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Can Atlanta Run Away With the NL East?

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 7/18/2013 7:20:38 PM

When spring training started for the 2013 season, the online sports book experts were looking at the Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves in the NL East. The Philadelphia Phillies were too unpredictable, the New York Mets had just lost their pitching ace and the Miami Marlins were, well, the Miami Marlins. Things have not gone exactly to plan, but Atlanta is leading the division. As the second half of the season starts, fans are wondering if the Braves will run away with the NL East pennant, or if the Nationals and Phillies will turn this into a fight.

Friday – Los Angeles Dodgers @ Washington Nationals

The betting sites like this game because it is between two teams that are playing good baseball and have a lot to play for. Both the Dodgers and the Nationals fell flat when the season opened, but they are both moving back into contention after stringing together some wins. Stephen Strasburg is starting to show signs of his past greatness and is ready to take the mound for this game. The Dodgers will send the struggling Ricky Nolasco to the mound to try and get him back on track in time for the playoff run. The Nationals have been hitting the ball lately and the Dodgers have not. That will be the difference in this game.

Pick: Washington Nationals

Friday – Philadelphia Phillies @ New York Mets

The sports betting world never really expects much from then New York Mets from season to season,  but the Mets find themselves only nine games under .500 and only 11 games out of first place in the NL East as the second half of the season begins. The Phillies had won its last two games before the All-Star break and had pulled to within six and a half games of the Braves. Philadelphia’s progress has been impressive when you consider that, once again, its pitching rotation has been in a constant state of change. Kyle Kendrick takes the mound for Philadelphia in a game that the Phillies need if they want to stay in the NL East hunt.

Pick: Philadelphia Phillies

Friday – Atlanta Braves @ Chicago White Sox

Tim Hudson has been with the Atlanta Braves long enough to know what it feels like to have the NL East pennant slip away in the month of September. As the Braves enter the second half of July, there is a lot of anticipation surrounding this team that points to visions of a World Series title. The Braves’ bullpen may not quite be good enough to propel the team to a World Series win, but it should be good enough to stop a Chicago White Sox team that has not been able to hit the ball lately. The White Sox are also getting sub-par performances from its starting pitching, which is not going to help in this game against the red hot Braves.

Pick: Atlanta Braves

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