Series Preview: St. Louis Cardinals

Coming home! - Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Albert's old comrades are coming to Anaheim.

July 2 7:05pm, July 3 7:05pm, July 4 6:05pm

Right on the heels of sweeping the Detroit Tigers, the Angels swept the always feisty Houston Astros. Now the Angels are heading back home to host the St. Louis Cardinals in a series that concludes on the Fourth of July. All we need is the Cards to wear their retro blue jerseys and we'll have a red, white, and blue showdown.

The series starts off with a strong, consistent pitcher against a one who hasn't really found his "mojo" quite yet this season. Lance Lynn has picked up where he left off last year and has helped the Cardinals win his last six starts before losing last week to the Astros. Lynn, who has ten wins and just two losses, takes on Jered Weaver. Last time out, Weaver put up excellent numbers against the Tigers; however, he earned a no decision. The middle game of this series pits Shelby Miller against Jerome Williams. And finally, the "new and improved" Joe Blanton is on the hill to face Adam Wainwright. For Blanton, his last three outings have been good excellent -- earning no more than two earned runs in each and striking out a combined twenty-three batters. Wainwright on the other hand is within the top ten of many pitching categories except for hits, where he is fifth to only... Joe Blanton's league leading 126.

The OBP for the Cardinals is very good. Of the seven players on their roster eligible for the batting title, six of them have an OBP above .300. They're being led by Yadier Molina (only Molina not to wear a Halos uniform), Allen Craig, and Carlos Beltran. Molina is batting .345 while Craig leads the team with sixty-three runs batted in.

This series is yet another test to see if the Angels have what it takes to be a playoff team. Then again, now every series is. With the loss of Peter Bourjos, Mike Trout will move to CF and J.B. Shuck will split time with Brad Hawpe. If Josh Hamilton gets runs in on base, there's true potential for the offense to explode. Because as we all know, Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo, and Howie Kendrick can't do it all!

Probable SPs -- Lance Lynn / Jered Weaver, Shelby Miller / Jerome Williams, Adam Wainwright / Joe Blanton

TV Schedule: All three games can be seen on FOX Sports West and FOX Sports Midwest (pending your market, of course).

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