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Samardzija Headlines Friday's MLB Action As He Takes Mound For New Team

Posted by Dale “Skip” Lalonde on 7/10/2014 9:47:24 PM

Jeff Samardzija was part of the biggest trade so far this MLB season, and Friday night he'll be making his first start with his new team, the Oakland Athletics. Samardija is a legitimate ace who can lead a rotation, but considering his stiff competition it will be a must-see game when he takes the mound late Friday night.

Oakland Athletics @ Seattle Mariners

Friday July 11, 2014 – 10:10 PM ET

Both the Athletics and Seattle Mariners are competing for the AL West title, but the Mariners must begin making up ground soon which is the reason they adjusted their rotation so Felix Hernandez could take the mound opposite Samardzija. The Mariners are coming off a lack-luster offensive series against the Minnesota Twins while the Athletics just had a six-game winning streak snapped by the San Francisco Giants. The pitching match-up is a wash considering both are some of the best in the game today, but it's no secret the Athletics have the best offense in the majors and as a result should win Game 1 against the Seattle Mariners.

Pick: Athletics

Los Angeles Angels @ Texas Rangers

Friday July 11, 2014 – 8:05 PM ET

Another pair of AL West teams square-off on Friday as the second place Los Angeles Angels take on the last place Texas Rangers. The Rangers have been dealt numerous injuries this year and as a result have fallen completely out of the playoff picture, however, the Angels are just 3.5 games back of the Athletics and in good position to keep rolling. The Angels will send surprise standout Garrett Richards to the mound and the third-year pro will have the hand up on his opponents as he's 10-2 with a 2.71 ERA this year and just barely missed out on making the All-Star team. The Rangers will send the struggling Nick Tepesch to battle Richards, but the Angels are the better team and shouldn't have much trouble getting past Tepesch and the Texas Rangers.

Pick: Angels

San Diego Padres @ Los Angeles Dodgers

Friday July 11, 2014 – 10:10 PM ET

The Los Angeles Dodgers just continue to put everything together at once and on Friday night they will send the effective Dan Haren to the mound to face the San Diego Padres and Jesse Hahn. Haren is 8-5 with an ERA just above 4.00 this season, showing he receives plenty of run support and gets outs too. Haren is coming off his worst outing of the season – an eight run five inning performance against the Colorado Rockies – but his opponent has started just six major league games and although with good results Hahn is far from an established pitcher like Haren. The Padres lack a true threat on the offensive side of the ball, and with the least amount of runs scored in the majors this season it's unlikely they'll be able to compete with the Dodgers Friday night.

Pick: Dodgers

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