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National League Central And American League West Heat Up On Thursday

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 6/19/2013 7:54:57 PM

It’s time for two more showdowns between playoff contenders in two separate divisions. The Pirates and Reds conclude their series in Cincinnati, while Oakland and Texas meet again, too.

Game 1: Pittsburgh Pirates @ Cincinnati Reds– Thursday, June 20

A sound sports bet will probably be able to make a reasoned case for either side in this contest, given the contentious nature of the competition between the Pirates and Reds for both the National League Central lead and the first position in the National League’s wild card race. However, when assessing all available information, it would seem that the Reds should be given the edge for this matinee on Thursday. Pittsburgh is sending youngster Brandon Cumpton to the mound as its starting pitcher. Cumpton has only one big-league start to his credit, on June 15. He was average in that game, so he should not be expected to shut down the Reds in this contest. It’s true that Cincinnati starter Homer Bailey is not what one would call an overwhelmingly good pitcher, but with an ERA of 3.80, he’s certainly competent – a lot more so than many other big-league pitchers. Bailey doesn’t need to be brilliant to win this game; he just needs to outpitch Cumpton, and that’s something which is more likely than not at this point. Trust Cincinnati to get the job done in this spot.

MLB Betting Pick: Cincinnati

Game 2: Oakland Athletics @ Texas Rangers – Thursday, June 20

Firepower – imposing athletic prowess – gains the respect of mma betting specialists. In baseball, the “Athletic prowess” on display right now belongs to the Oakland Athletics, who are reminding the Texas Rangers how pesky they really are. Oakland nipped Texas at the wire last year to win the American League West, and the A’s have rallied once again to surge to the top of the division in the second half of June. In this game, the Athletics would appear to have the advantage. Oakland starter A.J. Griffin is not an elite pitcher – not with an ERA of 3.93 – but he’s a lot better than Texas starter Josh Lindblom, who lugs a burdensome 5.94 ERA into this tilt. Texas’ lack of quality depth in its starting rotation is beginning to show. The Rangers have too many young and unproven arms, and by sending them to the mound on a regular basis, they’re losing a measure of ground to Oakland. One should trust the A’s more than the Rangers in this one, given the pitching matchup.

MLB Betting Pick: Oakland

Chicago White Sox @ Minnesota Twins – Thursday, June 20

Sport betting lines are quite split on this contest. Chicago has the better pitcher in Thursday’s tussle – White Sox starter John Danks has an ERA that’s roughly one run lower than the one claimed by Minnesota starter Scott Diamond. However, Chicago’s offense is the worst in the American League, with only 246 runs through 68 games. Ultimately, trust the pitching of Danks to pry open an opportunity for the Pale Hose. Take the White Sox here.

MLB Betting Pick: Chicago White Sox

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