New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Angels Preview and Pick – Joba Chamberlain vs. Joe Saunders

New York Yankees (51-34) Joba Chamberlain -125, 9.5 O/U at Los
Angeles Angels (46-37) Joe Saunders +115, 9.5 O/U, Angel Stadium,
Anaheim, Calif., 10:05 PM EST, Friday

by Badger of

Two of the best teams in Major League Baseball the past decade start
a big market three-game showdown tonight when the Los Angeles
Angels welcome the New York Yankees into Angel Stadium. The series
starts off with a solid pitching matchup when the Angels throw lefty
Joe Saunders up against the Yankees young fireballer Joba Chamberlain.

The teams enter the series on opposite ends of the spectrum as far as
momentum goes.

The Angels are scuffling having just lost their grip on first place in
the American League West standings by losing two of three to the rival Texas
Rangers earlier in the week, dropping the finale 8-1 on Wednesday. Despite
owning the top-ranked offense in all of baseball (.281 BA), the Angels pitching
has been decimated by injury and ineffectiveness and it cost them big time
in the series with the Rangers as they tagged the Angels staff to the tune
of 20 runs in the three-game set.

Meanwhile, the Yankees come into Anaheim as one of the hottest teams
in the AL having just completed a three-game sweep of the Minnesota
Twins. They won the finale on Thursday by a score of 6-4, outscoring
the Twins 20-to-9 in the series, and have now won eight of their last
10 games.

Oddsmakers opened the game with the visiting Yankees and Chamberlain as -125 favorites on the moneyline. The Angels and their top starter
Saunders are listed as +115 underdogs on the dimeline at the offshore
sportsbooks that offer 10-cent lines. The over/under total is
currently listed at 9.5.

Chamberlains recent history on the bump is similar to the recent
times for the Yankees. For the season he is just 4-2 with a 4.04 ERA
and a 1.52 WHIP, but the Yankees as a team are 11-5 in his 16 starts
and they are also 3-0 in his last three outings. He has been tagged
around a little bit giving up 25 hits and 14 runs in his last 15.1
innings of work, but hes been the beneficiary of strong run support
as the offense has scored 26 runs during that same span (8.66 avg.).

Chamberlain has pitched in two games against the Angels in his short
career, but has never made a start against them. Over that two game
span he has pitched a total of three innings, allowing two hits and
notching six strikeouts without surrendering a run.

Saunders season has also mirrored the season the Angels have had so
far, as his 8-5 record, 4.44 ERA and 1.34 WHIP are not as strong as
the numbers he had during his breakout campaign last year. The Angels
are 10-7 in his 17 starts, including 2-1 in his last three outings,
but he too has been the beneficiary of big run support as the Angels
have scored 25 runs over that span for an average of 8.33 per start.

Saunders has made three starts against the Yankees in the past, and
hes been knocked around to the tune of 19 hits and 14 runs in just
15.1 innings of work (7.63 ERA), which makes his 1-1 record a bit
deceiving on the surface. His last start against them in August of
last year was solid though, as he went seven strong in a 4-3 Angels win.

The Yankees took two of three from the Angels back in early May in
the new Yankee Stadium, and all three games featured offensive
fireworks with the final score ending over the total. In fact, the
over is a solid 13-4 in the last 17 head-to-head games in the series,
although three of those four unders came in Angel Stadium last season.

The Yankees dont play so well on the West Coast, as they are 1-5 in
their last six games in Los Angeles.

Badgers Pick: Both offenses will likely be amped up for the start of
the series tonight, so Im thinking the trend of the over continues.
Take the over of 9.5.