AL West Race: Athletics try to hold off Rangers

The Oakland Athletics have managed to build up a lead on the Texas Rangers in the AL West division race, but the Rangers will get a shot at reducing that gap this weekend as the two teams play a three-game MLB betting series in Oakland.

Texas enters action on Tuesday night six games behind Oakland in the AL West standings, thanks to a 3-7 record in their past 10 games. The A's, in contrast, are 7-3 in their 10 most recent contests and ride a four-game winning streak into Tuesday night.

The teams begin their three-game series on Friday night, and Texas has had the advantage against Oakland so far this season - the Rangers are 6-4 against the Athletics in 2013, including a 3-1 record against the A's when the teams last met in a three-game set in Arlington in the middle of June.

Totals bettors saw the OVER/UNDER go 4-5-1 in those matchups.

If the Rangers can make up some ground on the Athletics this weekend they should see an improvement in their odds to win the AL West division title at the sportsbooks. Currently Oakland is the -300 favorite on those futures, with Texas behind them at +225. The Los Angeles Angels are +2800 longshots.

And the Angels enter Tuesday's action all the way down in fourth place in the AL West thanks to a 3-7 run of their own that has them 14 games behind the A's. Los Angeles will get a visit from Texas starting next Monday night for a three-game series, with the Rangers 5-2 against the Angels so far this season - and the OVER/UNDER 5-2.

Oakland, meanwhile, gets Monday off before starting a mini two-game series in Cincinnati against the Reds next Tuesday night. The A's swept the Reds in two games in Oakland back in June, outscoring them 12-3 in those two contests.

Elsewhere around the American League this weekend it's Seattle at Baltimore, the White Sox at Detroit, Houston at Minnesota, and Toronto at the Angels, while the Rays (vs. San Francisco), Red Sox (vs. Arizona), and Yankees (at San Diego) all have interleague matchups.

Early next week notable series include Tampa Bay at Arizona and Detroit at Cleveland, with the Tigers a dominant 9-3 on the MLB betting odds against the division-rival Tribe so far this season. The OVER paid out in seven of those contests.

Detroit enters Tuesday's action with a 2.5-game lead on Cleveland in the AL Central standings, and they're the -450 favorite at the sportsbooks to claim that division crown this season; the Indians are pegged at +350 odds on that list. Detroit is also the 6/1 favorite on the odds to win the World Series.


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