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As baseball heads into the All-Star Break we have teams fighting for position before the break. The break is considered the unofficial halfway point of the season and is when many teams decide if they are buyers or sellers for the upcoming trade deadline on July 31st. The Brewers’ lone All-Star, Jonathan Lucroy, seems like a lock to be moved at the deadline as does Braves’ starter Julio Teheran. The Rays look like they may be willing to move some of their starters as well and there is always a surprising name or two that gets moved. The hot stove is heating up and that can change some of the races going forward.
We have to get there first though and there are some great games going on today. The Mariners and Astros continue their series as both teams try to chase the hot running Rangers, the Red Sox send knuckleballer Steven Wright to the mound to try and shut down those same Rangers and the Cardinals and Pirates continuing their battle for second place behind the Cubs.
We’re getting into today’s baseball tips now, but don’t forget about our golf tips as well. The Scottish Open and U.S. Women’s Open kick off this week and we have a few plays for each.
MLB Betting Tips:
The Pittsburgh Pirates are one of the hottest teams in baseball right now with six straight wins. They’ve done it behind some much improved pitching. One big part of that has been Jeff Locke who was absolutely disastrous to start the season and currently holds a 5.13 ERA. He’s been much improved as of late with a 1.93 ERA over his past three starts, all wins. He’ll lead his hot team against the Cardinals and Jaime Garcia today. The Pirates come in as underdogs in this one, but I like their chances. They hit lefties far better than they hit righties and they are just a hot team right now. Let’s ride that wave, Pirates +155.
Steven Wright has been bringing the knuckleball back in a major way this season with a 2.42 ERA thus far this season. He’s been pitching deep into games and along with David Price, saving the Red Sox season from disaster. He carried a 5-1 record at home into this one. He’ll go against Martin Perez who just shut down this Red Sox team on June 26th with just one run allowed over six innings. Despite the seemingly favorable pitching match-up, the total on this one is 10 runs and I think the pitching will fare better today. Under 10 runs is the play as I expect decent outings from both starters.
The Astros took the first two games of their series against the Mariners and look to lock down the win tonight. Seattle will send Wade LeBlanc to the mound who has looked excellent in his two starts since his comeback. He’s only allowed 2 runs and has went six innings in both games, two Mariner wins. Houston as a team has just a .669 OPS against lefties so he could fare well again today. He’ll go against Mike Fiers who has been on point as of late with a 2.87 ERA over his past three starts, all Astros wins. Seattle as a team has a whopping .772 OPS against right handed starters this season. Fiers is just the kind of pitcher that they are likely to hit hard to and I like the Mariners +140 to get back into this series today with a win.