With just one day left in the 2012 MLB regular season, the Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics are battling to win the American League West.
The two clubs are set to face off at the Oakland Coliseum on Wednesday afternoon to determine the winner of the division. First pitch is scheduled for 3:35 p.m. ET. You can watch a live stream of the event online for $3.99 on MLB.TV.
The Rangers have led the AL West since early an April. The A’s caught them on Tuesday night, taking the first two games of their season-ending series.
Both teams are already in the playoffs, but a lot is at stake. A win by either team could result in home-field advantage throughout the American League postseason. The loser will go on to play in a one-game elimination playoff against either the New York Yankees or Baltimore Orioles.
Texas will send Ryan Dempster to the mound against A.J. Griffin. The veteran has struggled since being dealt to the Rangers before the July 31 trade deadline. His earned run average is 4.64 will his new club, more than double his ERA with the Cubs.
The Athletics rookie has been one of the best pitchers in the league since being called up from the minors. He’s 7-1 with a 2.71 ERA in the majors, and has been a big part of Oakland’s second half resurgence.
Josh Hamilton’s lack of production has been a big part of Texas’ recent struggles. The Rangers have lost six of their last eight games. Hamilton has been stuck on 43 home runs during that entire stretch.
Despite Hamilton’s lack of power recently, Texas leads the MLB in runs scored. Oakland is second in the AL in pitching.
The matchup between the two wild card teams will be played on Friday. The winner of that contest will host the first two playoff games of their ALDS series.
Prediction: The A's have been the hottest team in the majors since the All-Star break. With the pitching matchup in their favor at home, they should go on to win the division.
Predicted Score: Oakland 5, Texas 2