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N. L. Central Update: Westbrook Leads Cards over Padres

Matt Garza

Matt Garza could be going to a contender soon. Would the Cubs trade him inside the division?

The St. Louis Cardinals got their post All Star Break stretch run off to a good start with a 9-6 win over the San Diego Padres on Friday. The Cards not only got good pitching from Jake Westbrook, but also got three hits from him as well. Westbrook, who ran his record to 6-4,  pitched into the seventh inning allowing only two runs. He also scored twice and drove in a run also. Those three runs wound up being the margin of victory. The Cards now lead the Pittsburgh Pirates by two games.

Pirates fans may be getting a sinking feeling after watching their team start their post All Star Break off on the wrong foot, losing 5-3 to the Cincinnati Reds. In each of the last two seasons, the Pirates have played well before the break and gone in the tank after the break. A win to start off against the team chasing them in the standings would have put Pirates fans a little at ease. Instead they are thinking “here we go again” today. Brandon Phillips had three RBIs in the Reds win to pull them to withing three games of the Pirates. Pittsburgh really needs to win at least once in this series for their mental state.

The Chicago Cubs may turn out to be a pest to teams in the playoff chase. The Cubbies have played well lately and on Friday they put a loss on the Colorado Rockies. Jeff Samardzija pitched into the eighth inning allowing only one run to improve his record to 6-9. The Cubs would like to get over the .500 mark before the end of the season and they are making progress. They are now eight games under .500 having won seven of the last ten games. Since many of the Cubs games the last month of the season will be against the Pirates, Reds and Cardinals, this team may be a key to deciding who wins the division.

The Milwaukee Brewers got their post All Star Break off to a good start with a 2-0 win over the Miami Marlins. The Brewers scored on two solo home runs, one by Juan Francisco in the fourth inning and the other by Carlos Gomez in the fifth. Kyle Lohse pitched six scoreless innings to improve his record to 6-7. The Brewers just want to salvage something out of this awful season.

Just Bet has odd on today’s N. L. Central games:

Pirates at RedsA. J. Burnett goes against Mat Latos. Latos is 8-3 so far this season. The Pirates are +122 and the Reds -142. We are taking the Pirates in this one. They need it worse.

Cubs at Rockies- Juan Nicasio at 5-4 is going for the Rockies against Carlos Villanueva for the Cubs at 2-5. Cubs are +135 and Rockies are -155. We like the Cubs to win again. Villanueva actually has the better ERA of the two.

Padres at Cardinals- The Padres have Edison Volquez on the mound opposing Lance Lynn at 11-4. Padres are +180 and the Cardinals are -205. We like the Cardinals here.

Marlins at Brewers- Does it really matter who is pitching in this one? Marlins are +142 and Brewers -162. We are going to go with the Marlins today.



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