MLB Picks and Predictions For Friday September 12

MLB Picks and Predictions For Friday September 12

Baseball continues to rumble towards the playoffs with more regular season action on the Friday scoreboard. Our team of writers and handicappers hands out their picks for Friday.

Seattle Mariners (57-88) at Los Angeles Angels (89-57)

With quality starting pitchers like Joe Saunders on its staff, it's been easy for the Los Angeles Angels to put Francisco Rodriguez in save situations.

With Rodriguez one save away from setting the major league single-season record, the AL West champion Angels send Saunders to the mound as they continue a four-game series with the lowly Seattle Mariners on Friday night.

Los Angeles (89-57) has one of the best rotations in baseball, giving Rodriguez plenty of save opportunities. In this series' opener, Rodriguez earned his 57th save to tie Bobby Thigpen's major league record, giving the Angels a 7-4 win over the Mariners (57-88) on Thursday night. Thigpen set the record in 1990 with the Chicago White Sox.

Rodriguez and Saunders (15-7, 3.64 ERA) have complemented each other nicely. Saunders has had 19 quality starts, and Rodriguez has saved 13 of his teammate's wins. Rodriguez has earned saves in 16 of Saunders' 28 outings, including the last two against the Mariners.

Saunders has posted a 3.10 ERA en route to winning all three of his starts versus Seattle this season. He is 4-1 with a 4.76 ERA in six career starts against the Mariners.

In his last outing, the left-hander allowed two runs and four hits in 7 1-3 innings as Los Angeles beat the Chicago White Sox 3-2 on Sunday. It was his first win since July 30 against Boston.

Pick: Los Angeles - Best line -155 SBG Global

Detroit Tigers (70-76) at Chicago White Sox (81-65)

While the Chicago White Sox have watched one of their toughest opponents this season leave town, they'll welcome one that hasn't been quite as successful at U.S. Cellular Field.

The White Sox look to beat the Detroit Tigers for the fifth time in seven tries at home on Friday night when they open their final three-game series of 2008.

Chicago (81-65) dropped seven of eight contests to Toronto, including three of four this week - a stretch capped by Thursday's 6-4 defeat. The bullpen, which allowed two runs and five hits in 1 2-3 innings, compiled a 7.94 ERA during the set.

Jermaine Dye drove in two runs, and Jim Thome's two-run homer was the 538th of his career for the White Sox, who have lost four of their last five overall to fall to 3-4 on their current 10-game homestand.

Detroit (70-76), widely favored to win the Central, will kick off its final nine-game road trip of the year against John Danks (10-8, 3.44), who has gone 0-3 with a 5.95 ERA over his last four outings.

The left-hander didn't earn a decision on Sunday despite limiting the playoff-bound Los Angeles Angels to two runs and five hits with seven strikeouts over 5 1-3 innings of a 3-2 home loss.

The White Sox, though, have won four of Danks' five career starts versus the Tigers - a span in which he's 2-1 with a 4.80 ERA. He's beaten Verlander twice this season.

Pick: Chicago - Best line -150 SBG Global

Toronto Blue Jays () at Boston Red Sox (85-60)

The Boston Red Sox have an opportunity this weekend to move closer to nailing down a playoff spot while all but ending the postseason hopes of their closest pursuers in the AL East.

The Red Sox begin a four-game home series against the surging Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night when they close in on a fifth postseason berth in six seasons.

Boston (85-60) leads the AL wild-card race by 5 1/2 games over Minnesota, while Toronto (79-67) is 6 1/2 games back. The Red Sox and Blue Jays have seven meetings left, giving Toronto a glimmer of hope of drawing closer.

The Blue Jays have played very well against the Red Sox this season, going 7-4 with three straight wins at Fenway Park. They've won 11 of 12 overall following a three-game skid.

Though Boston was off Thursday, giving its bullpen a break, it could certainly use a lengthy outing from Tim Wakefield (8-10, 4.11 ERA), who was roughed up in the shortest start of his season his last time out. The veteran right-hander lasted 1 2-3 innings against Texas on Saturday night, giving up a season-high seven runs and four hits as the Red Sox lost 15-8.

Wakefield is 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA in two starts versus the Blue Jays this season, and 15-11 with a 3.87 ERA in 37 starts and 10 relief appearances against them lifetime.

Pick: Toronto - Best line +140 SBG Global

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