Freeway Series Preview: Los Angeles Angels (23-27) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (20-28)

By Mark Smith

May 25, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Los Angeles Angels batter

Josh Hamilton

(32) hits a solo home run against the Kansas City Royals during the seventh inning at Kauffman Stadium. Los Angeles beat Kansas City 7-0. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES – The Angels are now starting to look like the team that everyone was talking about in the off-season. Coming off an eight game winning streak which included two wins against the White Sox, two against the Mariners and a sweep of the Kansas City Royals, the Halos have scratched and clawed their way into third place in the AL West and a 23-27 (.460) record. They currently sit nine games back and look to cut into that deficit even further by defeating their cross town rivals at Chavez Ravine Monday night.

Maybe the best part about the Freeway Series:  Angels’ Fans will have the opportunity to listen to the sweet sounds of legendary baseball announcer Vin Scully call the game.  No offense to Victor and Gubi, of course.

The Dodgers (20-28, .417) have struggled with their own internal issues this season – further proof that the old adage “money don’t buy happiness” holds true. The Los Angeles juggernaut was picked to contend in the NL West but is comfortably sitting seven games back and in last place in the west. Manager Don Mattingly has shared the hot seat with Angels skipper Mike Scioscia as their teams have both underperformed during the first 50 games of the 2013 season.

Game One: Monday, May 27th, 5:10 p.m. PST, Dodged Stadium. C.J. Wilson (4-4, 3.39) will take the mound in game one opposite Zack “Don’t call me Rain Man” Greinke (2-1, 3.48). Wilson was the winner in his last start on Wednesday as the Angels routed Seattle 7-1. Wilson has worked 63 2/3 innings with 60 strikeouts and 32 walks on the season.

Game Two:  Joe Blanton (yes, that Joe Blanton) will get the start hoping to replicate his recent performance against the Royals.  Blanton is now 1-7 on the year with a 6.19 ERA.  Blanton picked up his first win of the year last Thursday at Kansas City. He worked 6 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits and two runs.  Blanton mixed in a cutter to keep Kansas City off-balance.  Blanton will face Dodgers left-handed pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu. Ryu (5-2, 3.30) who went 7 1/3 innings in his last outing, allowing two-runs on five hits to beat the Brewers.  Game time Tuesday, May 28th, 7:10 p.m., Dodger Stadium.