Series Preview: Angels Return Home to take on the D’backs

By Jason Evans

The Angels return home this weekend fresh off of beating the rival Dodgers in two of three games at Chavez Revine. The Angels are only three games behind the Texas Rangers in the division, after winning their last three series. They will take on the Arizona Diamondbacks, who managed to salvage one game against the Rangers beating them 11-3 last night.

One interesting subplot is Dan Haren facing his former team for the first time since being traded by the Diamondbacks to the Angels. One of the pitchers he was traded for, Joe Saunders, will face the Angels on Saturday.

Jason Kubel is as hot as any player right now, driving in 14 runs in his past seven games. The Angels will need to contain Kubel to help keep down their offense. After winning the division last year, the Diamondbacks are one game under .500 and 8.5 games behind the Dodgers.

Here are your pitching matchups for the weekend:

Friday: Trevor Cahill vs Dan Haren

Saturday: Joe Saunders vs Ervin Santana

Sunday: Ian Kennedy vs Garrett Richards

The Angels faced Cahill twice last year when he was with Oakland and beat him both times. Saturday is a big start for Ervin Santana. With Jered Weaver close to returning and Garrett Richards pitching well, it is possible that Ervin may lose his spot. Ervin has given up 19 earned runs in his past three starts over 15.1 innings. His ERA is now at 5.74.

It will also be interesting to see what Mike Scioscia does with the lineup now that we are back to using the DH. The way the club has swung the bats with the way the top of the order especially is constructed, you hope that he keeps at least the mix of Mike Trout, Torii Hunter and Albert Pujols intact.