Oakland Athletics vs Texas Rangers 9/23/10: Mark's Free Pick MLB Baseball Written by Mark Thursday, 23 September 2010 05:52 MLB Baseball 9/23/10 Texas Rangers (84-67) at Oakland Athletics (76-75) Cliff Lee (L) (12-8) (3.19)-Dallas Braden (L) (9-13) (3.65) By Mark-Thursday, September 23 2010 10:05 PM EST Statistical Match Ups and Odds
The Rangers took a 12 inning 2-1 decision over the Angels to move a step closer to claiming the American League West title. They might own an eight game lead over second place Oakland, but they have not looked strong at all as of late, having lost four of six because they simply haven’t hit the ball and scored. They have scored two runs or less in five of six and have scored just twice in their last 22 innings. They’ll ask Cliff Lee to get them closer to the playoffs when they give him the ball tonight. Lee certainly knows what it’s like pitching with little or no support after his half year stay in Seattle. Lee has given up just one run in his last two starts, going eight innings in each and has been just as stingy in two appearances against Oakland with a 1-0 record and 0.53 ERA, defeating Braden 5-1 in early August.
Oakland gave the Rangers a game in the standings when they couldn’t hold a 3-1 ninth inning lead, allowing three runs to literally hand Chicago a 4-3 win on Wednesday. The A’s have been hit hard by injuries this season and it appears the injury bug
is biting once again with their relief corps missing Michael Wuertz, Andrew Bailey and Andrew Blevins. That being the case, a strong start by Dallas Braden couldn’t come at a better time. Although he took the loss the last time he faced Lee, he defeated Texas on August 28th 5-0 on a four hitter. However, Braden has struggled since than, going 0-4 with a 6.23 ERA in four appearances. He has
said that he is beginning to feel the effects of a career high 173 innings pitched so he’ll be under a watchful eye.
Oakland is still clinging to faint playoff hopes but at least have their fate in their own hands for the next four games. That said, I think these are the type games Texas got Cliff Lee for and if their anemic offense can get him a few runs I like his chances.
Mark’s Pick: Texas Set as favorite Bookmark Email
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