This series is the one we’ve all been waiting weeks for. The Angels and Rangers showdown is finally here and in these next three games the Angels will either find themselves with safely on their way to their sixth AL West title in seven years or knee deep in a playoff race that promises down to the final day of the season. I think it is pretty safe to say that this is a big series for both teams.
Everything is bigger in Texas, including this monumental series.
The series would be a little more exciting if even one of the teams were coming in at the top of their game. Instead, both squads have been struggling to win games thanks to uncommonly pathetic offenses. We all know the trials and tribulations the Halo bats have had lately, especially in Boston. But as bad as the Angels have been, the Rangers have been even worse, having recently scored just one run in a three game series at home against the lowly Oakland Athletics. But the Angels can’t take the Rangers lying down, especially given that Texas has turned the tables on the Halos this year, dominating them for a change, winning 9 of their 12 contests.
Frankly, in a series this important, what has happened in the past really doesn’t even matter. Each player knows just how much this series means and will either thrive under the pressure or break. It is just a matter of figuring out which team is most up to the task. I’ll put my money on the Angels.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (86-58) @ Texas Rangers (80-65)
Game 1 Starters: LAA – Scott Kazmir (8-8, 5.32 ERA) TEX – Tommy Hunter (8-3, 3.23 ERA)
Game 1 Info: 5:05 PM PT TV-Fox Sports West, Radio-KLAA 830 AM, KFWB, KWKW 1330 AM
Game 2 Starters: LAA – Jered Weaver (15-6, 3.85 ERA) TEX – Scott Feldman (16-5, 3.65 ERA)
Game 2 Info: 4:05 PM PT TV-KCOP & MLB Network, Radio-KLAA 830 AM, KFWB, KWKW 1330 AM
Game 3 Starters: LAA – John Lackey (10-8, 3.47 ERA) TEX – Derek Holland (7-11, 6.01 ERA)
Game 3 Info: 10:05 AM PT TV-Fox Sports West & TBS, Radio-KLAA 830 AM, KFWB, KWKW 1330 AM
- The Angels are fresh off a one game reprieve of their Fenway jinx, can they follow it up by shaking this season’s Ranger jinx as well?
- Is Vlad the Ranger Killer going to be available and if so is he going to be at full strength? Considering Vladdy’s track record of murdering Texas, the Angels need him to be both to assure themselves of a series victory.
- Can the Angel bullpen, particularly Brian Fuentes, get their act together? The Bullpen of Doom picked a real crappy time to go in the tank again. Let’s all hope it was just a side effect of the Fenway jinx and nothing more.
- Scott Kazmir finally picks up his first win as an Angel.
- The unlikeliest of heros will emerge. Mike Napoli will break out of his massive slump, bashing two homers and playing a key role in the Angel series victory.
- I wish for a sweep. What the hell else would I wish for? If the Halos win all three this weekend, Texas will be 9.5 games down with 14 to play. There is no coming back from that.
ZERO Tolerance for… residual frustration leaking over from the Boston series. The Angels need to put all that crap behind them and focus on the task at hand. If they want to use it as motivation, fine, but it should otherwise be the furthest thing from their minds right now.
Leave your own questions, answers, predictions or wishes as a comment or just hang out with us during the game or even chat with us on twitter (@MonkeyWithAHalo).