The Los Angeles Angels on Anaheim (37-32) bring their battered crew in to face the Chicago Cubs (30-36) this weekend. The Angels coming in will be playing short-handed to start this series playing without their opening day 1B Kendry Morales (Broken Leg, Out for Season), SS Erick Aybar (Hyperextension of Left Knee, Day-to-Day to be Reevaluated Today), and INF Macier Izturis (Left Forearm Strain, 15-Day DL retro 6/16). However, opening day 3B Brandon Wood has returned from the DL and C Jeff Mathis was activated today.
The Angels lost 2 of 3 against Milwaukee, but have won 6 of their last 10 and will be sending lefties Scott Kazmir (6-5, 5.27 ERA) and Joe Saunders (5-7, 4.70) in games 1 and 3 and their ace righty Jered Weaver (6-3, 3.29) on Saturday. The Angels have never played in Wrigley before but Bobby Abreu welcomes his return. He is a .352 hitter with 12 home runs and 37 RBI’s in 29 games in Chicago.
The Cubs’ unexpected ace, Carlos Silva (8-1, 2.89), opens the series after suffering his first loss of the season last time out in a 2-1 loss against crosstown rivals the White Sox. Silva is 7-2 with a 3.81 ERA lifetime against the Angels. Ted Lilly (2-5, 2.90) matches up with Weaver in his first outing since nearly throwing a no-hitter last Sunday losing it in the ninth with no one out and Carlos Zambrano (2-5, 5.66) returns to the hill in the series finale.
The Cubs are coming off perhaps their most exciting win of the season beating the Oakland Athletics with a ninth inning walk-off single by Kosuke Fukodome to take series 2 of 3 in that series. The win improved the Cubs’ record to just 10-15 in games decided by one run.
Cubs 3B Aramis Ramirez (thumb) should join Class-A Peoria to begin his rehab assignment. The Cubs anticipate his return to come next week in Seattle.
By playing at Wrigley this weekend the only stadium the Angels have not visited is two-year old Citi Field in New York.
The Angles are 19-8 in their last 27 interleague games and have won the most in the majors since 2007 with 61.