MLB Predictions 2012: Los Angeles Angels vs. Boston Red Sox

The Los Angeles Angels (64-60) and Boston Red Sox (59-65) will close out a three-game American League series on Thursday night at Fenway Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:10 ET

Los Angeles Angels at Boston Red Sox 

The Los Angeles Angels need C.J. Wilson to regain his form over the final five weeks of the season

Los Angeles has outscored Boston by a 12-6 margin in taking the first two games of this series, as the club looks to complete the sweep in this affair.  The Angels are hoping that the starting rotation has turned the corner this month, as it entered Wednesday’s contest with a 6.56 ERA in August, which was the highest mark in the majors.  Despite its recent success in this series, it’s important to note that the club is still just 5-15 in its last 20 games against the Red Sox.  Los Angeles is 18-20 versus AL East opponents this year.

Angels starting pitcher C.J. Wilson (9-9, 3.62 ERA) has watched the club drop his last five outings, which includes a no-decision effort in a 10-8 home loss to the Tampa Bay Rays last time out.  He allowed seven runs and six hits over 4.2 innings of work in that affair.  The left-hander is 6-4 with a 3.49 ERA in 15 road outings, issuing 44 walks and striking out 77 batters in 90.1 innings.  In 17 career games (five starts) versus the Red Sox, Wilson has tallied a solid 4-1 record and 1.43 ERA, including a 1-0 mark and 1.46 ERA in two outings last year.

Boston is a sinking ship that has lost 14 of 20 games this month, which has caused the team to fall 8.5 games back in the AL Wild Card standings.  “It’s tough,” commented Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz.  “Nobody comes here every day wanting to lose.”  The Red Sox have won 10 of their last 16 regular-season games versus the Angels at this ballpark, but have lost eight of 10 at home this month.  Boston is 7-15 versus AL West foes this year.

Red Sox starting pitcher Franklin Morales (3-4, 3.67 ERA) has suffered back-to-back road losses to the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees, allowing eight runs and eight hits over 10.2 combined innings.  The left-hander is 2-2 with a 5.16 ERA in 19 home appearances (three starts), with opposing hitters batting .267 against him.  Morales surrendered two runs in 1.1 innings of work in his only career appearance against the Angels.

Sports bettors will likely back the Angels due to their 9-0 mark on the road against teams with a losing record, while the Red Sox are 2-8 versus winning teams.

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