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AL Central Picks: July 10, 2013


With back-to-back wins against the New York Yankees, the Kansas City Royals have been able to keep pace with the AL Central-leading Detroit Tigers and the Cleveland Indians, effectively remaining a major factor in the playoff race at five games back. Can the surprising Royals continue to close the gap? We’ll find out today as they look to take a third straight form the mighty Yanks, but they’re not the only game in town, so let’s take a closer look at the other three games in the Central today.

Toronto Blue Jays +1.5 at Cleveland Indians -1.5

The Indians also picked up a game yesterday as they won and Detroit lost and they should have a good chance to at least keep pace with the leaders as they host the struggling Toronto Blue Jays.

As losers of five of their last seven games, the Jays haven’t helped themselves in one of baseball’s most stacked divisions lately. And the fact that they were blanked by the Tribe yesterday certainly didn’t help their confidence.

The bad news for Toronto is things won’t get any easier tonight against Cleveland starter Justin Masterson (10-7, 3.78 ERA). Stick with the hotter team and take the Indians to cover -1.5 in the win today.

Kansas City Royals +1.5 at New York Yankees -1.5

Ivan Nova (3-2, 4.09 ERA) is coming off his best start of the year – after tossing a complete game win against the Orioles – but considering the Yankees haven’t given their starters much run support lately, he might be in some trouble in facing the hot-hitting Royals.

New York has lost three straight and has scored a combined three runs in those games. Obviously that type of offensive production – or lack thereof – isn’t going to cut it tonight. The good news is they should be able to find more hits against KC’s Wade Davis (4-7, 5.42 ERA), who is allowing opponents to bat .322 against him this season.

The Royals are certainly the hotter team, but New York has an edge in this one. Take the Yankees to cover -1.5 in the win.

Chicago White Sox +1.5 at Detroit Tigers -1.5

Though Detroit starter Rick Porcello (5-6, 4.82 ERA) has been very hittable this season, he is coming off his best start of 2013 – one in which he went seven strong innings, while shutting out the Indians. The Tigers are just hoping he can do it again to prevent division challengers from gaining ground today.

The Chicago White Sox will send Dylan Axelrod (3-5, 4.97 ERA) to the mound to meet him. Axelrod has also endured his fair share of hardship this season, which doesn’t bode well for the Sox picking up their second straight win against the Central leaders.

Even still, the Sox’s bats seem to be heating up and with the pitching match-up appearing to be a wash, I like the Sox to at least cover +1.5 today.

Minnesota Twins +1.5 at Tampa Bay Rays -1.5

The Minnesota Twins and Tampa Bay Rays are two teams headed in completely opposite directions, as the Twins have won just one of their last 10 games, and the Rays have only lost one during that span.

Although the Twins are still ahead of the White Sox in the division, their fans certainly haven’t had much to cheer about, but with Kevin Correia (6-6, 4.19 ERA) on the hill, maybe they can turn things around.

Correia’s been one of Minnesota’s more reliable hurlers, but you could say the same of Jeremy Hellickson (8-3, 4.67 ERA) for Tampa.

When taking Minnesota’s current offensive funk into consideration, it would seem wise to stick with the Rays to cover -1.5 here.

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