Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Angels Open Freeway Series Behind Garrett Richards

By looking at the secondary ticket market it seems like the battle for Los Angeles is getting more expensive.

Last-minute tickets to Monday’s Freeway Series opener at Dodger Stadium start north of $25 for top deck seating while Angel Stadium games run above $50. It’s nothing new given the teams’ locations and the high-priced talent.

Both clubs struggled following their 2009 Championship series’ appearances, yet fans continued to attend. Even a boycott of Frank McCourt couldn’t stop the cross-town rivalry from thriving. The Angels haven’t made the postseason since, while the Dodgers have flourished under new ownership.

Both are legitimate World Series contenders this time around.

The Halos trail Oakland by one game for the league’s best record. They won a three-game set in Tampa Bay behind a strong bullpen and valiant efforts from Matt Shoemaker and Jered Weaver.

Losing a weekend series with Chicago didn’t stop the Dodgers from maintaining a 2 ½ game lead in the NL West. They’ve won seven of the last nine contests behind Cy Young candidates Clayton Kershaw and former Angel Zack Greinke.

Tonight, Greinke faces off against his former club at the beginning of a home-and-home series.

Pitching Matchup Garrett Richards (11-4, 2.74 ERA) vs. Zack Greinke (12-6, 2.65 ERA)

Something about National League opponents brings out the best in Garrett Richards. The young right-hander has allowed one run in 19 innings this season, winning in Philadelphia while getting no-decisions against Washington and Atlanta.

Richards is looking for his first post-All-Star game victory after running into Felix Hernandez and Max Scherzer in mid-July. Last Wednesday he yielded four runs for the second consecutive outing earning back-to-back losses for the first time this season.

Success against the Dodgers is limited to a 2.63 ERA in four appearances-two starts-dating back to 2012. He scattered two hits through five inning in his only previous Dodger Stadium outing.

After spending the tail end of 2012 with the Angels, Greinke bolted north where he’s compiled a 27-10 record and 2.64 ERA. The two-time All-Star has given up just one earned run over his last 15 innings, striking out 23 along the way.

Greinke’s always had a tough time against the Halos. He’s 1-4 with a 4.10 ERA and 1.481 WHIP. His last victory came in 2008 while in Kansas City, that includes a four-run outing at Angel Stadium last season. On May 27, Greinke was pulled after four innings in what turned out to be his shortest start of the year.

Walk offs:

  1. The Angels hold a 56-40 advantage over the Dodgers in regular season meetings.
  2. Utility infielder John McDonald is the only Angel with a home run against Greinke.
  3. Josh Hamilton only has one hit and one RBI in 22 at-bats against Greinke.

TV: 7:10 p.m. PT, Fox Sports West, SportsNet LA

Radio: KLAA 830, 570 Fox Sports

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