The schedule is in the Angels favor heading into the All-Star break.
Oakland plays a hot Detroit team and then the Angels. Against the Tigers, Oakland gets Robertson, Verlander and Rogers while countering with Blanton, Haren, and Saarloos.
Seattle plays the Angels and then that same major league leading Tigers team.
Texas plays Toronto and a red hot Twins team. Texas gets the joy of facing Roy Halladay, too.
Pitching matchups the rest of the week:
Weaver vs Hernandez - preview of years to come
Santana vs Meche - Meche has improved
Colon vs Moyer - key game in this stretch
Escobar vs Loiza - great way to start a series
Lackey vs Zito - another key matchup
Weaver vs Blanton - looks good
Santana vs Haren - Santana to finish
Although a real stretch, the Angels could sweep all their games while their opponents get swept. Which would leave the halos in first place by 2.5 games at the break. Too funny, I know.
More realistically, though, the teams above the Angels should struggle, leaving it up to the Angels, once again, to control their destiny. If the Angels go 5-2, while the A's go 2-5, the Mariners go 2-4, and the Rangers go 2-4, the halos will be TWO games out at the break.
After the break? Oakland gets heavy doses of Boston, Detroit, and Toronto, while Seattle faces all three of the AL East powers straight out of the chute. The Angels get Tampa Bay and Kansas City with a sprinkling of Cleveland, all sub-.500 teams.
IF the Angels are going to make a season of it, the carpet is being rolled out for them. It is up to them to take advantage. I'm skeptical, yet hopeful (I guess that's why I'm a fan).