Monday, April 2, 2007 previews the first series of the season.
By Eric Denton - Angelswin Feature Writer

Angels Stadium, Anaheim, California

Texas Rangers (80-82 3rd AL West) vs. Los Angeles Angels (89-73 2nd AL West)

Monday, April 2nd. Kevin Millwood (16-12, 4.52) vs. Angels John Lackey (13-11, 3.56)

Tuesday, April 3rd. Vincente Padilla (15-10, 4.50) vs. Kelvim Escobar (11-14, 3.61)

Wednesday, April 4th. Brandon McCarthy (4-7, 4.68) vs. Ervin Santana (16-8, 4.28)

The Rangers will debut their off-season makeover. New manager Ron Washington takes the reigns after spending the past decade with the Oakland A’s.

Sammy Sosa will also be making his return to MLB as well as the Rangers, the team that brought him up to the big leagues in 1989. Sosa sat out the 2006 season after a disappointing ‘05 campaign with the Baltimore Orioles. Sosa says he’s “ready” after completing a strong spring training. He begins the 2007 season number five all time with 588 career home runs.

Also new to the Rangers is former Dodger Eric Gagne. However, the 2003 Cy Young winner will miss the opening series having not fully recovered from elbow surgery. Another former Dodger, Kenny Lofton tries to fill the void left by new Angel, Gary Matthews Jr. in centerfield.

The Rangers also feature new starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy. McCarthy was the top prospect in the White Sox organization the past couple of seasons. The Rangers hope they have acquired a future ace.

Projected Lineup

  1. Kenny Lofton CF
  2. Frank Cattalanotto LF
  3. Michael Young SS
  4. Mark Teixeira 1B
  5. Sammy Sosa DH
  6. Hank Blalock 3B
  7. Brad Wilkerson RF
  8. Ian Kinsler 2B
  9. Gerald Laird C

Mike Scioscia’s club is looking to reclaim their AL West championship in 2007. This off-season saw the Angels allow long time team leaders Darin Erstad and Adam Kennedy leave the team. Replacing them are Gary Matthews Jr., Howie Kendrick.

The Angels are looking for healthy seasons from leftfielder Garret Anderson and first baseman Casey Kotchman. Anderson has missed 91 games over the past three seasons due to a myriad of aliments. Kotchman’s 2006 season was lost due to a bout with mononucleosis.

Pitching has been the Angels strength and this season should be no different. The rotation features John Lackey, Kelvim Escobar, Ervin Santana with Joe Saunders and Dustin Moseley holding down the fort until Jered Weaver and Bartolo Colon return in late April. If possible, the Angels bullpen is stronger than ever with Angels General Manager Bill Stoneman adding RHP Justin Speier and LHP Darren Oliver to the bullpen mix. Francisco Rodriguez along with reliable set-up man Scot Shields return.

Projected Lineup

  1. Gary Matthews Jr. CF
  2. Orlando Cabrera SS
  3. Vladimir Guerrero RF
  4. Garret Anderson LF
  5. Shea Hillenbrand DH
  6. Casey Kotchman 1B
  7. Howie Kendrick 2B
  8. Mike Napoli C
  9. Macier Izturis 3B
Love to hear what you think!


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