MLB: Boston guns for season sweep of Angels

MLB: Boston guns for season sweep of Angels

MLB: Boston guns for season sweep of Angels


2010-08-19

The Angels are nearly a .500 team heading into Thursday’s game versus the Red Sox, but if not for the woeful season series versus Boston, they would be much better, perhaps even still in the playoff hunt. Los Angeles has lost all nine games to Boston in 2010, and a win by the Red Sox tonight would complete an unusual season sweep. Oddsmakers at Sportsbook.com believe it will happen, with the Red Sox playing as -145 favorites behind Josh Beckett.

There may be enough reasons to suspect the season sweep won’t happen though. First off, Boston (69-52) hasn't won more than three straight games since June. Secondly, Beckett has been hit hard in both of his last two starts, yielding 13 runs in 9-2/3 innings against Texas and the Yankees. Thirdly, there are several strong StatFox Systems and/or Trends favoring the Angels in tonight’s matchup.

The system reads as follows and focuses on Beckett’s struggles:

• Play On - Road underdogs with a money line of +100 or higher (LA ANGELS) - with a bullpen that averages less than 2.75 innings per game against opponent with a starting pitcher whose ERA is 6.20 or worse on the season (AL). (35-15 since 1997.) (70%, +31.5 units. Rating = 4*)

The Angels will turn to Ervin Santana (12-8, 3.99 ERA) to cool off the Boston bats. The right-hander pitched well at Fenway on May 4, limiting the Red Sox to one run over seven innings, but wound up without a decision in a 5-1 loss. He is 1-2 with a 4.61 ERA in seven starts versus Boston. Santana has won four of his last five starts overall, including a 7-2 home victory Saturday over Toronto in which he allowed one run, three hits and four walks in seven innings. He also boasts a strong performance record against the league’s best recently:

• SANTANA is 15-5 (+10.3 Units) against the money line when playing against a good team (Win Pct. 54% to 62%) over the last 2 seasons. (Team's Record) The average score was SANTANA 5.0, OPPONENT 3.0 - (Rating = 1*)

Besides the current opponent, the other good news for the Red Sox is that they got 2008 AL MVP Dustin Pedroia back from a broken left foot Tuesday. They have been dealing with injury problems all season long and found out on Wednesday that Mike Cameron will have season-ending surgery to repair a torn abdominal muscle. Fellow outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury also may not play again this year after re-aggravating a broken rib in his back last week.

The Red Sox won 7-5 on Wednesday night, improving to 9-0 in the season series with Los Angeles. Boston has averaged 7.3 runs while batting .327 in those games.

The Angels, meanwhile, will now try to avoid their fifth losing streak this season of at least four games. Two of the previous four skids concluded with sweeps at the hands of Boston.

The total for Thursday’s game is set at 9.5, and that wagering option also shows a unique trend relating to Boston’s dominance in the series:

• SCIOSCIA is 14-4 OVER (+9.5 Units) in road games revenging 6 or more straight losses vs opponent in last 2 years as the manager of LA ANGELS. The average score was LA ANGELS 5.5, OPPONENT 6.2 - (Rating = 1*)

Look for the first pitch from Boston at 7:10 PM ET.

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