Tuesday night baseball and we will see the Los Angeles Angels travel to the northeast to take on the Boston Red Sox in game 1 of their 3 game series. The game is scheduled for a 7:10 (ET) pm start time and it will be televised live on FS West (Los Angeles) and NESN (Boston). Currently the odds have Boston favored at -107, while Los Angeles is dogs of -101. The total for the game sits at 10.5 runs.
Free Analysis: The Los Angeles Angels and Boston Red Sox came into this season with hopes of contending for division titles, or at the very least, the AL's two wild card berths.
The clubs' playoff aspirations, though, have taken a big hit this month, but each team has a chance to help itself at the other's expense. With the high-profile signings of Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, Los Angeles appeared ready to challenge two-time pennant winner Texas for the AL West crown. The Angels (62-60), however, have faded in that race by going 5-13 this month and head into Boston after getting swept in four home games against Tampa Bay. Los Angeles was outscored 37-14 during that set, and home runs from Pujols and Mike Trout were hardly enough in an 8-3 defeat Sunday. Ervin Santana has been one of the biggest disappointments for Los Angeles this season but is coming off one of his better efforts. The right-hander surrendered only one run and four hits over seven innings to earn a win over the Cleveland Indians. Santana has a 2.01 ERA over his last five starts at Fenway but has gotten one win out of his efforts. The Angels are 4-10 over their last 14 games in Boston but won their final two there last season. They're also 4-17 in the past 21 overall matchups. The Red Sox (59-63) are trying to get back on track as well after starting 6-12 this month. They fell even further behind in the AL East this weekend after dropping two of three to first-place New York. With a 4-1 loss Sunday, Boston finished 4-6 on its season-high, 10-game road trip and dropped to 13-19 since David Ortiz hurt his right Achilles tendon. Ortiz might return during his team's seven-game homestand but likely won't be in the lineup Tuesday. Santana also won't have to deal with Red Sox left fielder Carl Crawford, who will have Tommy John surgery on his left elbow Thursday. Crawford, who has been playing with pain since coming off the disabled list last month, hit .282 in 31 games. Aaron Cook is only 1-5 in his last seven starts and had his command abandon him last time out, when he issued three walks in 5 1/3 innings at Baltimore. He took a no-hitter into the fifth inning in that turn before he made a throwing error and unraveled in the inning. Cook has allowed at least five runs in four of his last five starts but is 2-1 with a 2.86 ERA in three career starts against Los Angeles. The Red Sox fired pitching coach Bob McClure on Monday with the rotation a particular point of concern. That pitching staff will have to deal with the likes of Albert Pujols and Mike Trout, who has hit in seven straight and homered and each of the last two games.
Free Pick: I like the Halos in this one. Both teams are reeling, but the Angles still have a shot at the playoffs, while Boston is pretty much dead in the water. The Angels have won Santana's last 4 starts and he is starting to pitch with confidence. Ervin is 1-0 with a 2.16 ERA in his last 4 starts at Boston and won't have to face either Ortiz or Crawford in this one. Aaron Cook had a really good start for Boston, but he is struggling right now, coming in with a 1-4 mark and a 5.93 ERA in his last 5 starts. Cook is 2-1 with a 2.86 ERA in 3 career starts vs the Halos, but he has never faced them at Fenway, nor has he faced the likes of Trumbo and Trout. Cook has faced Pujols and Albert is 6-17 with 3 RBI's off of him. Yes the Angels were swept in a 4 game series at home vs the Rays, but sometimes getting out on the road and away from the pressure at home can help a team and I feel they will come in an take game 1 here vs a depleted and drained Boston team.
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