Los Angeles Angels (70-49) +190 (game 2), o/u 9 at Boston Red Sox (72-48), 7:05 Eastern Friday
by Predictem.com Staff
The two best teams in baseball, at least according to the win-loss columns, clash Friday when the Los Angeles Angels and the Boston Red Sox play a doubleheader to kick off a four-game weekend series at Fenway Park.
Los Angeles just lost two of three games in Toronto this week, but still leads the AL’s Western Division by 3 games over the second-place Seattle Mariners.
Boston just took two of three from Tampa Bay, and now leads the AL East by 5 games over the second-place New York Yankees.
The Angels, who own the best home record in the majors, are only 30-32 on the road this year, and 9-13 as underdogs.
The Red Sox are 38-21 at home this season and 63-38 when favored.
Boston leads the season series with L.A. this season four games to two, with the o/u going 3-2-1. Last year, these two teams split six games, with the o/u going 3-2-1.
Ervin Santana (5-11, 6.22), who was sent down to the minors last month after giving up 29 ER in 26 IP, was expected to be re-called in time to start Friday night’s game for the Angels opposite Josh Beckett for the Sox. Los Angeles is 7-12 in Santana’s starts this season, the o/u 11-7.
Santana has started once vs. Boston over the last two seasons, allowing five ER and 10 baserunners (hits + walks) in just four innings of a 7-2 Angels loss back in April.
Beckett (15-5, 3.24) has allowed just three ER and struck out 17 in his last two starts, covering 15 1/3 IP. The Red Sox are 16-6 in Beckett’s starts this year, the o/u 10-11.
Beckett has made three starts vs. L.A. over the last two seasons, holding the Halos to five ER and 21 baserunners in 18 IP.
The Angels own a .342 team OBP this season, which ranks as seventh-best in the majors, and are averaging 5.0 runs per game.
Boston ranks second in the league with its .360 team OBP this year and is averaging 5.1 RPG.
The Los Angeles bullpen has been solid as of late, holding opponents to two ER and 11 baserunners over its last 8 2/3 innings of work. Consequently, combined with some good starting pitching, the Angels have held eight of their last 11 opponents to three runs or fewer.
The Red Sox pen has given up five ER and 15 baserunners in its last 9 2/3 IP.
The o/u is 53-59 in Los Angeles games this season, 55-63 in Boston games but 32-26 at Fenway Park.
The Predictem Pick: This is a horrible spot for the Angels. Look for Beckett to dominate them tonight for an easy win. Most sportsbooks are carrying this game at around -133 odds.
Update: There has been a pitching change. Lackey will be facing Beckett. We still like the Sox to win here.