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Boston Red Sox at Los Angeles Angels
Sunday, 6:00 pm Eastern – ESPN
Two of the top teams in the American League complete their series on Sunday as the Los Angeles Angels host the Boston Red Sox. This matchup could be a preview of the American League Championship Series if both teams continue on their present course. The Angels lead the American League West while the Red Sox began the weekend in first place in the American League East. Tim Wakefield gets the start on Sunday for Boston while Joe Saunders goes for the Angels. Wakefield is 6-6 on the season with a 3.60 ERA while Saunders is 12-5 with a 3.07 ERA.
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Wakefield has pitched well all year for Boston but rarely has gotten much support. He allowed just two hits and one run in his last start against the Orioles. Wakefield is 5-6 in his career at Los Angeles.
Saunders has been superb all season for the Angels. He pitched a complete game in his last start against Texas, allowing three runs on six hits in eight innings while striking out five.
Boston will probably make deals in the coming weeks to improve their roster as they try and defend their World Series title. Getting designated hitter David Ortiz back should also help. He is on a rehab assignment and could join the team shortly. General manager Theo Epstein is also looking at adding another hitter and possibly another pitcher. The Red Sox also believe they have yet to play their best baseball. "I don't believe this team has hit a really good stride yet," catcher Jason Varitek said. "We've had to mix and put a lot of pieces together. We do miss the big man in our lineup."
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The Angels also may make a move or two in the next few weeks to improve their roster although they are less likely than Boston to make big moves. The Angeles have a very solid pitching staff. The Angels' starting rotation leads the Major Leagues in wins. With Ervin Santana, Saunders, Jon Garland, John Lackey and Jered Weaver, the Angels have great depth and with closer Francisco Rodriguez and setup man Scot Shields the Angels have an excellent bullpen.