Weekend Countdown: In the Clinch – Athletics @ Angels

Their lead is seven games, the magic numbers is four and now the Angels have a chance to put it all to an end this weekend by clinching the AL West title, all before Texas even arrives for their final four games against the Halos.

AL West Pie

The Angels can grab a bigger piece of the pie this weekend.

A few Angel wins here and a few Ranger losses there and the Angels will be celebrating their third consecutive division title.  That would give the Halos a nice solid week of meaningless games to rest their regulars, keep the bullpen fresh and get their post-season rotation aligned.

More importantly, the Angels can take a step back from the heat of competition and admire for a brief moment on what exactly they accomplished this season.  And admire they should.  Though it has been said before, the Angels have pulled off one of their most impressive seasons, probably in their history by overcoming an early season tragedy and an unfathomable rash of injuries throughout the year.  Yet somehow the Halos are going to win a much-improved division and do so relatively comfortably.  At the very least the Angel players deserve a few days to let that impressive accomplishment sink in before they have to jump into the playoff pressure cooker.

Oakland Athletics (73-80) @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (90-62)

Game 1 Starters: OAK – Gio Gonzalez (5-6, 6.15 ERA)  LAA – Jered Weaver (15-7, 3.87 ERA)

Game 1 Info: 7:05 PM PT TV-Fox Sports West, Radio-KLAA 830 AM, KFWB, KWKW 1330 AM

Game 2 Starters: OAK – Dana Eveland (2-3, 6.50 ERA)  LAA – John Lackey (11-8, 3.56 ERA)

Game 2 Info: 6:05 PM PT TV-KCOP, Radio-KLAA 830 AM, KFWB, KWKW 1330 AM

Game 3 Starters: OAK – Edgar Gonzalez (0-3, 5.11 ERA)  LAA – Joe Saunders (14-7, 4.63 ERA)

Game 3 Info: 12:35 PM PT TV-Fox Sports West, Radio-KLAA 830 AM, KFWB, KWKW 1330 AM

THREE Questions:

  • Should the Angels be worried about Oakland who is coming off of a recent seven-game winning streak and is probably solely responsible for the Rangers falling out of the division race?
  • Can Jered Weaver snap his two-start losing streak?
  • Will the Angel offense FINALLY be able to get on track against this bumper crop of lousy opposing starters?

TWO Predictions:

  • One of the Gonzalez pitchers will defeat the Angels, but the Halos will win the other two games.
  • Both Bobby Abreu (98) and Kendry Morales (99) get over the 100 RBI hump in this series.

ONE Wish:

  • I just wish for all the Angels to get through this series without suffering any injury whatsoever.

ZERO Tolerance for… not clinching the division this weekend.  Though it would take a miracle for Texas to steal the AL West from the Angels, there is no need to put pressure on the squad to continue playing any more pressure-filled games than need be with the post-season around the corner.  They’re are a lot of old bones on this team that could use the rest.

Leave your own questions, answers, predictions or wishes as a comment or just hang out with us during the game or even chat with us on twitter (@MonkeyWithAHalo).

Garrett Wilson

About Garrett Wilson

Garrett Wilson is the founder and Supreme Overlord of Monkeywithahalo.com and editor at The Outside Corner. He's an Ivy League graduate, but not from one of the impressive ones. You shouldn't make him angry. You wouldn't like him when he is angry.