Purgatory Online

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

The Red Sox beat Tampa 6-3 last night, moving out of a tie with the Angels and closing to within a half-game of Texas in the wild-card race.

Tonight's relevant games for the Angels:

A's at Yankees, 7:05 ET. Mulder (3.43 ERA, 6.21 K/9, 2.28 K/BB, .241 BAA, .661 OPSA) at Lieber (4.75 ERA, 4.49 K/9, 5.67 K/BB, .308 BAA, .767 OPSA). The A's have never seen Lieber, a circumstance that ordinarily favors the pitcher. Lieber might also have an advantage in that he rarely surrenders walks, so the A's will need to rely more on their contact skills than they're used to. He'll need all the advantages he can get against Mulder.

Rangers at Tigers, 7:05 ET. Rogers (4.20 ERA, 5.19 K/9, 2.32 K/BB, .280 BAA, .766 OPSA) at Robertson (4.18 ERA, 7.42 K/9, 2.02 K/BB, .246 BAA, .693 OPSA). The resurgent Rogers of May is a distant memory; one or two more dismal starts from him and the Rangers can kiss October goodbye.

Red Sox at Devil Rays, 7:05 ET. Schilling (3.46 ERA, 8.03 K/9, 5.65 K/BB, .257 BAA, .687 OPSA) at Bell (4.59 ERA, 4.73 K/9, 1.46 K/BB, .244 BAA, .743 OPSA). Welcome to the bigs, B.J. Upton. Hope you like losing.

Angels at Twins, 8:10 ET. Lackey (4.52 ERA, 5.30 K/9, 2.42 K/BB, .267 BAA, .730 OPSA) at Silva (4.52 ERA, 3.43 K/9, 2.38 K/BB, .314 BAA, .814 OPSA). The Angels have to be gunning for two from the Twins, and winning tonight will be important since - despite some superficial similarities in their season-long ERAs, wins, and innings pitched - the Angels have the better pitcher on the mound tonight. Lackey's last several starts have been very encouraging - he had a 3.06 ERA in July, and a 3.50 ERA in June. Silva's ERA in June was 3.76, but this appears to be misleading; his WHIP in that month was 1.38 and his BAA was .296. Those peripheral numbers just got worse in July - his WHIP went to nearly 1.50, and his BAA was .313 - and his ERA for that month was 5.46.

White Sox at Royals, 8:10 ET. Contreras (5.64 ERA, 7.71 K/9, 1.95 K/BB, .250 BAA, .794 OPSA) at Wood (4.08 ERA, 4.59 K/9, 1.80 K/BB, .302 BAA, .819 OPSA). The Sox get their first look at what they traded Esteban Loaiza for. Wood is a groundball pitcher who gives up hits but induces double plays (5 in 35.1 innings pitched this year), while the Sox hit more fly balls than any team in the majors except Texas.