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Rangers Look to Gain Ground on A’s in AL West


With the Angels, Mariners and Astros all struggling in the AL West, it seems the division has become a two horse race with the Oakland A’s leading the Texas Rangers by just two and a half games. The A’s have remained as the most consistent team in the division, but the Rangers are well within striking distance and with Oakland taking on the New York Yankees today, Texas may be able to pick up a valuable game in the standings if it can dispatch the underachieving Toronto Blue Jays.

Of course, that’s assuming that the Yankees can help them out. The Yanks have gotten off to a much better start than many baseball bettors anticipated – considering the massive amount of significant injuries they’ve had to deal with – but Oakland has gotten the better of the Bronx Bombers lately, as the A’s have actually won the first two games of their current series with New York.

Oakland will send Jarrod Parker to the mound today as it goes for a rare sweep of the Yankees, while New York will counter with Hiroki Kuroda, who has been one of their most reliable starters this season. Kuroda’s 2.84 ERA against Parkers’s 4.68 ERA seems to suggest that the Yankees have the edge today, but with Oakland hot and at home, oddsmakers like the A’s by 1.5 runs.

We know the Yankees aren’t a team that will stay down for long and with Kuroda on the mound, this seems like a great opportunity to take New York on the runline. Go with the Yankees today at +1.5, as they should at least keep things close today.

With Oakland likely going down, Texas will need to take advantage against Toronto today and with phenom Yu Darvish getting the ball, the Rangers should be in good hands. Darvish comes into today’s ballgame with a 7-2 mark this season and an impressive 2.75 ERA.

Toronto’s starters have struggled with control and with injuries this year, so they’ll look to Esmil Rogers – who is making just his third start of the season – to turn things around. Rogers hasn’t had a decision as a starting thrower yet this year and he’ll have another tough lineup to deal with today on the road.

It’s tough to go against the Rangers at home here with an obvious advantage on the mound, so don’t do it. Look for Texas to cover -1.5 in the win today as it pulls to within one and a half games of the AL West lead.

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