|Streaking Angels Host Second Place Seattle in AL West Showdown|
|Monday, 30 July 2007 13:30|
Angels Take Flight
The first-place Angels look to continue their strong play against the second-place Mariners when the teams open a key three-game series at Safeco Field on Monday.
Los Angeles (61-42) has won seven of its nine meetings with Seattle (57-46), averaging 5.9 runs per game while batting .324 to help build a four-game division lead.
Right fielder Vladimir Guerrero is batting .552 (16-for-29) with seven walks, four home runs, 11 RBIs and 12 runs scored in eight games against the Mariners this year.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Los Angeles -131 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for today's game, the over/under has been set at 8.5 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 68% of bets for this game have been placed on Los Angeles -126 (View MLB Bet Percentages).
The Angels played just as well in their weekend series against Detroit, scoring at least 10 runs in each contest of a three-game sweep that culminated Sunday with a 13-4 rout.
They've scored in double figures in three consecutive games for the first time since May 20-23, 1997. Los Angeles has never scored at least 10 runs four games in a row.
Garret Anderson had six RBIs in the series as the Angels extended their overall win streak to four games. Anderson is batting .368 since coming off the disabled list July 3.
"Garret's been hot this month now that he's healthy again, and he's really seemed to bring a presence and some balance to the lineup," center fielder Gary Matthews Jr. said.
The Angels likely won't need 10 runs to win with Kelvim Escobar (11-4, 2.91 ERA) on the mound for the series opener. The right-hander ranks third in the AL in ERA and has as many wins through 19 starts as he had in 30 starts in 2006.
However, Escobar took the loss in one of the Angels' two defeats to the Mariners this year. He gave up a season-high eight runs in 2 1-3 innings on May 15, as Los Angeles fell 11-3 at Safeco Field.
On Tuesday, Escobar held Oakland to three runs in seven innings, but got only one run of support in a 4-3 loss and saw his personal five-game winning streak snapped.
Like the Angels, the Mariners are coming off a big offensive performance. Seattle beat Oakland 14-10 on Sunday, its third straight victory after a season-high seven-game losing streak.
Ichiro Suzuki became the third-fastest player in major league history to reach 1,500 hits when he singled in the second inning. He finished with two hits, two runs and two stolen bases.
"Unless I get to 1,500, I can't get 1,501," said Suzuki, who is second in the majors with a .343 batting average and hitting .366 (15-for-41) in the season series against the Angels. "So in that sense, all numbers are important to me."
Seattle right-hander Miguel Batista (10-7, 4.48) looks to win his third straight decision. He won back-to-back starts July 14 and 20, but didn't get a decision Wednesday after giving up five runs in six innings of Seattle's 7-6 loss at Texas.
Batista is 3-3 with two saves and a 6.75 ERA in 10 career games, including five starts, versus the Angels.
Guerrero is 11-for-20 (.550) with a homer and three doubles off Batista.
by: Michael Cash - thespread.com – Email Us
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