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Divisional Rivalries Headline Friday's MLB Action

Posted by Dale “Skip” Lalonde on 5/15/2014 9:48:54 PM

Rivalries make sports great, and this Friday there will be quite a few division match-ups on display that will have an immediate effect on the current standings. One stud pitcher is still looking for his first victory of the season, despite having a 1.75 ERA this year, which just goes to show how unpredictable baseball really is, and that anything can happen during Friday's MLB action.

Milwaukee Brewers @ Chicago Cubs
Friday May 16, 2014 – 2:20 PM ET

The Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs are on opposite ends of the NL Central standings as the Brewers are 25-15 and in first place, while the Cubs are 13-25 and in last, just a couple games back of the Pittsburgh Pirates. On the hill for the Cubs is Jeff Samardzija, the pitcher still looking for his first win despite having a 1.75 ERA this season, but he may not be getting that victory from this game as his opponent on the hill is the 4-1 Kyle Lohse. There's no doubt the pitching match-up in this game will be a great one, but the bats for the Cubs have been relatively silent all season long, which is largely the reason they've won just one of their last five games. The Brewers haven't been all that much better at the plate either meaning this game could really go either way, yet the Cubs are still my sports betting pick because of the pitcher on the hill, and the fact that he will be pitching with the Wrigley Field faithful behind him.

Pick:Cubs

New York Mets @ Washington Nationals
Friday May 16, 2014 – 7:05 PM ET

The Washington Nationals are right behind the first place Atlanta Braves in the NL East standings, and a win over the 19-20 New York Mets would only help their cause. The Nationals will be sending Tanner Roark to the mound, who looked good as a reliever in 2013 but is 2-1 with a 3.65 ERA as a starter this year, including a six inning outing against the Mets in April where he allowed just two earned runs and got his first win of the year. Roark's opponent on the hill will be the five-year veteran Jon Niese who is currently having the best year of his career with a 2-2 record and 2.17 ERA through seven starts. Niese has yet to face the Nationals this year, which will likely benefit him Friday evening when he goes up against the 19th best scoring offense in the league. The Nationals have been rather underwhelming at the plate this year, and surprisingly enough the Mets have scored more runs this season yet they remain the underdog and my pick to lose this match-up to the underrated Washington Nationals.

Pick: Nationals

San Diego Padres @ Colorado Rockies
Friday May 16, 2014 – 8:40 PM ET

The Colorado Rockies are making a run at the first place San Francisco Giants, and they should be able to make up some ground when they take on the 19-21 San Diego Padres Friday evening. The Padres are only three games back of the Rockies in the NL West standings, but the pitching match-up of Eric Stults vs. Jorge De La Rosa makes this anyones game. De La Rosa is 4-3 with a sky high 4.81 ERA, but Stults is 2-3 with a 5.03 mark, and lasted just five innings the last time he faced the Rockies. The Rockies have scored the most runs in the majors this season, and it isn't even close as the second place Chicago White Sox have 18 less runs scored, and the last placed scoring offense, which just so happens to be the Padres, has 118 runs scored this year compared to 233 by the Rockies. The pitching match-up is a wash, but the Rockies boast the better offense and will emerge victorious at home Friday night.

Pick: Rockies

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