The Texas Rangers are currently leading the American League West by 3.5 games over the Oakland Athletics, and they have a good chance this weekend to really extend that lead. The Rangers will start a three-game series against the Houston Astros on Friday. It is realistic when looking at the pitching matchups that the Rangers will sweep this series.
Oakland, on the other hand, has a different story.
Normally when you are playing a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners, it is a good thing and you are likely to come out of the series with two, if not three more wins. But, the Mariners have been streaking lately, winning three of their last four series and splitting a the other one.
The A’s will have to face some tough competition this weekend. In game one, they will take on Hisashi Iwakuma, who has been excellent this season, pitching to just a 1.61 ERA in his first seven starts. In the second game of the series, the A’s will have to face rookie Brandon Mauer. Mauer has been very inconsistent for the Mariners this season but when he is on, he is very good.
Finally Joe Saunders will pitch the final game of the series for the Mariners. Saunders has been very good at Safeco Field this season and luckily for him, this start is in Seattle.
The Rangers will have much easier competition this weekend while playing the last-place Astros. It looks realistic that the Rangers could sweep their series while the A’s might get swept, or more likely lose two out of three.
It is only May, but if the Rangers can jump out to a big lead in the division, it makes the rest of the season much easier.