New York Yankees (AJ Burnett) vs. Los Angeles Angels (Ervin Santana) Preview and Pick – Betting Line

New York Yankees (11-4) A.J. Burnett, at Los Angeles Angels (8-9)
Ervin Santana, Angel Stadium, Anaheim, Calif., 10:05 PM EST, Friday,
April 23rd, 2010

by Badger of

Betting Line: Yankees -135/Angels +125
Total: 9.5

The best of the East the past few seasons and the defending World Series champion New York Yankees continue their West Coast swing with a three-game set against the team thats been the best in the West the past few seasons, the Los Angeles Angels.

The weekend series kicks off with a solid pitchers duel tonight when
the Yanks hand the ball to A.J. Burnett and the Angels send Ervin
out to the bump in Angel Stadium in Anaheim.

The Yankees enter the series fresh off of taking two of three from
the As up in Oakland, but the As did score a 4-2 victory beating CC
Sabathia yesterday in the finale. The loss snapped the Pinstripes six
game winning streak, a streak that started with a win over the Angels
in the finale of their three-game set in Yankee Stadium back on April
15th. The Yanks took two of the three games in the Bronx in that series.

The Angels dropped another one-run game last night against the
Detroit Tigers, 5-4, allowing the Tigers to split the four-game set
and giving the Angels a small two-game losing streak in the process.
Prior to the two-game slide the Angels were on a nice little winning
streak of their own, winning five straight including a sweep of the
Toronto Blue Jays on the road and taking the first two against the

Oddsmakers opened the East Coast-West Coast showdown with Burnett and the Yankees as -140 favorites on the moneyline bet and the number has held for the most part through the overnight hours, although a few online sportsbooks have lowered the number to -135 or even -130.
The underdog Angels are listed at +125 at a few of the sportsbooks
that offer reduced juice, but a majority of the books currently have
them at +120 or +115.

The over/under total opened at 9.5 and has held firm across the board.

If you think the total of 9.5 is a little high considering the
quality of starting pitching on the mound, think again because both
starters have had their issues with the opposition over the years.

Burnett has made six starts against the Angels in his career, going
2-2 in those starts with a WHIP (1.328), OBP (.322) and OPS (.771)
that are all on the high end of the quality spectrum. He has managed
to get the Angels patient lineup to swing and miss a lot though, as
his 3.55 strikeout-to-walk ratio is excellent considering whom the
Angels have had in their lineup over the years. Last year he pitched
against the Angels twice, going 1-0 but with a 1.50 WHIP and a .424
BAbip, so he wasnt dealing by any means.

His numbers in Angel Stadium are almost identical to his career
numbers against the Halos (1-2, 1.337, .314, .759), so theres no
real advantage to him being on the West Coast either.

Burnett will have to avoid Bobby Abreu in the Angels lineup tonight,
as the former Yankee is 20-for-64 lifetime against the right-hander
including a .869 OPS. Catcher Mike Napoli and Howie Kendrick have
also had decent success, both going 4-for-11 in limited sample sizes.

A look at Santanas record against the Yankees, which is 5-3 in
nine starts, would make you believe hes fared well against the Evil
Empire. But a deeper look reveals the true story of his struggles as
his WHIP (1.567), on-base percentage (.370) and OPS (.882) are all
really high.

Santanas one start against the Yankees last year was nasty, as the Yankees got him for 9 hits and 5 runs in six innings of work in a 6-5
loss. Three of those hits were homeruns, which gives they Yankees a
ridiculous 1.124 OPS against the righty. Derek Jeter (3), A-Rod,
Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson (2 each) all have multiple
homeruns against Santana, so he’ll have a hard time getting inside
their heads tonight if it’s not the other way around.

Santana is a much better pitcher in Angel Stadium though, as his home
numbers (.615 W/L%, 3.77 ERA, .708 OPS) are all several points lower
than his road numbers (.509, 5.32, .800).

Last year the Yankees were only 3-6 out in Angel Stadium, including
the three games they played in California in the playoffs, and they
are just 7-19 over the last 26 visits to the West Coast.

But the Angels are only 1-4 in Santanas last five starts versus the
Yankees, while the Yanks are 9-2 in Burnetts last 11 starts
including a perfect 3-0 so far in 2010.

The over play also has a strong betting trend to follow. The over was
6-2-1 last year in Angel Stadium and is 16-5-1 over the last 22
meetings in California.

Badgers Pick: Im going to ride the trends here and advocate a wager on the Yankees (at -130 if you can get it) and/or the over of 9.5.

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