At a Glance
On This Date Last Year
Angels: 23-18, first place in AL West, 2 games ahead of Seattle
Dodgers: 25-16, first place in NL West, 3 games ahead of San Diego
Dodgers vs. Angels
1997: Dodgers, 4-0.
1998: Angels, 3-1
1999: Dodgers, 4-2.
2000: Angels, 4-2.
2001: Angels, 4-2.
2002: Series tied, 3-3.
2003: Angels, 4-2.
2004: Series tied, 3-3.
2005: Angels, 5-1.
2006: Dodgers, 4-2.
2007: Angels, 5-1.
Total: Angels, 35-27.
Most Valuable Player
Angels: Ervin Santana wouldn't have been in the starting rotation but for spring injuries to John Lackey and Kelvim Escobar, but he has emerged as one of the best pitchers in the league. He's 6-0 with a 2.63 ERA, with 4.5 strikeouts for every walk and opponents batting .214 against him.
Dodgers: Rafael Furcal is one of four players to rank among the National League top 10 in batting average (.366), on-base percentage (.448) and slugging percentage (.597). The others: Albert Pujols, Chipper Jones and Lance Berkman. Furcal hasn't played in 11 days because of a bad back, and the leadoff batter still leads the Dodgers in home runs, with five.
1. Can the Angels rectify a bullpen that ranks next-to-last in the majors with a 5.20 ERA, and in particular setup man Justin Speier (5.63)?
3. Can Howie Kendrick shake off the disabled list and get his 500 at-bats, even if he can't maintain his .500 batting average?
1. Can Joe Torre identify his three best outfielders and play them without alienating the fourth outfielder?
2. Can the power-starved Dodgers really rely on oft-injured Nomar Garciaparra, who posted the lowest slugging percentage of his career (.371) last season?
3. The New York Yankees imposed strict limits on Torre's use of phenom Joba Chamberlain last year, so will the Dodgers do the same when they call up phenom Clayton Kershaw?