LA Angels (37-39) AT LA Dodgers (34-42)
June 24, 2011 at 10:10 PM EST
Opening Line: LAA -140, LAD +120
Current Line: LAA -129, LAD +110
Opening Total: 6.5
Current Total: 6.5
SP: LAA- Dan Haren, LAD- Rubby De La Rosa
The so-called “Freeway Series” between the two Los Angeles baseball teams begins tonight, and excitement runs high for fans and players in this matchup.
“It’s always exciting when we play the Dodgers,” Angels outfielder Torii Hunter said. “There’s an electricity in the air with all the blue and red, fans getting into it. It’s an exciting series and time for everybody.”
Hunter may be excited, but he’s having the worst year of his MLB career with only a .243 batting average. He’s been very good in interleague play, though, as he has a 22 game road hitting streak in interleague play and is hitting .390 with 5 homers in that span. If he hits today, he’ll match Jeter’s 23 game hitting streak from 2005 to 2007.
First year Dodgers manager Don Mattingly doesn’t want to put too much emphasis on the series, however. “It’d be nice to win some games within the Angel-Dodger thing, but we’re not in any position where we can put more importance on one game than another,” Mattingly said.
The pressure will not be on Hunter, though, but rather on Angels’ pitcher Dan Haren, who is coming off his worst performance of the season. He gave up 6 earned runs in 4 innings in a 6-1 loss to the Mets.
“Over the course of the year it’s going to happen, even to the best of them,” Haren said. “I never really got into a rhythm.”
The outing before that wasn’t particularly great either, a game in which he gave up 3 earned runs in 6 innings. His ERA is still solid on the year though, and he has a 2.96 ERA to go with his 6-5.
A lack of run support has hurt Haren, too. He’s gone 2-5 with a 3.73 ERA over his last 10 starts, while receving a pathetic 2.12 runs per game. In his first five starts he kept his ERA so low it didn’t matter, when he went 4-0 with a 1.16 ERA.
Rookie Rubby De La Rosa will take the moud for the Dodgers. He’s 3-1 with a 4.58 ERA on the year but suffered a bad loss to Houston on Saturday in which he gave up 5 runs in the 5 inning, before exiting the inning with 2 outs still to go. In his first 5 appearances, two of which were starts, he was 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA.
Some betting trends:
The LA Angels are 4-2 SU in their last 6 games and they are 4-2 SU in their last 6 on the road. The total has gone OVER in 8 of the last 11 games against the Dodgers and the Angels are 5-1 SU in their last 6 against the LA Dodgers. The total has gone OVER in 4 of the Angels’ last 5 games on the road against the Dodgers and the Angels are 6-1 SU in their last 7 games on the road against the LA Dodgers.
The LA Dodgers are 3-6 SU in their last 9 games and 3-7 SU in their last 10 at home. The total has gone OVER in 8 of the Dodgers’ last 11 games against the Angels. The Dodgers are 1-5 SU in their last 6 games against the Angels. The total has gone OVER in 4 of the Dodgers’ last 5 games at home against the Angels. The Dodgers are 1-6 SU in their last 7 at home against the Angels.
This game will offer a chance for Haren to rebound from his last performance and given the nature and type of pitcher he is, I would expect that to happen. The Angels are slight favorites, and rookies can be erratic, so De La Rosa will have to be steady and not have a bad inning like he did in his last appearance.