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Athletics, Rangers Already Gaining Separation On Angels In AL West

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 4/16/2013 7:15:17 PM

It may be less than a month in to the online betting MLB regular season, but the Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers have already gained some separation on the Los Angeles Angels in the American League West division. It is still early, but the Angels started slow last year and never caught up, so there is every reason for the team to be playing with a sense of urgency as they try and avoid falling too far behind out of the gate.

Houston Astros @ Oakland Athletics
Wednesday, 3:35 PM ET

The Athletics are scoring runs in bunches and there is no reason to think they will slow down anytime soon. Oakland has already scored 85 runs through 14 games, which is 36 more than Texas has been able to muster so far. The Athletics also haven’t given up a wild number of runs either and their plus-30 differential is the best in the AL. The reason the Athletics have been so successful is that they don’t ask too much of any one player, as each player has a role and sticks to it. Veteran starter Bartolo Colon is the perfect sports betting example, as Oakland has already won each of the first two games that he has started despite a 4.50 ERA. Colon has been able to give the Athletics at least six innings of work in each of his two appearances, and that has helped them keep the bullpen rested. Colon will get the call opposite Bud Norris in this one, and while Norris has been excellent with a 1.96 ERA through three starts, his career average is 4.35 and he hasn’t had to face the Oakland hitters yet.

MLB Betting Pick: Oakland Athletics - 150

Texas Rangers @ Chicago Cubs
Wednesday, 8:05 PM ET

The Rangers haven’t needed to score in bunches thanks to an excellent pitching staff that limited opponents to just 39 runs through 13 games for the second-best mark in the AL. One of the only starters that has struggled is Justin Grimm, the young star who will look to bounce back after being shaken up a bit by the Seattle Mariners in his first start of the online sports betting season. Grimm has all of the tools to win ball games at the major league level, but Texas could be in tough playing at Chicago with NL rules and Carlos Villanueva bringing his 0.64 ERA to the mound. The Cubs are nowhere close to being a contender, but if Villanueva can hold his own and the offense gets to Grimm early they should be able to win this game.

MLB Betting Pick: Chicago Cubs - 130

Los Angeles Angels @ Minnesota Twins
Wednesday, 8:10 PM ET

Already 5.5 games back of Oakland for the AL West lead, the Angels now have to rally without Erik Aybar and Alberto Callaspo for the next couple of weeks. Los Angeles has done a good job of putting men on base, but the problem has been how many runners they have left stranded and their inability to consistently cash in runs. The Angels did put up eight runs in an 8-4 win over the Rangers the first time Tommy Hanson took the mound, but he was roughed up in his last start again and his ERA is now at 6.55. Fortunately for Hanson and Texas he is matched up against Vance Worley for the Twins, who was tagged for nine runs in one inning of work against the Mets in his last start, and whose ERA is now at 10.50.

MLB Betting Pick: Los Angeles Angels - 120

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