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NL Central Picks: June 16, 2013

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With three of the league’s best teams, the NL Central has become the most entertaining division to watch on a daily basis this season. NL Central fans and bettors have been treated to spectacular performances and incredible showdowns all season long and with all five teams from the division in action today, those Central supporters have a lot to look forward to. Dads should sit back, relax and enjoy some great baseball while hopefully making some money as well this Father’s Day. Here are our picks to help dads out there make their wagers.

Milwaukee Brewers +1.5 at Cincinnati Reds -1.5

Johnny Cueto has been his dominant self this season, but he comes off the DL for the second time this year today and bettors should be understandably concerned that he won’t be able to lift the Cincinnati Reds to another win today.

Luckily, Cueto will be going against a team in the Milwaukee Brewers that he has historically shut down. Only one player on the Brewers roster – Aramis Ramirez – hits better than .250 against Cueto, so even if Cueto is not 100% today, he should have a good chance to get his confidence back as he returns from injury.

Reds batters should also get some good pitches to hit against Wily Peralta, who comes into today’s ballgame with an ERA over 6.00.

Look for the Reds to earn the win and cover -1.5 today.

Chicago Cubs +1.5 at New York Mets -1.5

Both the New York Mets and the Chicago Cubs have struggled this season, but riding a three-game win streak, the Cubs should have more positive momentum as they go on the road today.

The Cubs have defeated the Mets by two or more runs in the first two games of this series, so even though the Mets supposedly have the edge in the pitching match-up with Jeremy Hefner getting the start, I’d take the Cubs to at least cover +1.5 in this one.

St. Louis Cardinals -1.5 at Miami Marlins +1.5

With the league’s best team going against the league’s worst team, this game should be the easiest call of the day.

The St. Louis Cardinals have slowed down a bit and the Miami Marlins have played better over the last month, after seeing the Cards crush the Marlins 13-7 yesterday, it will be hard to bet against them today. Go with the favorite here and take the Cardinals to win by more than 1.5 runs.

Los Angeles Dodgers +1.5 at Pittsburgh Pirates -1.5

The Los Angeles Dodgers usually have the advantage with Zack Greinke on the mound, but they’ll be the underdog today against the Central’s third 40-win team – the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Pirates will send out Gerrick Cole, who is making just his second Major League start, though his first one went quite well, as he was able to win against the Giants, allowing just two earned runs in six and a third innings of work.

This should be a great match-up today, but I like the Dodgers to at least keep things close and cover +1.5 today against the inexperienced Cole.

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