TheSpread.com Sunday MLB Picks and Predictions 8/24

TheSpread.com Sunday MLB Picks and Predictions 8/24

Some teams are fighting for their playoff lives, while others are just getting a look at their prospects. Our team of writers and handicappers gathered three of their top picks for Sunday’s MLB action.

Minnesota Twins (74-55) at Los Angeles Angels (78-50)

The Los Angeles Angels used a rare offensive outburst to cool off the surging Minnesota Twins in their most recent game.

The Angels look for a second straight victory over the Twins to salvage a split in the four-game set between division leaders Sunday afternoon at Angel Stadium.

After being outscored 11-1 in the first two games of this potential AL playoff series preview, Los Angeles (78-50) scored six runs in the first four innings and held on for a 7-5 win Saturday night.

It was just the third win in 10 games for the Angels, who must guard against complacency with a very comfortable 16-game lead in the AL West.

The right-hander matched up with Minnesota's Kevin Slowey (10-8, 3.78) in that contest. Slowey allowed three runs in 3 1-3 innings and is 1-1 with a 7.56 ERA in two career starts versus the Angels.

Slowey, though, has been much better since dropping his first four starts off the season. The right-hander will try for a fourth consecutive victory after allowing one earned run and five

Pick: Los Angeles - Best line -150 SBG Global

Cleveland Indians (61-67) at Texas Rangers (63-67)

Last season, a hot streak in the second half of August began the key stretch that earned the Cleveland Indians the AL Central title. This year, all it's doing is giving the Indians some pride - and perhaps some optimism for 2009.

Cleveland will look to extend its longest winning streak of the season to seven on Sunday night, also hoping to complete its first three-game sweep at Texas in more than 35 years.

While battling for a playoff spot in 2007, the Indians won eight straight games from Aug. 25-Sept. 1, part of a torrid 31-12 run to finish the season.

The Rangers have pitched poorly for much of August, losing 13 of their last 16. Their beleaguered staff, which easily ranks last in the majors with a 5.42 ERA, has been especially bad during the club's current funk, with a 6.60 ERA and .317 opponent batting average over that span.

Pick: Cleveland - Best line +120 SBG Global

Oakland Athletics (59-70) at Seattle Mariners (47-82)

It's been more than a month since the Oakland Athletics won a series. On Sunday, they'll close out a four-game set against the Seattle Mariners trying for their first series victory since the last time the teams met.

The Athletics (59-70) have won two of the first three games between the teams, including 5-1 on Saturday. A victory Sunday would give Oakland its first series win since it took three of four against the Mariners (47-82) at home July 7-10, and its first road series win since sweeping San Francisco in June.

On Saturday, Bobby Crosby had three hits and drove in two runs while Daric Barton hit a two-run homer for Oakland, which is 8-28 since July 12, when it began the day four games out of first place in the AL West. Since then, the Athletics have fallen 19 1/2 games behind the division-leading Los Angeles Angels.

Dan Meyer (0-1, 5.52) makes his second start of the season for Oakland after he was called up from the minors on Thursday, just three days after was sent to Triple-A Sacramento.

In his only start, Meyer allowed three runs and six hits over five innings in a 10-2 loss to Detroit on Aug. 9.

Meyer's only time facing Seattle was Sept. 19. He pitched 4 2-3 innings, allowing five runs and six hits in a 9-5 loss.

Pick: Seattle - Best line -205 SBG Global

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