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ALCS Game 3: Into the Lion's Den

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The Yankees have gone 8-20 in Anaheim over the last five years (including the 2005 LDS), and haven't won a season series there since 2004. However, they were able to win two out of three in Anaheim a month ago.

The bad news is that Andy Pettitte has pitched terribly against the Angels this season. In three starts (two in Anaheim), he allowed 14 earned runs in 16 innings (7.88 ERA), with 21 hits, eight walks and six strikeouts. The two games in SoCal saw him give up nine earned runs in 10 innings. In fact, Pettitte hasn't won a game against the Angels since August of 2007.

The good news is that Jered Weaver hasn't fared much better against the Bombers. His 2009 ERA is 5.59 (12 ER in 19.1 ip), and his career ERA (in seven games) is 5.88.

Weaver is, however, the Angels' best home pitcher. Mike Scioscia held him back just so he could pitch in Anaheim. His ERA there is nearly two runs lower (2.90 vs. 4.78).

Andy Pettitte, meanwhile, is also a better home pitcher (3.71 vs. 4.59), so this is a matchup that definitely favors the Angels (at least on paper).

A few of our hitters have owned the younger Weaver. A-Rod has positively massacred the blond-haired Californian: .333/.474/1.133 (1.607 OPS)!

Additionally, Mark Teixeira and Robbie Cano have OPS's over .930 against Weaver.

On the other hand, Johnny Damon, Derek Jeter and Melky Cabrera have done next to nothing. They all own OPS's under .470 vs. Weaver. Melky's OPS is .237 (yes, that's his OPS, not his batting average), so perhaps we'll see Brett Gardner start in center (UPDATE: nope, it's Melky).

Considering Tex has only one hit in two games so far, he may be due, especially when facing a pitcher he's seen 26 times in his career and done well against. The offense could come down to him and Alex.

Against Pettite, the hitters we need to watch out for are Mike Napoli, Erick Aybar, Vlad Guerrero and Gary Matthews. And no one outside of Howie Kendrick has fared particularly poorly against him.


New York Yankees @ Los Angeles Angels

10/19/09 4:13 PM EDT

New York Yankees Los Angeles Angels
Derek Jeter - SS Chone Figgins - 3B
Johnny Damon - LF Bobby Abreu - RF
Mark Teixeira - 1B Torii Hunter - CF
Alex Rodriguez - 3B Vladimir Guerrero - DH
Hideki Matsui - DH Juan Rivera - LF
Jorge Posada - C Kendry Morales - 1B
Robinson Cano - 2B Howie Kendrick - 2B
Nick Swisher - RF Mike Napoli - C
Melky Cabrera - CF Erick Aybar - SS