Friday MLB Odds Preview: AL Wild Card Race

Two series with key implications in the AL Wild Card race get started Friday night as the Los Angeles Angels visit the Texas Rangers and the Kansas City Royals drop in on the Minnesota Twins.

The Angels have been moving in and out of the final AL Wild Card spot all month, constantly trading places with the Twins. Against the Rangers this season the Angels are 8-5 in 13 games, but they’re only 3-3 in games in Texas.

The pitching matchup for Friday night sees Tyler Skaggs (1-4, 4.25 ERA) get the ball for the Angels and Cole Hamels (9-2, 3.78 ERA) take the mound for Texas. Skaggs picked up a no-decision in his last start after allowing four runs in five innings versus the Houston Astros. In three starts against the Rangers this season Skaggs is 0-1 with a 5.87 ERA.

Lefthander Hamels faced the Angels on August 21 in Los Angeles, picking up the win by surrendering just two runs on three hits over seven innings of work. Hamels, though, was knocked around for six runs on nine hits in 4 1-3 innings on the road at Oakland in his last outing.

The Royals seemingly forgot how to score runs this week after getting shut out in four consecutive games, and will need to wake up their bats against the Twins. Kansas City is a disappointing 4-8 versus the Twins this season, which includes a 1-5 record in Minnesota.

Friday’s pitching matchup could lead to some scoring as Jason Hammel (6-10, 4.76 ERA) goes for Kansas City and Dillon Gee (1-1, 3.53 ERA) gets the call for Minnesota.

In his last start Hammel took the loss against the Cleveland Indians after surrendering four runs on six hits in 6 2-3 innings. Hammel has been pummeled by Minnesota this season, and in three starts owns an 0-2 record and 9.45 ERA. In 10 career starts against the Twins he isn’t much better at 2-3 with a 5.26 ERA.

Gee lasted only four innings in his last start against the Toronto Blue Jays after allowing four runs on seven hits. He has made only three starts this season and none were against the Royals. In his only career start against Kansas City he delivered a gem, allowing only one run on three hits over seven innings.