Series Preview: @ Oakland Athletics

Thatta boy - Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After a lackluster series performance against the Twins, the Angels pack their bags to head to the beautiful Oakland Coliseum to play the Athletics. This series is all too important to lose.

July 25 7:05pm, July 26 7:05pm, July 27 12:05pm, July 28 1:05pm

In order to gain a ton of ground, the Angels would welcome a series win over the A's to take us through the weekend and into Texas. Last weekend, the Halos took two out of three from the division leading team; however, they skid against the Twins right after. So now the team is backing their bags and heading on a road trip that really could make or break the Angels.

Winning six of his last seven starts, C.J. Wilson will lead the Angels on Thursday to open the series. He's been hot as of late and has not given up more than one earned run since June 25 against the Detroit Tigers. Unfortunately Jered Weaver pitched in the Twins series so that leaves us with Jerome Williams, Garrett Richards, and Tommy Hanson. Williams hasn't been too good in his last couple of starts and Hanson was solid in his return start. Now here is very good news: Joe Blanton has been axed from the starting rotation in favor of Garrett Richards. Blanton is finally gone out of the rotation. Do the Angels have anything to lose by starting him over Joe? No.

Athletics pitching sends the recently Dan Straily to the hill followed by the Bartolo "Roid Blimp" Colon. As you may recall, the Angels had a ton of hits on Straily but couldn't score while Roid Blimp shut them out. Now Albert's time of the month should be rolling around Saturday. Not that time of the month. It's when he'll hit a home run. He keeps hitting them three or four games apart. Also, goodbye to Mike Trout's beautiful hit streak... It ended yesterday when he went hitless in three at bats.

What about the A's bats? They've got some crew over there. Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Yoenis Cespedes lead them. Josh Reddick absolutely fell off of last year's high. With Joe Blanton out of the rotation, maybe there won't be a plethora of home runs! Yet again, the series can really make or break the Angels. Heading into the Ballpark in Arlington, the Angels need to get all the wins they can in Oakland.

Probable SPs -- C.J. Wilson / Dan Straily, Jerome Williams / Bartolo Colon, Garrett Richards / Tommy Milone, Tommy Hanson / Jarrod Parker

TV Schedule: Catch the games on your usual FOX Sports West or Comcast Sportsnet California. Also, the Thursday night game can be seen for FREE on DirecTV. Saturday's game will be on FOX as part of their Game of the Week.

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