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Potential Wild Card Race Preview as Orioles Take on Angels in Weekend Series

Posted by Jeff Rudzinski on 5/2/2013 7:29:44 PM

The Los Angeles Angels have gotten off to another rough start this year and no longer look like a lock to win the AL West so they must lower their standards now and be ok going for one of the two AL Wild Card spots. The Orioles are another team that will need a Wild Card spot in order to make the playoffs as they play in the tough AL East which is currently being led by the Boston Red Sox.

Baltimore Orioles @ Los Angeles Angels
Miguel Gonzalez (2-1 4.60 ERA) vs. Jason Vargas (0-3 4.85 ERA)
Friday May 3, 2013 – 10:05 PM ET

This Friday matchup is between two struggling pitchers, one in his second year and the other a seasoned veteran. Jason Vargas is the veteran that has seen mixed results in his career and was most likely signed by the Angels as a backup starting pitcher that would be used in case of injury. Gonzalez on the other hand is a young pitcher than enjoyed limited success last year in his 15 games started, but seems to have taken a step back this year. Since the pitching matchup is close to a wash, gamblers should be focusing on the hitting of the two teams which greatly favors the Orioles who have four starters hitting over .300, including hot hitting Chris Davis who also has nine home runs which leads me to pick the Orioles as the winner in this matchup.

Baltimore Orioles @ Los Angeles Angels
TBD vs. Tommy Hanson (2-1 3.91 ERA)
Saturday May 4, 2013 – 4:05 PM ET

Unfortunately the Orioles are down the four starters in their rotation and haven’t said yet who will be pitching in the five spot of their rotation and face off with Tommy Hanson on Saturday. This makes the game more difficult to analyze, but a heads up sports bettor should check the pitching matchup as it most likely will be a youngster called up from the minors to pitch, or a bullpen arm that the Orioles will start and attempt to piece together nine innings of work all out of their bullpen. Either way, when a team is low on starters it rarely benefits and thus it is the reason I am picking the Angels to win this game, most likely by a large margin if Hanson has a good day on the mound.

Baltimore Orioles @ Los Angeles Angels
Jason Hammel (4-1 3.79 ERA) vs. Garrett Richards (1-2 5.04 ERA)
Sunday May 5, 2013 – 3:35 PM ET

The pitching matchup for this game greatly favors Jason Hammel, not only in the earned run department, but also because he has been better as of late than Garrett Richards. Sports books will most likely be favoring the Orioles in this game because of how inconsistent Richards has been on the mound as a starter. Either way, Hammel is the ace of the Orioles’ staff and has been getting plenty of run support in games he has pitched so far this season. Although the Angels are the home team and should be expected to have some advantage, this is another game in which I favor the Orioles to win.

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