The Angels start a 7-game home stand Thursday night with a four-game series against the Boston Red Sox. If I were to tell you one team was currently 12-6 and leading their division, while the other was 6-11 and struggling to get out of their division cellar, would you be able to pick which team was which?
Heading into the season, many thought the Red Sox were easily the best team in the AL, if not all of baseball. Those same people also thought the Angels were destined for another third-place finish behind both Oakland and Texas. Granted, we've barely broken the surface of the 2011 season, but the Angels (12-6) have shown they shouldn't be written off as a non-contender, as the Red Sox might have a tougher road to the playoffs than at first believed.
If the Angels are to be taken seriously, they must first show they can reverse the trend from last season when they lost nine of the 10 games they played against Boston (6-11). Winners of their last 11 of 14, the Angels will send rookie Tyler Chatwood (1-1, 3.75 ERA) to face the BoSox. The right-hander is making his third career start. His last start on April 16th, Chatwood earned his first win of his short career when he went 7 innings against the White Sox. In that game, Chatwood gave up one run on 5 hits, striking out 3 while walking two.
Boston hopes right-hander Josh Beckett (2-1, 1.80 ERA) can get the Sox their second road-win of the season. The Red Sox were 0-7 away from Fenway until getting a 5-3 win over Oakland Wednesday. Beckett has won his last two starts, both at home, and has allowed just 1 run in his last 15 innings. For the season, Beckett has given up 10 hits in 20 innings, striking out 23 and has issued 7 walks. IN his career versus the Angels, Beckett is 3-4 with a 4.52 ERA in ten starts.
Game time is 7:05 (Pacific) and will broadcast on KLAX. For more information, follow the Angels on HALOS HEAVEN.