CHICAGO – The well-rested White Sox (search) sure appear to have an edge over Los Angeles when the travel-weary Angels arrive in Chicago to play for the American League pennant. And baseball didn't do the Angels any favors by scheduling Game 1 for Tuesday night.
After a surprising sweep of the defending champion Red Sox in the first round of the playoffs, Chicago has been waiting at home since Saturday, enjoying a few light workouts in its own ballpark to stay sharp.
Manager Ozzie Guillen (search) has his pitching rotation lined up just the way he wants it, with Jose Contreras ready to start the opener of the AL championship series and lefty Mark Buehrle set for Game 2.
The Angels, on the other hand, might need to turn over the tarp and flip a few benches in the bullpen to find a starter.
Bartolo Colon (search) is hurt. Jarrod Washburn is sick. John Lackey just pitched Sunday on short rest and rookie Ervin Santana threw 5 1-3 innings of relief in Monday night's 5-3 victory over the New York Yankees.
Paul Byrd seems the likely choice to start Tuesday night in Chicago, on three days' rest. He went 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA during the regular season — not bad, but not exactly Game 1 material.
Plus, Byrd was forced to warm up in the second inning Monday night after Santana took over for Colon, a 21-game winner who departed with inflammation in his pitching shoulder.
"We didn't have a lot of options," Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said right after the game. "We're going to absorb this one. We'll be on a flight in a couple hours, and we'll work on tomorrow on the plane."
The Angels knocked off New York in the first round for the second time in four years, but they needed the full five games and a pair of cross-country flights to do it. They lost in New York on Sunday night, won in California on Monday night, then rushed to the airport for a trip to Chicago and yet another game Tuesday night.
Needless to say, they haven't had much time to rest lately.
But Los Angeles did hold the edge in the regular season, going 6-4 against Chicago.
Seeking their first trip to the World Series (search) since 1959, the AL Central champion White Sox will have home-field advantage in the best-of-seven series.
The Angels beat Minnesota in five games in the 2002 ALCS en route to their only World Series title. Chicago is in the ALCS for the first time since 1993, two years before wild cards were added to the postseason.
"We expect a pretty good battle," Angels second baseman Adam Kennedy said.
The White Sox, who let most of a 15-game division lead slip away before holding off Cleveland in the final week of the regular season, have not won the World Series since 1917. In fact, their sweep of Boston was their first postseason series victory in 88 years.
"This team is the 2005 White Sox. It's not trying to change what's happened in the past and all that," first baseman Paul Konerko said. "We're just trying to be this team, play our best and see what happens."
When the series shifts to Anaheim for the middle three games, Guillen will use 18-game winner Jon Garland in Game 3 with Freddy Garcia in Game 4.