Nothing like starting things off with a bang, and the Twins are doing just that by kicking off their two-week road trip in LA (or Anaheim, whatever). It's four against the Angels, then back to Seattle for games seven, eight and nine against the Mariners this month, next it's onto Oakland for four, an off day, and finally three in Toronto to wrap up their jaunt.
With the Angels sending out an old nemesis in John Lackey, the Twins might be getting him at the right time. He's been quite mortal since crossing from May into June, and indeed it's been a tale of two seasons:
His command has been lackey lacking, and he's been increasingly susceptible to the long ball. The strikeout rates are decreasing and the aforementioned HR rates have taken a wicked spike, which is bizarre considering Lackey's a ground-ball pitcher. Finally, he's much better against left-handed hitters (.548 opponent OPS) than right-handers (.866 opponent OPS), so hopefully Gardenhire stacks his lineup appropriately.
Scott Baker is the man charged with keeping a potent Angel lineup in check, and unfortunately for the Twins Baker hasn't been putting it all together on a consistent basis for quite some time. He's been fine for many of his innings, but then finds himself getting into trouble from what he's dubbed "mechanical issues" which are messing with his throwing motions. Hopefully he can his issues corrected for tonight, because this is a lineup that will punish mistakes.
Don't be shocked if the Angels trot out a lineup similar to this: Figgins (3B), Aybar (SS), Teixeira (1B), Guerrero (RF), Hunter (CF), Anderson (DH), Kendrick (2B), Rivera (LF), Napoli (C)
For the away team I'll assume Gardy will want to stack some righties into this lineup, and venture something to the tune of: Span (RF), Casilla (2B), Mauer (C), Morneau (1B), Young (LF), Ruiz (DH), Harris (3B), Punto (SS), Gomez (CF)
|2008 - John Lackey||10-2||17||17||2||0||0||0||120.1||108||46||43||18||29||93||3.22||1.14|
|2008 - Scott Baker||7-3||20||20||0||0||0||0||119.2||118||52||52||17||26||101||3.91||1.20|