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Rangers, Athletics Try To Extend Gap As Battle Continues Atop AL West

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 5/30/2013 7:55:52 PM

The battle for the American League West division between the Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics went down to the wire in 2012, and it’s shaping up to be that way this season. Texas and Oakland have already created some separation ahead of the rest of the AL West, and will continue their battle for top spot when they open their respective online sports betting weekend series.

Kansas City Royals @ Texas Rangers
Friday, 8:05 PM ET

The biggest reason the Rangers are atop the AL West is the fact that they have won 15 f 22 home games, an excellent start they will try to build on against the last place team from the AL Central this weekend. A three-game losing streak may have humbled Texas somewhat, and they will have one of their best starters on the mound for Friday’s game. Derek Holland is 4-2 with a 2.97 ERA this online sportsbook season, and should give the Rangers the edge opposite Wade Davis, who has allowed three runs or more in four-straight starts as his ERA has ballooned to 5.71. Texas has been able to get the job done on both sides of the ball this season, and should be able to handle Davis at home to start this series.

MLB Betting Pick: Texas Rangers - 150

Seattle Mariners @ Minnesota Twins
Friday, 8:10 PM ET

The Mariners are already more than 10 games back of Texas for the division lead, but it would be even worse if it wasn’t for its top two pitchers in Hisashi Iwakuma and Felix Hernandez. Iwakuma and Hernandez rank third and fifth respectively in AL ERA, and have combined to go 10-5. The lack of run support they have gotten has not been ideal, but Iwakuma should get some help from the Seattle offense with Mike Pelfrey bringing his 6.85 ERA to the mound for Minnesota in Friday’s sports betting contest. Pelfrey has struggled with his consistency all season, and while the Mariners’ offense has been absolutely brutal at times, they should be able to do enough to help Iwakuma get the win.

MLB Betting Pick: Seattle Mariners + 120

Chicago White Sox @ Oakland Athletics
Friday, 10:05 PM ET

The Athletics have benefited from the play of several veteran players that have performed better than expected this season, including Bartolo Colon. The 40-year old Colon is 5-2 with a 3.82 ERA, and has allowed just two earned runs over his last 14 combined innings in back-to-back wins. Colon will pitch opposite Dylan Axelrod, who is looking to extend his win streak to four for the White Sox. Axelrod has allowed eight earned runs over that three-game win streak, but the Chicago offense has been good enough to get him through. That won’t happen with Colon on the mound for Oakland, and the Athletics’ offense looking to put up some big numbers to set the tone for the weekend series.

MLB Betting Pick: Oakland Athletics - 140

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