The Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers get set for their second game of a weekend Series at the Ballpark in Arlington

Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers

Texas came away with a 4-1 victory over Los Angeles on Friday night in Arlington

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The Yankees will look to continue their recent dominance over the Athletics, as they kick off the longest homestand of the season.

Oakland Athletics at New York Yankees

yankees world series oddsOakland sits 7 1/2 games back of the Texas Rangers in the AL West divisional race, as they head East for a three-game set in the Bronx.  The Athletics still have a legitimate shot at catching them due to a starting rotation that owns a major league-best 3.36 ERA.  The club will have dramatically improve against the Yankees due to dropping five of six against them this season and 16 of the last 19 meetings overall.  In winning eight of their last 12 games overall, the team now sits a game over .500 for the season (65-64, +230), while remaining in second place in the division for seven consecutive days.  Oakland has posted a 13-3 record in its last 16 day games, but it’s a different story at night, compiling a 35-51 mark at night (-1,680).  The Athletics are an even 13-13 in August (-20) and the total is 6-19 O/U in those games.

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The Rangers have a seemingly insurmountable lead in the AL West division, but tonight’s opponent looks to start chopping it down in Arlington.

Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers

Oakland opened up its 10-game road trip in Cleveland and missed an opportunity to collect a sweep with a 3-2 loss on Thursday night.  “We’ll get on the flight and go get ‘em on Friday,” manager Bob Geren said.  “We have to be ready.”  The Athleticis have won six of their last nine games overall and are 22-17 since July 10, which is the fourth-best record in the American League over that span.  The starting staff has been key in the team’s success over the last 18 games, allowing three earned runs or less and tossing six innings in all of those contests.  The club fell a game below .500 in August with last night’s loss (11-12, -190) and is 35-47 overall during the month the past three seasons (-560).  Oakland has produced a winning 19-18 record against divisional opponents in 2010, but has gone 68-83 versus Western foes over the last three campaigns (-1,060).

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A pair of southpaw starters take the stage in a series that has a playoff-type atmosphere surrounding it in Arlington.

Minnesota Twins at Texas Rangers

Minnesota has run into some problems in the first two games of this four-game set in Arlington, almost getting no-hit on Monday night and then falling by a 4-3 score last night to see its lead drop to 3 1/2 games in the AL Central.  The series definitely has a playoff feel and manager Ron Gardenhire knows the importance of these situations during the regular season by saying, “We missed a play in the outfield and it ended up costing us again.  That’s the difference in this ballgame.”  The Twins are still a solid 17-8 against the AL West this season and 14-8 this month (+510).  Beginning tonight, the club has 11 more games against the division, with six occurring this week.  Minnesota has also performed well against left-handed starters this season, producing a 25-18 mark in 2010 (+540) and a 82-76 record over the last three seasons (+30).

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The Rays are looking to sweep the Angels in Anaheim for the first time in franchise history, as they welcome back a key member of their starting rotation.

Tampa Bay Rays at Los Angeles Angels

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American League division leaders square off in the second game of a crucial series at the Ballpark in Arlington.

Minnesota Twins at Texas Rangers

Minnesota was nearly no-hit in a 4-0 road loss to the Rangers at the Ballpark in Arlington last night, but the team has still won eight of 11 and 21 of 28 games.  The Twins carry a 4 1/2-game lead into tonight’s contest and hopes for a better offensive performance in the second game of the series, as they were one-hit for the 24th time in club history on Monday. “You definitely don’t want to get no-hit,” All-Star catcher Joe Mauer said.  “It’s nice to get a hit up there but we want runs.”  The club is now 17-7 against the AL West division and will look to improve upon its 11-7 mark on Tuesdays this evening.  The staff ERA of 2.76 against the division is the lowest of any American League team and the team was 19-21 versus the division in 2009.  Minnesota is a solid 14-7 in August (+610) and the total is 10-11 O/U in those contests.  The Twins have played six games after being shutout this season, posting an even 3-3 mark (-210) and a 9-9 record over the last three years (-160).

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The Yankees look to breakthrough against tonight’s starter in the first game of a three-game set at Yankee Stadium.

Seattle Mariners at New York Yankees

Seattle continues its season-high 12-game road trip in taking on the New York Yankees in a three-game set in the Bronx.  The Mariners are averaging a league-worst 3.3 runs per game and have managed to hit just 75 home runs this season.  The club is a solid 6-3 under interim manager Daren Brown and is coming off back-to-back wins over the Baltimore Orioles.  Offensively, the team is being led by second baseman Chone Figgins, as he has collected a hit in 15 of his past 21 games.  Over its past 11 games, the bullpen has allowed just seven earned runs on 18 hits in 28 innings, producing a 2.25 ERA in the process.  Seattle is 20-41 on the road overall this season (-1,810) and the total is 30-26 O/U over that span.  The Mariners are also 4-12 as a road underdog of +100 to +125 (-780) and 23-31 in this situation the last three years (-540).

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Both teams are coming off disappointing defeats in starting a crucial three-game series in Arlington.

Boston Red Sox at Texas Rangers

Boston will look to rebound from a disappointing 6-5 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday in Toronto, as closer Jonathan Papelbon suffered his sixth blown save of the season.  “I didn’t have much power or energy in my delivery today,” said Papelbon.  The Red Sox are now 4-3 on their current 10-game road trip and have fallen four games back in the wild card race behind the Rays.  The collapse of the bullpen was unusual, with the unit posting a 1.57 ERA over its last 15 games and the closer’s 0.75 ERA in 24 previous appearances against the Blue Jays.  The club is 10-5 as a road underdog of +100 to +125 this season (+600) and the total is 7-7 O/U in those contests.  Boston is just 7-6 over the course of this month, but is a fantastic 41-27 in August the last three years (+900).

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The Orioles started the Buck Showalter-era with a victory in the series opening game against the Angels.

Los Angeles Angels at Baltimore Orioles

Los Angeles lost for the ninth time in 12 games and could possibly drop below .500 for the first time since June 2.  The game also marked the move of Torii Hunter going from his regular position of center field to right.  “It was different, but I was still in the game in the outfield,” Hunter said.  The Angels have been unable to collect back-to-back victories since June 16-17 and are 7-10 since the All-Star break.  Los Angeles is an even 1-1 this month (-20) and is 33-26 in August the past three years (-420).  The club will be a road favorite of -125 to -150 for just the fourth time this year (1-2, -170), but has excelled in his role the past three seasons, producing a 29-16 record (+620).  Despite the 6-3 loss in the series opener, the team is 10-4 in their last 14 games in Baltimore.

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The Angels are desperate for a win in this series and are perfect this season in tonight’s situation.

Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers

Los Angeles has dropped the first two games of a crucial four-game set in Arlington, failing to score a single run in a 1-0 defeat on Friday night to the Texas Rangers.  “I made one mistake in the first inning and it kind of cost us,” starting pitcher Joe Saunders said.  Since opening the break with a 3-0 mark, the club has dropped three straight and four of five.  “We’re still a little unsettled in a couple of areas on the offensive end,” manager Mike Scioscia said.  After plating 16 runs on 29 hits in two games versus New York, the Halos have been held to just two runs and batting .145 in the first two games of this series.  Los Angeles now trails Texas in the 2010 series 2-5, as six of the seven meetings this season have been one-run affairs.  The Angels are 3-6 after three or more consecutive losses this season (-310) and 12-8 in this situation the last three years (+320)

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