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AL Teams Look To Take Advantage As Projected Contenders Continue To Struggle

Posted by Dale “Skip” Lalonde on 6/25/2014 10:44:08 PM

The American League features a number of teams that have disappointed through the first half of the season, with the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, and Texas Rangers among the projected contenders that are at least six games below .500 or worse. That has opened the door for several other clubs, including a Baltimore Orioles side that is looking to make a push at AL East supremacy.

Tampa Bay Rays @ Baltimore Orioles

Friday, 7:05 PM ET

The Orioles are within striking distance of Toronto for top spot in their division, and a four-game home set against the struggling Rays represents an excellent opportunity for them to make their move. The series opens up with a Friday doubleheader, and after sending Kevin Gausman to the mound opposite Jake Odorizzi in the early game, Baltimore will turn to Bud Norris hoping he can extend his hot streak. Norris has strung together four-straight wins, giving up a combined two-earned over the last three. The Orioles need him to be at his best in order to make a playoff push the rest of the way, and he could be the difference when these teams try to fight through the second game.

MLB Betting Pick: Baltimore Orioles

Chicago White Sox @ Toronto Blue Jays

Friday, 7:07 PM ET

The Blue Jays’ reign atop the AL East has not made their fans believe this team is capable of winning the division this season, and a rash of injuries certainly won’t help turn that opinion around. Part of the problem is the inconsistent starting pitching, but Friday’s starter RA Dickey has certainly improved in that area of late. Dickey has held opponents to three earned runs or fewer in four-straight starts, and 12 of his last 13 overall. He should be able to put together another strong performance against a White Sox team that has really struggled on the road, and if the healthy Toronto bats can get to John Danks, the Blue Jays should be able to get a win.

MLB Betting Pick: Toronto Blue Jays

Minnesota Twins @ Texas Rangers

Friday, 8:05 PM ET

The Rangers have been hurt by the injury to Prince Fielder and a lack of depth in their rotation, but they still have a ton of talent, and there is certainly time to turn things around. A visit from the Twins could be the perfect opportunity to get something going, but the bats will need to solve Kevin Correia early. Correia has given up a grand total of two earned runs over his last three starts, but his ERA is still at 5.02, and it’s unrealistic to expect this run to continue for too long. Nick Tepesch has battled with consistency issues as most young pitchers do, but if the Texas bats could give him some early run support, it should give him the confidence he needs to get back on track against a Minnesota team that hasn’t been very good on the road this year.

MLB Betting Pick: Texas Rangers

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