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AL West Picks: June 20, 2013


The American League’s wild West division boasts an impressive three-game slate today that will see some of the league’s best young hurlers and biggest bats go toe-to-toe.

First, the Texas Rangers will look to take three of four from the Oakland A’s and pull within one game of the West lead at the same time. Then, the Los Angeles Angels will aim to fend off Cy Young hopeful Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners at home. Finally, we have the surging Houston Astros, who will hope to keep things rolling against an interleague foe in the Milwaukee Brewers. No matter the outcome, these games should be exciting, but if you want our take, just scroll down below and check out our picks for each of these fabulous contests!

Oakland A’s -1.5 at Texas Rangers +1.5

Although the Rangers have won just three of their last 10 games, two of those have come in the last three days against Oakland, and despite being in a slump, they still have a chance to pull to within one game of the division lead with a win today.

Meanwhile, the A’s will try to leave Arlington with a 2-2 split and to do it, they’ll need a solid outing from the usually reliable A.J. Griffin, who has a career 2.87 ERA against Texas in three starts.

The Rangers will need some offense production, but they’ll also need starter Josh Lindblom to limit Oakland’s hitters and unfortunately for Ranger fans, Lindblom hasn’t been able to limit anyone in this three previous starts this year, as he comes into the ballgame with a 0-2 record and a 5.94 ERA.

It may seem profitable to take the Rangers at home here, but Oakland simply has too big of an advantage in the pitching match-up and we can expect their sleeping bats will wake up soon. So, take Oakland to cover -1.5 in the win today and stretch their division lead back to three games.

Milwaukee Brewers -1.5 at Houston Astros +1.5

Say what you will about the Astros, but considering they’ve won five of their last seven games and are close to climbing out of the AL cellar, I wouldn’t count them out at home – especially against one of the National League’s weakest teams.

However, Milwaukee starter Yovani Gallardo does have a history of success against the Astros, with a career record of 13-3. He’s even won three straight in Houston, so maybe he just has the Astros’ number?

That may be true, but the stat sheet shows that overall, Gallardo hasn’t been strides better than his opponent on the hill today. Houston starter Lucas Harrell has just one more loss than Gallardo and an almost identical ERA, so with Houston at home and seemingly heating up, I like the Astros to at least cover +1.5 in a close one today.

Seattle Mariners -1.5 at Los Angeles Angels +1.5 

Taking the Mariners on the runline is almost a given when Felix Hernandez is scheduled to start, but considering he’s backed by one of the weakest scoring offenses in baseball, it’s never such a sure thing.

However, the Angels remain in an offense funk as well after a 1-0 win on Wednesday, with the only run coming in off a wild pitch. It’s hard to imagine the Angels’ sluggers waking up against one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball, so I’d stick with Seattle to win this one with King Felix going deep into the ballgame. Take the Mariners to cover -1.5 here.

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