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Red Sox vs. Angels Series Betting Preview

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
Oct/07/2009
Red Sox vs. Angels Series Betting Preview

This is Carrie Stroup with your Red Sox vs. Angels betting preview with the first game going off on Thursday.

The Red Sox and Angles will be the last teams to start up their divisional series, giving bettors at least an extra day to prepare for all the exciting wagering opportunities available. Right now, you can bet on each game, side and total, the series, including exact game props, plus numerous other player and team options at Sportsbook.com. Read on for a preview of the Boston-Los Angeles series, then head over to the LIVE ODDS page to analyze the options. 

As if the postseason isn't enough motivation, the Los Angeles Angels have a score to settle. The Angels had the second best record in the American League and that accomplishment means nothings to odds-makers. The Halos are underdogs to Boston, since in the last five years; they have one win in 10 meetings with the Red Sox in the postseason. This can't even be described as a rivalry since the outcomes have been so one-sided.

How will this year be any different than the last three times? Los Angeles feels better equipped offensively this time around. Only the Yankees scored more runs than the Angels in baseball this season. The 5.5 runs per game and boost in power (183 home runs) gives them the belief they are less likely to be stymied like in the past, since they have averaged 2.9 runs per game in last 10 postseason conflicts.

The Angels also believe their starting pitching is every bit as good as Boston's, maybe better. John Lackey and Jered Weaver have experience and generally pitch well at home. When they travel to Boston, Scott Kazmir and Joe Saunders will try and make life tough on Red Sox hitters, as both are throwing extremely well of late.

In theory that all sound terrific, one problem, the Angels bullpen. Though Los Angeles has a higher save percentage than Boston (73 to 69 percent), nobody is going to take the Halos pen over the BoSox. Closer Brian Fuentes just recently went under four (3.93) for his ERA for the first time this season. The Angels are 11th in bullpen ERA compared to Boston's second place finish in the American League. According to ESPN senior editor Dave Schoenfield, only three teams since 1969 have won the World Series with a closer who had ERA greater than three.

Boston has John Papelbon (1.85 ERA) as its closer and teams that have inferior closer, but better overall record are 26-28 in the division series. The lower scoring team is 32-22 in this round and the club with the better bullpen ERA wins 58.9 percent of the time (33-23) in divisional series.

Total the numbers and you can see why the Angels are underdogs in the ALDS. For Los Angeles to win they have to score runs and HOPE the bullpen can shutdown Boston bats. If the Red Sox starters once again limit L.A. in the run column, it will be like watching the TV Land; you've seen this show before.

Offensive - American League

Runs scored    Boston 3rd      Angels 2nd

Home Runs     Boston 3rd      Angels 8th

Slugging Pct.   Boston 2nd      Angels 4th

Walks              Boston 2nd      Angels 7th

On base Pct.   Boston 2nd      Angels 3rd 

 

Pitching & Defense

ERA                 Boston 7th      Angels 9th

Bullpen ERA    Boston 2nd     Angels 11th

Strikeouts        Boston 2nd      Angels 9th

Walks               Boston 6th      Angels 5th

On base Pct.    Boston 8th     Angels 10th

Putouts             Boston 8th     Angels 5th

Errors               Boston 3rd     Angels 4th    

 

Key Numbers- Los Angeles won the season series 5-4, including 4-2 at the Big A. The tone of the series is likely to be set in the series opener. John Lackey is living off history as big game pitcher, having last won in his rookie season of 2002, pitching in the postseason. Lester allowed one run in 14 innings last October against the Halos and the lefty and teammates are 35-12 in the second half of the season over the last two seasons. Though several factors are in the Red Sox favor, they are desultory 3-15 in road games when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season.

Sportsbook.com Series Odds: Red Sox -135, Angels +115

 

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