San Francisco Giants-Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: A Series Preview

Brian BodenContributor IJune 16, 2009

The (32-29) Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim come into town to start a three-game series against the (34-28) San Francisco Giants today. 

These two teams are quite different from each other as the Giants depend on their pitching and the Angels depend on their hitting. Giants' pitching has only given up 233 runs where the Angels hitting have scored 296 runs. 

However, both teams are coming into the series with success as they both swept their counterparts in the previous series. The Giants have won seven out of their last 10 games and the Angels have won six out their last 10. With both of these teams on a good roll lately, this should be a great and exciting series.

Now that the introduction is out of the way, let's break down each individual game.

June 15

Pitching Matchup: Barry Zito vs. John Lackey

Barry Zito has a lot of experience against the Angels, facing them 28 times with a 12-9 record against them. Zito is coming into this game with a 3-6 record and a 4.09 ERA. In his previous two starts, he has fared very well with two wins in 10 innings of work with five earned runs given up. 

John Lackey is making only his seventh start of the year after dealing with injuries for the first month and a half of season. He has a 1-2 record and a 6.61 ERA so far this season. In his last start against the Tampa Bay Rays, he did not fair well as he got rocked in five innings, giving up eight earned runs.

Most Intriguing Matchup: Barry Zito vs. Chone Figgins

Chone Figgins has the most career at bats against Barry Zito with 42. In these at bats, Zito has faired quite well against him as he is only batting .190 with eight hits. If Zito can continue this success and keep the Angels speedster off the bases for the power hitters of this line up, then he has the potential to have a great game.

June 16

Pitching Matchup: Jonathan Sanchez vs. Ervin Santana

Jonathan Sanchez is coming into this start struggling this season with a 2-6 record and a 4.84 ERA. In Sanchez's past two starts, he has not fared well as he has lost both games pitching 10 1/3 innings and giving up six earned runs. However, Sanchez has pitched better at home, meaning this will be a tough game for him against this potent lineup.

Ervin Santana is making only his seventh start of the year with record of 1-3 and a 7.47 ERA. Although he did not fair well in his last start, he pitched tremendous in his previous start against the Detroit Tigers. He went eight and two thirds innings, giving up only one earned run. So if Santana pitches the way he did against the Tigers, this could be a very tough game for the Giants' offense.

Most Intriguing Matchup: Ervin Santana vs. Pablo Sandoval

Although Pablo Sandoval has no career at bats against Ervin Santana, this will be a great matchup because Sandoval has the ability to turn around the high 90's fastball Santana can throw. Sandoval is on a tear in his last seven games where he is batting .480 with two home runs.

June 17

Pitching Matchup: Tim Lincecum vs. Matt Palmer

Tim Lincecum is having another great season with a 6-1 record and a 2.66 ERA. He has pitched exceptionally well in his last five starts, lasting into the seventh inning in each start. In his last start against the A's, he pitched a complete game shutout with eight strike outs.

Matt Palmer is a familiar face to San Francisco as he started three games for the club last year. This season, he has been one of the better pitchers for the Angels this season as he is 6-0 in his eight starts. In his last start against the San Diego Padres, he pitched six innings and gave up three earned runs in the victory.

Most Intriguing Matchup: Tim Lincecum vs. Torii Hunter

Although these two have never faced each other, this will be a great matchup because Torii Hunter has been the Angels best hitter this season. He is batting .319 with 16 home runs and 51 RBI. In his last seven games, he has been on a tear batting .368 and four home runs.

Tim Lincecum will definitely have to pay extra attention to Hunter in this game and make sure he keeps his pitches down in the zone. Hunter has the ability to take advantage of a mistake and send it into the bleachers. 


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