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Crunch Time Has Already Arrived For Struggling Teams In The Majors

Posted by Dale “Skip” Lalonde on 6/29/2013 1:19:08 AM

It’s almost July. Teams that are trailing in divisional races need to make a push if they want to play competitive and meaningful games in August and September.

Game 1: Milwaukee Brewers @ Pittsburgh Pirates – Saturday, June 29

Betting lines should favor the Pirates here. Milwaukee’s starting rotation has been under siege all season, battered by injuries and tormented at just about every turn. The Brewers will once again use a reliever as a spot starter, with Donovan Hand taking the ball against Pittsburgh starter Francisco Liriano. Hand will be part of a bullpen-by-committee approach, and that’s just not sustainable over the course of a season. Milwaukee is at the bottom of the National League Central for a reason. Take Pittsburgh in this spot.

MLB Betting Pick: Pittsburgh

Game 2: Kansas City Royals @ Minnesota Twins – Saturday, June 29

When the horse betting aficionados of America take a break from the Triple Crown series and look for a betting diversion in a different sport, they might look at this game due to the unique situation attached to the pitching matchup. This game certainly sets up as an opportunity for the Royals.

The odds should strongly lean to Kansas City here. James Shields has been a terrific starting pitcher for the Royals this season, and that’s one reason to take Kansas City. However, the bigger reason to choose the Royals here is that Minnesota will be sending out a pitcher who is coming off an injury and will be making his first start of 2013. Here are ESPN’s game notes on Kyle Gibson of the Twins: “The Twins will not have a hard cap on Gibson's innings in his first full season back from Tommy John surgery. ‘Every guy is a little different, and there's been different numbers from 130 (innings) to 140,’ Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. ‘Some people have said 150. I think what we want to do is let him go out and pitch and we'll monitor the situation. That's the best way to go about this thing.’ Gibson will make his major league debut Saturday against Kansas City …Earlier reports in the offseason had Twins sources pegging Gibson's innings limit at 130 to 150 innings. However, it sounds like that could now be increased by 20 to 30 innings more. Still, the Twins have said they want to limit his workload this season, so there's a risk he's shut down or moved to the bullpen earlier rather than later in the second half of the season - especially if the Twins fall out of the pennant race.”

There is just too much pressure being loaded upon Gibson’s back, and there are too many uncertainties for a bettor to deal with. Choosing Gibson is just not prudent. One should take Kansas City and Shields in this tilt.

MLB Betting Pick: Kansas City

Game 3: Arizona Diamondbacks @ Atlanta Braves – Saturday, June 29

In the mma betting community, it is known that power matters a great deal, and in this game, the power wielded by each batting order will loom large. Betting lines will move in favor of the team that can swing the sticks in this contest. Ian Kennedy, the starting pitcher for Arizona, and Atlanta starter Tim Hudson have struggled to find their comfort zone all season long. The sense here is that Atlanta, playing at home, will feel just a little more comfortable and will find the hitting environment (the backdrop, to be more precise) to its liking. One nuance to consider is that Arizona just finished a midweek series against the Washington Nationals in which it used its best starting pitchers. Atlanta will gain the benefit of facing the Diamondbacks’ second-tier starters, the ones at the back end of Arizona’s rotation. For that and other reasons, take the Braves in what appears to be a slugfest.

MLB Betting Pick: Atlanta

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