don't just mean THIS game, I mean his next few starts. He's a young kid who's going to be easily swayed emotionally, so an implosive outing tonight can damage the chances of Chatwood cementing himself in the rotation for the rest of the season.
Monkey See Monkey Don't: Don't expect the Angels to easily push over the Red Sox. This is going to be a very intense series or both teams, one team wants to keep the heat alive and prove their worth while another team is looking to get it all together. I feel like I'm making this out to be a life or death series, which it obviously can't be so early in the season. It is a do or die series however, this is the Angels chance to finally get the national attention they deserve. If they can snatch up a series sweep from the Red Sox you better believe the eastern biased media is going to show some love to the west. Or they'll, probably just write it off as a fluke, like they do to everything good the Angels do (the biggest "fluke" coming in 2002). If that's the case, then I guess the Angels are just going to fluke their way to another fluke World Series title.
The Monkey's Bananas Prediction of the Game: After yesterday's correct prediction I'm looking to up the ante today! Tyler Chatwood isn't going to throw a complete game, no one is going to hit for the cycle, and no one will have a multi-homer game. This is going to be a perfectly average game today, with a slight offensive outburst by the Angels, and by slight I mean they're going to score 10+ runs while keeping the Sox under 2 runs.
PROGRAMMING NOTE! Garrett will be participating in a live chat this Saturday during the Angels-Red Sox game. The chat is being hosted by Firebrand of the AL (a Red Sox blog, BOOOO!) and will be starting around gametime, so please stop by and help be fend off all of the chowds.