Boston Red Sox vs. Los Angeles Angels Preview and Pick

Boston Red Sox (68-44) +105, o/u 9 at Los Angeles Angels (65-46), 9 pm Eastern Tuesday
by Staff

First place in the East meets the best in the West when the Boston Red Sox visit the Los Angeles Angels for the middle game of a three-game set Tuesday night in Anaheim.

Los Angeles took the series opener Monday night 4-2, beating Curt Schilling in his first start since coming off the DL. But Boston leads the season series this year three games to one. These two teams split the series last season 3-3.

The Red Sox still lead the American League East by six games over the second-place New York Yankees. On the other coast, the Angels lead the West by four games over the second-place Seattle Mariners.

Boston is 32-24 on the road this season, which is tied for the second-best away mark in the majors. Meanwhile, Los Angeles owns the best home record in MLB at 36-16.

Boston is slated to send 41-year-old knuckle-baller Tim Wakefield (13-9, 4.55) to the mound Tuesday night, while the Angels will counter with lefty Joe Saunders (5-0, 3.10). The Sox are 13-9 in Wakefield’s starts this year, and L.A. is 7-1 in Saunders’ starts.

Wakefield has started once vs. the Angels over the last two seasons, allowing one ER and seven baserunners (hits + walks) over seven innings in a 10-1 Boston win back in April.

Saunders has made one career start vs. the Red Sox, allowing nine baserunners but zero ER in 5 1/3 IP in a 4-3 Angels win last August.

Boston owns a .360 team OBP this year, which ranks as second-best in the majors, and is averaging 5.1 runs per game.

Los Angeles owns a .342 team OBP this season, eighth-best in the league, and is averaging 5.0 RPG.

The Red Sox bullpen has given up five ER and 17 baserunners over its last 11 1/3 innings of work.

The Angels pen has given up seven ER and 15 baserunners over its last 11 1/3 IP.

The o/u is 51-59 in Boston games this season, 50-54 in Los Angeles games and 25-25 (excluding pushes) at Angel Stadium.

Sox Catcher Jason Varitek is not expected to start this game.

The Pick: Los Angels Angels -115.