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Preview: New York Yankees @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
By mvyb, 25.08.2006, 11:54

This weekend, the Yankees play a crucial three-game series with the LA Angels. Why is this series so crucial, you ask? First of all, the Yanks haven't played well against the Angels and need to start doing so right now. If the Angels make the playoffs ( this year or the next), the Yankees are gonna have to find a way to beat them. Also, the BoSox have an easy three-game series with the Mariners. Over the next three days, Boston can easily gain ground if the Yankees falter in Anaheim.
The Yanks are 9-8 on this 21-games-in-20-days streak, a good series here could improve that record.
Game 1:  August 25, 10:05PM
Jaret Wright ( 9-7)  v. John Lackey (10-9)
Jaret Wright hasn't started since August 17th, and in that game, he couldn't get out of the 4th inning. Not good.
But. let's look at some positives here: On August 12th ( his only start against the Angels this year), Jaret Wright beat the Angels in the Bronx by a score of 5 to 2. He pitched into the 6th and allowed only one run... not too shabby.  Wright is 3-1 in August and 4-2 on the road this year.
Now on the other hand, John Lackey, picked up a loss in his only start this year against the Yankees ( August 14th).
Lackey's pitching line: 7IP, 11H, 3ER, 3R, 4BB, HR
(MLB.com photo)
And the Yankee batters really own this guy:
Rodriguez-  .258 BA, 3HR
Damon-  .333 BA ( 10 for 30)
Giambi-  .478 BA ( 11 for 23), 2 HR
Jeter-  .348 BA, HR
Guiel-  .444 BA ( 4 for 9), 2 HR
Cano-  .500 ( 3 for 6)
Cabrera- .667 ( 2 for 3)
Ok, so all the Yanks need is a decent outing from Wright, and they should win the game. But what are the chances they get a good outing.... 50/50? No, I think it's a little more in their favor, probably 60/40.
Game 2: August 26th, 4:10PM
Cory Lidle (10-9)  v.  Ervin Santana (12-6)
We were all impressed by Cory Lidle's last start, against the Boston Red Sox. He pitched 6 shutout innings, establishing his spot in the Yankee rotation.
Lidle has been great in August ( 2-2 with a 2.82 ERA), and he has pitched well on the road all year long ( 3-2, 3.91 ERA).
Lidle had one start against the Angels this year, and picked up the loss ( allowing only 3 runs), but other then that start, he doesn't have much history against the Angels. None of their players have any outstanding numbers against him- Guerrero ( 0 for 2), Erstad ( 1 for 17), Rivera ( 0 for 7), and Quinlan ( 0 for 2).
Ervin Santana has one start against the Yanks this year, a victory. Santana's pitching line: 5.2 IP, 2H, ER, 3BB, HR
But, Santana hasn't been pitching as well this month ( 4.87 ERA), which is the one flicker of hope for the Yankees.
Yankees against Santana:
Jeter-  .714 BA ( 5 for 7), 2HR
Cano-  .143 BA ( 1 for 7), HR
Rodriguez-  .125 BA ( 1 for 8)
Posada-  .167 BA ( 1 for 6)
Damon-  .125 BA ( 1 for 8)
Giambi-  0 for 7
Never faced: Abreu, Cabrera, Williams, Guiel, or Green
Ouch! Oh, that hurts... I'm not very optimistic about this game.
Game 3: August 27th, 3:35PM
Jeff Karstens ( 0-0)  v.  Joe Saunders ( 3-1)
Karstens made his major league debut on Tuesday, and did very well ( especially against the lefties). Karstens pitching line: 5.2IP, 6H, 3ER, 2BB, 2K
But one start against the Mariners doesn't really tell you much, so we'll have to cross our fingers and hope for the best.
Saunders has one career start against the Yankees, a victory. Saunders' pitching line: 6IP, 6H, 3ER, 2BB
This one is a toss-up, Saunders has shown that he has great stuff, but we haven't really seen that much from Karstens.
This game may come down to a battle of the bullpens, which the Yankees might win. The Villone-Proctor-Farnsworth-Rivera combo has worked brilliantly this year, and, thanks to RJ, all of these pitchers had the day off yesterday.
In Conclusion
The Angels will at least take 2 of 3, maybe even sweep the Yankees. The Angels have homefield advantage and all the pitching-matchup advantages.
But, keep in mind that the Angels just lost two of three from the Red Sox, losing to Beckett and Lester, two pitchers that the Yankees mauled. The Angels averaged just 3 runs a ballgame which would not have been enough to beat the Yankees. Maybe the Yankees can surprise us like they did in Boston, and kick some tail.

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