Live Free Picks
Home Of 500 Handicappers
The Los Angeles Angels have managed to stay in the race this long, and are hanging on for dear life. The Angels trail the Oakland Athletics by 2 1/2 games for the final American League wild card spot with five contests left. The Texas Rangers are on the verge of securing at least a wild card spot and have a magic number of three to clinch the AL West. The Rangers are 2 1/2 games up on the Athletics in the division.
Both teams could have pitching issues in the final five games after Saturday’s contest was rained out. The teams will make that up as part of the first split doubleheader ever at Rangers Ballpark on Sunday. Los Angeles has won six of its last seven games and received strong starting pitching in each of those victories. Jered Weaver became the first Los Angeles pitcher since Bartolo Colon in 2005 to reach 20 wins with seven strong innings on Friday and could get one more start on the final day of the regular season. Texas has been less competent on the mound, allowing at least seven runs in each of the last three games.
Angels Rangers Betting
When: 7:05 PM ET, Sunday, September 30, 2012
Where: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Arlington, Texas
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, KCOP (Los Angeles), FSSW (Texas)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Angels RH Ervin Santana (9-12, 4.93 ERA) vs. Rangers LH Derek Holland (11-6, 4.50)
One of the reasons Los Angeles has been able to make a push toward the playoffs in the last month has been the efforts of Santana, who has allowed two runs and four hits or less in each of his last four outings. The right-hander put together one of his best starts of the season against Chicago on Sept. 21, when he struck out 11 and allowed only one run on two hits in seven innings. Santana has faced Texas twice in 2012, going 1-1 while allowing a total of nine runs in 6 2/3 innings.
Holland had a string of six straight quality starts broken up last time out, when he lasted only three innings against Oakland. The lefty surrendered a pair of home runs in that start and has served up 30 blasts in 166 total innings. Holland allowed a two-run homer to Alberto Callaspo in a start against the Angels on Sept. 19 but gave up nothing else in seven innings to pick up the win. He has not suffered a loss since July 31, when he was knocked around for six runs by Los Angeles.
1. Los Angeles CF Mike Trout set the franchise record for runs with his 125th on Friday. The rookie needs one home run and three stolen bases to join Eric Davis and Barry Bonds as the only players in history with 30 homers and 50 steals.
2. Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton is stuck on 43 home runs, tied with Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera for the major-league lead.
3. Angels 1B/DH Kendrys Morales left Friday’s game with sore ribs and was out of Saturday‘s proposed lineup. He is day-to-day.