The Dodgers continue their Tour de California as they begin a three-game set with the Angels in Anaheim tonight. Last time the cross-town rivals were pitted against each other a week ago, the Dodgers dropped 2 of 3 at Dodger Stadium. After being swept by the Oakland Athletics up north, the Dodgers hope to gain momentum before returning to the Bay to take on the Giants. June has been a much more challenging schedule for the Dodgers, and we will all be glad once this Interleague Play is behind us.
Chad Billingsley will take the mound for the Dodgers, but Bills has not fared well against the Orange County team. He has lost three games in a row to the Angels, and last year he was on the losing end of a complete-game in Anaheim. Bills has not defeated the Angels since 2008. Last time out against the Chicago White Sox, Billingsley pitched 6 innings while allowing four earned runs. In his career against the Angels, Chad has a record of 1-4 with a 4.10 ERA. Erick Aybar, Howard Kendrick, and Kendrys Morales have all hit well against him in the past, but Albert Pujols is only hitting .133 against Bills in 15 at bats.
The Halos will hand the ball to Dan Haren who is also a right-hander. Haren has allowed 9 runs on 18 hits
in his last two starts, and he was roughed up by Arizona last time out. Haren will be pitching on 6 days of rest after the off-day and the return of Jared Weaver altered the rotation and Haren’s routine. Against the Dodgers, Haren is 5-5 with a 3.27 ERA in his career. A lot of the Dodgers have hit him well in the past, and Andre Ethier is hitting .386 against him with 2 homeruns, 5 doubles, and 7 RBI. James Loney has also fared well against Dan with a .359 batting average and one homerun as well. Loney was out of the lineup yesterday due to the flu, so hopefully he is feeling better enough to play today.
Obviously the Dodgers will have to somehow ignite their offense and at the same time attempt to tame Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. This series will not be an easy one, Dodger fans. The two runs the Dodgers plated during the entire Oakland series will not stand up to the Angels.
The Dodgers no longer hold the bragging rights as having the best record in the MLB after Texas took the throne this week. The Dodgers do still wear the crown in the National League with their 42-28 record, and hopefully they can stave off San Francisco through this weekend and into the SF series. It won’t be easy since the Angels have always given the Dodgers a hard time, and they have a 52-37 against the Dodgers in Interleague Play since it began in the fateful year of 1997.
Tonight the game will be televised on Prime Ticket at 7:05 pm, and we will as always have a detailed game summary following its conclusion.