Friday Night Rivalry

Sweeping another series from the Los Angeles Dodgers might be a little tougher for the Los Angeles Angels this time around.

The Angels look for their sixth consecutive win over their city-area rivals, and their first victory in five games at Dodger Stadium, when the teams open a three-game set Friday night.

Oddsmakers have made Dodgers -125 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 8 total runs (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 72% of bets for this game have been placed on Dodgers -125 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

The Angels (42-25) outscored the Dodgers 19-4 while sweeping a three-game series from May 18-20 in Anaheim. The Dodgers (38-28), though, won 9-1 over the New York Mets on Wednesday to sweep the three-game set, and they'll be trying for their fourth win in a row after losing five of their previous six contests.

The Dodgers, who swept the Angels from May 19-21, 2006 at Dodger Stadium, hope to improve on their 1-5 interleague record this season.

"We have to do the little things," manager Grady Little told the Dodgers' official Web site. "We approach every game individually."

Little's team will again face a challenge in the first-place Angels, who won 9-7 at Cincinnati on Thursday to take two of three in the series and improve to 7-2 in interleague play. The Angels have won four straight interleague series dating to 2006.

Off to the best start in franchise history, the Angels are a major league-best 25-9 since May 9.

"In the last month, we have been (good) top to bottom," said manager Mike Scioscia, whose team has a five-game lead in the AL West.

Vladimir Guerrero went 1-for-4 with three RBIs on Thursday, including a bases-loaded single in the Angels' six-run seventh inning. Guerrero, batting .335, is 4-for-9 with seven RBIs in his last two games and 5-for-16 (.313) against Derek Lowe, who will start Friday for the Dodgers.

The Angels' Ervin Santana (5-6, 5.26 ERA) will try for his second straight road win when he takes the mound Friday.

The right-hander has struggled away from home, but allowed three runs in six innings of a 9-3 victory at St. Louis on Saturday for his first road win of 2007.

"I like him pitching,'' Scioscia said. "I like Erwin throwing the ball well."

Santana is 1-5 with an 8.50 ERA in seven road starts, compared to 4-1 with a 2.41 ERA in six home starts. He beat the Dodgers 9-1 at Angel Stadium on May 18, allowing one run in six innings, and is 2-1 with a 3.78 ERA in three career starts against them.

Wilson Betemit homered and was one of five Dodgers with at least two hits Wednesday. The Dodgers, a half-game behind NL West-leading San Diego, outscored New York 18-5 in the series.

"We played well this whole series,'' Dodgers catcher Russell Martin said. "We swung the bats well, pitched well and played good defense."

Center fielder Juan Pierre went 5-for-11 against the Mets and is 2-for-5 with a triple against Santana in his career.

Lowe (6-6, 3.21) allowed only a homer to Matt Stairs and three other hits in nine innings Saturday, but lost 1-0 to Toronto.

"Throughout the season, you're going to have tough losses, but there's also going to be games where you don't pitch well and win," said Lowe, who gave up three earned runs in eight innings of a 4-1 defeat to the Angels on May 20.

The right-hander is 5-5 with a 2.97 ERA in 26 games - 10 starts - against the Angels.

The Angels lead the series with the Dodgers 33-26.

by: Dave Michaels - – Email Us

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