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Bring on the Red Sox

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Yesterday we previewed the Dodgers-Cardinals series. Today, we’ll look at the Angels and Red Sox.

This Angels/Red Sox preview continues after the jump!

Lineups

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Boston
C-Jason Varitek
1B- Kevin Millar
2B- Mark Bellhorn
3B- Bill Mueller
SS- Orlando Cabrera
LF- Manny Ramirez
CF- Johnny Damon
RF- Trot Nixon
DH- David Ortiz

Anaheim
C- Bengie Molina
1B- Darin Erstad
2B- Alfredo Amezaga
3B- Chone Figgins
SS- David Eckstein
LF- Jeff DaVanon
CF- Garrett Anderson
RF- Vladimir Guerrero
DH- Troy Glaus

At catcher, you have to give the advantage to Jason Varitek over Bengie Molina, even if Varitek has slowed down the stretch. Kevin Millar is considerably better than the perennially overrated Darin Erstad. The Angels are just wishing for Adam Kennedy to make a magical reappearance with the way Amezaga has played at times, so give Boston and Mark Bellhorn another edge. Chone Figgins has had a heroic season, but he's no Bill Mueller. David Eckstein may be feisty but he doesn't hit for close to the power that Orlando Cabrera does. Jose Guillen was already a notch below Manny Ramirez, but using a platoon of Jeff DaVanon and Adam Riggs at a position like left field weakens the Angels lineup even more.

So do the Angels have any advantages? Well as good as Johnny Damon is, we'll give an injured Garrett Anderson a slight leg up because we know what he can do. And Vladimir Guerrero gets LAist's MVP vote. He's clearly the best player in the American League after A-Rod. At DH, we have to put the amazing David Ortiz over the hobbled Troy Glaus. So in short, the Red Sox have a far more dominant lineup.
Advantage: Red Sox

Rotation
Game 1: Curt Schilling vs. Jarrod Washburn
Game 2: Pedro Martinez vs. Bartolo Colon
Game 3: Bronson Arroyo vs. Kelvim Escobar
Game 4: Tim Wakefield vs. John Lackey

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This isn't quite the disparity that you might think. Curt Schilling may single-handedly give Boston Game 1, but Pedro has been ordinary this season as his velocity has declined. He just had a 3.90 ERA and can't pitch as deep into games as he used to. Bartolo Colon settled down a bit after a rough first half, and somehow managed 18 wins. Depending on which Bartolo shows up, the Angels might steal Game 2. Bronson Arroyo has had a nice year for Bronson Arroyo, but Kelvim Escobar should probably be the #2 starter. We give Anaheim the edge in game 3. For game 4, we're guessing it will be Tim Wakefield and John Lackey, two pitchers who have struggled mightily this season. But it's entirely possible that the team trailing come Game 4 will go with their ace on three days' rest. And if ace's go wild, then the team with Curth Schilling is in better shape.
Advantage: Red Sox

Bullpen
Boston
Keith Foulke
Mike Timlin
Ramiro Mendoza

Anaheim
Troy Percival
Frankie Rodriguez
Brenden Donnelly
Scot Shields
Kevin Gregg

The Angels have one of the best bullpens in baseball and Donnelly/K-Rod/Percival is as good as any threesome around. Boston will probably throw some starters in the bullpen, but it's not like a struggling Derek Lowe will make up this difference.
Advantage: Angels

Bench

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Boston
Pokey Reese
Doug Mientkiewicz
Gabe Kapler
Doug Mirabelli
Dave Roberts

Anaheim
Curtis Pride
Andres Galarraga
Robb Quinlan
Dallas McPhearson
Adam Riggs

This isn't even close. The Red Sox have a quality Major League team sitting in the dugout. The Angels have a group "scrappy" guys?
Advantage: Red Sox

This series doesn't look very promising for Anaheim. It's hard for LAist to picture Boston winning in fewer than four games. But the Angels have proved us wrong before.