New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Angels: Halos Starting Dan Haren Tuesday

Kate ConroySenior Analyst IIAugust 9, 2011

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 25: Starting pitcher Dan Haren #24 of the Los Angeles Angels looks to the score board after giving up a walk during the second inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on July 25, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

Arriving in the Bronx after winning eight of 10 games on the road, the Yankees should be very pleased with that performance; except when both losses materialized in Fenway Park.

So, instead the Yankees come home shamed and self-conscious, but thankful for Monday’s off day to shake away everything Red Sox off their shoulders.

Not only the players, but also Yankee fans needed a breather after enduring the emotional roller-coaster that comes with losing to Boston for the 10th time this season.

Bombers vs Halos

I'm admittedly still pissed but trying to focus on the upcoming series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim because the Halos pitching is a force to be reckoned with.

Angels skipper Mike Scioscia has only confirmed that Dan Haren will be on the hill to open the series, but otherwise mum's the word.

The obvious guess is that staff ace Jeff Weaver will throw in Wednesday because that would be his scheduled start day, but no matter if it is Thursday the Yankees should expect to face the All-Star this week.

Luckily, Erwin Santana pitched on Sunday, so doubt he will be available for this series and as well as he has pitched that is a blessing for any opponent.

AJ Burnett, who seems to be irreparably flawed, will try to right himself again. Burnett will be up against a feeble Anaheim offense, who come into the Bronx only having scored four runs total in their last three-game set.

Without falter, Haren is the better pitcher as this season he is boosting a 12-6 record, a 2.81 ERA, with three complete games and two shutouts over 24 starts. Haren does not walk batters, issuing just 24 in total this season. This fact got more frightening when I looked at the top 50 pitchers on and only Phillies Roy Halladay has allotted less with 20.

As usual after a solid first half, Burnett did not clock a "W" in the month of July but in his defense he got zero run support in two starts where he went seven-plus innings.

Otherwise Burnett’s 8-9 record and 4.54 ERA paint a bad picture. On a positive note, Burnett has kept batters at a .241 average on the season, which is not as bad as you would think. His last start against the White Sox is one skipper Joe Girardi wants to forget, as he had to pull him out of the game shy of five innings, with a 13-1 lead.

The Yankees bats certainly made up for July by driving in 13 runs in four innings for Burnett in Chicago, but no one expects that vs. Haren.

Still, the Yankees can hit the hell out of the ball in comparison to the Halos and that is their big advantage in this series.

A New Baseball Formula and My Series Prediction

Everybody is constantly preaching about the importance of pitching in baseball, which I agree with completely but that is only one-half of the game.

The Halos are a perfect example of this theory. They stand behind a dynamic starting trio, which is  the reason they are just a game behind the Texas Rangers and stay in an AL West showdown for the division.

The Yankees' only sure things are CC Sabathia and a solid bullpen.

This has led me to believe that we have been brainwashed into underestimating the power of hitting.

I firmly believe that a team, like the Yankees could start a new trend by winning with their bats. Reality is the Bombers biggest strength day in and day out is their potent lineup, so why not capitalize on that?

This series could be the start of the year of the hitter, a dubious idea but not an impossible one.

Overall, both these teams are just a game back from being atop their respective division; and with the AL Wild Card still up for grabs this is as important a series as the one the Yankees just had in Fenway Park.