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Playoff Chase Heat Delivers Four Games to Follow

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The American League playoff race is getting crazier as it goes down to the wire. There are FOUR games of consequence to the Angels to watch tonight. Hope that life you had can be put on hold for the next thirteen nights...

4:05 PM: Angels @ Orioles - Haren V. Hunter

So far so good and if this were just the whole Mike Scioscia school of taking care of our own business we would click on the telly at 4 PM and after the game hit the clubs with our lady for a Friday night celebration. But there are many many variables out there that will be determining our future and you might be handing the ball and chain the keys to the party bus as she and her girlfriends head out for an impromptu ladies night. There are THREE, count 'em THREE other games that have a strong determination about where the Angels are going...

4:07 PM: Yankees @ Blue Jays - Brett Cecil V. CC Sabathia

We play four games against Toronto next week. Tonight's Jays starter will be starting on Wednesday against us. We want him to be in a close game where he throws a lot of pitches. A one-hit shutout where Cecil throws 140+ pitches would be good, his arm might all off in the 2nd inning of his next start as we score 8 runs off him 5 days from now. Also, Yankees losing will make them a little hungrier to hold onto the best AL record as Detroit is creeping up on them, so looking ahead, next weekend when they play Boston, they will be more focused on winning the games with something at stake. Check out the chaos ahead...


4:10 PM: Rays @ Red Sox - James Shields V. Josh Beckett

We are four games behind Boston for the Wild Card. This is Beckett's first game back from an ankle injury. James Shields has been an innings-eating Complete Game machine. Go Rays!

7:10 PM: Rangers @ Mariners - C.J. Wilson V. Blake Beavan

Go Mariners. Texas might be hot but they will be playing in a major league stadium tonight for the first time in a week. Cooling down on the road is encouraged. Mariners are young studs auditioning for more elaborate anecdotes on next season's "hot rookie" Topps cards so the sky is the limit. Go M's!

Best Case Scenario: Halos, Rays, Jays and M's win putting us 2.5 games from the West lead and 3 games from the wild card lead. If you are really chess-gaming this one out, also root for the Tigers to keep pressure on the Yankees for best AL record in order for the Bombers to play hard a week from now against the Chowds as this helps our Wild Card chances.