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AL West Picks: June 25, 2013


The Texas Rangers‘ current five-game win streak has them back in first place in the AL West, but only by one game and with all five teams from the division in action today, some precious ground could be made up by the other four squads. Here’s a closer look at each of the five match-ups involving West teams and our winning picks for each one:

Texas Rangers -1.5 at New York Yankees +1.5

With Yu Darvish (7-3, 2.84 ERA) getting the ball today, Texas has been given the advantage against the Yankees on the road, but New York is sending out a formidable strong arm of its own in Hiroki Kuroda (7-5, 2.78) to challenge him, as well as the Rangers’ five-game win streak.

Darvish got the better of Kuroda and the Yankees when the two Japanese hurlers squared off against one another last April, but both pitchers have improved since then and things could easily go the other way for a Yankee team that has won 11 of their last 13 ballgames at Yankee Stadium.

This pitcher’s duel should yield a thin margin of victory for either team, so it would be smart to take New York here at home.

Los Angeles Angels +1.5 at Detroit Tigers -1.5

The Los Angeles Angels can’t seem to get out of their funk and are consequently sinking towards the AL West cellar, but strangely enough, they’ll be glad to see the AL Central-leading Detroit Tigers, whom the Angels are 3-0 against this season.

The Angels swept the defending AL champs back in April, but of course, that was a much different, hopeful team than Angels fans are looking at today. Since then, L.A. has entered a disappointing tailspin and is coming into today’s match-up on a three-game losing skid.

C.J. Wilson (6-5, 3.61 ERA) should give the Angels a decent chance to win today, but until they start producing runs, I wouldn’t place a wager favoring the Angels. Take the Tigers to cover -1.5 at home in this one.

St. Louis Cardinals -1.5 at Houston Astros +1.5 

Despite getting swept by Texas over the weekend, the St. Louis Cardinals still own the best record in baseball, a record that they’ll have a good chance to improve upon against one of the worst teams in the AL – especially with Jake Westbrook (3-2, 1.76 ERA) on the hill.

However, the Houston Astros have played much better in the month of June, winning six of their last 10 games. And today’s starter Lucas Harrell, who has posted a 1.73 ERA this month, has been a big reason why, so I actually like the Astros here at home to at least cover +1.5 against a Cards team that is reeling a bit on a three-game skid.

Cincinnati Reds +1.5 at Oakland A’s -1.5

The Oakland A’s may have the chance to draw even in the West with a win today, but it certainly won’t come easy against Bronson Arroyo (6-5, 3.13 ERA) and the Cincinnati Reds, who own one of the National League’s best records.

Tommy Milone (6-7, 3.98 ERA) has pitched fairly well for Oakland this year, but he will encounter a daunting challenge in attempting to shut down the league’s 10th best scoring team. Look for the Reds to at least cover +1.5 and don’t be surprised if they pick up a road victory.

Pittsburgh Pirates -1.5 at Seattle Mariners +1.5

The Seattle Mariners are feeling pretty good after winning two of three against the A’s over the weekend, but things will only get tougher for the M’s today as they face off against the NL’s leader in ERA.

Jeff Locke (6-1, 2.01) will get the ball for the Pittsburgh Pirates today and so far this season, that’s meant lights out for his opponents. Considering the Mariners are of one the weakest offensive clubs in all of baseball, there’s no reason he shouldn’t have any trouble carving them up in a pitcher’s park like Safeco Field. Take the Pirates to cover -1.5 in this one.

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