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Thursday Late Tips

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Things slow down on the Thursday baseball card with just eight games to wager on. However, three solid matchups take place on the West Coast, including a pair involving AL West teams. The Mariners continue their homestand against the Rangers, while the A's go for a series victory over the struggling Angels. We'll begin in Southern California with a pair of NL West rivals wrapping up their three-game set at Petco Park.

Dodgers at Padres - 10:10 PM EST

San Diego grabbed a victory in its home opener on Tuesday, 9-3 over Los Angeles, equaling its run output from the previous four games combined. The Padres blew things open with a five-run eighth inning, while Will Venable and Nick Hundley each went deep for San Diego. The Dodgers evened up the series last night by edging the Padres, 4-3, as San Diego scored a pair of runs in the ninth inning to make things interesting. The series concludes on Thursday as the Padres will look to beat one of the game's best pitchers, who makes his first road start in Dodger blue.

Zack Greinke (1-0, 0.00 ERA) dominated the Pirates in his Los Angeles debut, scattering two hits and striking out six in 6.1 innings of a 3-0 shutout. The former Cy Young Award winner faces another weak lineup on Thursday, as Greinke makes his first career start at Petco Park. The Padres have scored three runs or less in six of eight games this season, while posting a 3-1-1 mark to the 'over' in contests listed with a total of 7 ½ or less.

Veteran right-hander Jason Marquis (0-1, 3.00 ERA) takes the mound for San Diego, coming off a 5-2 loss in his season debut at Colorado. Marquis allowed five runs in six innings, but only two of those runs were earned, while giving up a pair of homers. After coming over from Minnesota last July, Marquis failed to win each of his first four starts at Petco Park. However, the Padres managed to win each of his final three home outings, including the last two in the role of an underdog.

Athletics at Angels - 10:05 PM EST

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After its late surge to close 2012, maybe Oakland is for real. The A's stunned the Rangers to grab the AL West title before eventually losing to the AL champion Tigers in the ALDS of the playoffs. Oakland has jumped out to a 7-2 start, this coming off of consecutive losses to Seattle to begin the season. Tonight, the A's seek their eighth straight victory, while the Angels try to figure out what is going wrong through the first week.

Oakland beat Los Angeles for the second straight night on Wednesday, 11-5, while plating five runs on singles. The A's cashed as an underdog thanks to four scoreless innings from four relievers, as Oakland improved to 5-0 on the highway. A.J. Griffin (1-0, 3.00 ERA) cruised in his season debut, shutting down Seattle in an 8-2 triumph as a $1.60 home favorite. Griffin allowed just two earned runs in six innings of work, as Oakland won his fifth straight start dating back to last season. The right-hander silenced the Angels' bats in his lone outing against Los Angeles in 2012, beating the Halos, 4-1 as a $1.20 'dog by tossing eight scoreless innings.

Former Mariner Jason Vargas (0-0, 1.59 ERA) picked up a no-decision in his Los Angeles debut, a 3-2 setback at Texas. Vargas allowed only one earned run in 5.2 innings of work, but the Rangers managed to score a pair of runs on the L.A. bullpen to pick up the win. The southpaw has plenty of experience against Oakland, splitting six starts last season while in the Seattle rotation, but only one of those outings came in the role of a favorite.

Rangers at Mariners - 10:10 PM EST

Texas travels to Safeco Field for the start of a four-game set tonight after winning each of its first three series. The Rangers were shut out by the Rays on Wednesday, 2-0, as Texas won three of five games last season after scoring no runs. Coincidentally, two of those victories came over the Mariners, as Seattle looks to get on track with its ace taking the hill in the opener.

After winning the series opener on Monday, the Mariners were stunned in the final two games against the lowly Astros. Felix Hernandez (1-1, 2.57 ERA) lost his last start as a road favorite at Chicago, 4-3, as the former Cy Young Award winner allowed all four runs in 6.1 innings. King Felix lost his final four starts at Safeco Field to close last season, but the ace stymied the Rangers' lineup in two home victories by giving up just one run in 17 innings.

The Rangers send out right-hander Jason Grimm, who makes his first start since last June. Grimm takes the place of Matt Harrison, who was placed on the disabled list on Wednesday with soreness in his lower back. The last time Grimm started, the Tigers tagged the former University of Georgia standout for six earned runs in just one inning of work in an 8-2 home loss. Tonight is the first career road start for Grimm, who was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock.

You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at rogers@vegasinsider.com

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

  
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