The two teams that make up the Southern California Freeway Series are heading in opposite directions.
Los Angeles Dodgers at Los Angeles Angels
The Los Angeles Dodgers left Boston without picking up a victory, after losing a 2-0 pitcher’s duel on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. “They did many things better,” said Dodgers catcher Russell Martin. “They’re a tough team to beat.” The club returns to the Southern California area after a day off to face a team that swept them the previous weekend. Manager Joe Torre’s club is 2-7 (-660) during interleague play this year and 16-26 (-1,330) the last three seasons. Outfielders Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp hope to lead the offense on Tuesday night against a right-handed starter. Ethier is batting .331 this season against righties compared to .295 versus southpaws, while Kemp has hit 10 of his 11 home runs against them.
Dodgers SP Clayton Kershaw is 7-3 with a 2.96 ERA in 14 starts this season (+280), which includes a 6-1 mark and 1.82 ERA in his last eight starts. “Toward the beginning of the season, I was having trouble settling in,” Kershaw said. “What I take from Torre is just able to start more on top of my stuff earlier in the game.” On Wednesday at Cincinnati, the left-hander struck out seven and allowed one run on seven hits over 7.1 innings in the Dodgers’ 6-2 victory. He has allowed just one run over 12 innings (0.75 ERA) and gone 1-0 in his two career starts against the Angels (+10), holding the lineup to a .190 average. Kershaw ranks fifth in the National League with 97 strikeouts, but also leads the league with 45 walks.
The last time the Los Angeles Angels faced off against its Freeway Series rivals, the team hit .315 and averaged 6.7 runs in a series sweep. The Halos are 24-13 at home against the Dodgers and 44-33 overall in the series history. Manager Mike Scioscia’s club is a solid 7-5 against the Senior Circuit in 2010 (+210) and 31-17 over the last three years (+1,230). The team has historically heated up during the summer months, posting a 46-25 record in June over the last three years (+1,940). The theme has remained the same so far this season, with the club going 13-6 (+660) and outscoring the opposition 94-31 in those victories. The lineup is hitting a combined .285 this month, led by outfielder Torii Hunter that’s hitting .353 with five home runs and 21 RBI.
Angels SP Ervin Santana possesses a winning 6-5 record and 3.91 ERA in 14 starts in 2010 (+110). The right-hander has dropped his last two starts, after rattling off five victories in a row from May 15 to June 5. In those two outings, he has compiled a 9.00 ERA and the offense managed to plate just two runs. Santana is an even 2-2 with a 5.12 ERA in six home starts this season (+100), which is a bit different from his 34-21 career mark at Angel Stadium. He will need to be careful with the left-handed bats of the Dodgers’ lineup this evening, as opposing lefties are hitting .306 against him this year with eight home runs.
For many teams, a day off after being swept would be a a benefit, but the Dodgers come in with a 3-7 mark in this situation on the year (-630). Torre’s club often picks itself off the mat after getting shutout, going 5-3 on the season (+240). The Angels are a dismal 2-9 when playing on Tuesday’s this season (-920), as they hope to even their record as a home underdog of +100 to +125 (2-3, -70).