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NL East Picks: August 12, 2013


The Atlanta Braves‘ dominance in NL East race may have sucked out some of the suspense and some of the excitement out of the playoff chase, but that doesn’t mean bettors can’t have fun and make money from games involving East teams the rest of the season. There are two games in the East to take advantage of today, so take a peek at our runline picks below and get in on the action!

Philadelphia Phillies +1.5 at Atlanta Braves -1.5

As winners of 15 of their last 16 games, the Braves are easily the hottest team in baseball and the Philadelphia Phillies couldn’t be any colder, as losers of 17 of their last 20.

It’s probably too late to completely reverse their fortunes, but the Phillies would certainly like to finish strong and Cole Hamels (4-13, 3.81 ERA) would certainly like to notch a win, which is something he hasn’t done since July 9. The Phillies haven’t won on the road in their last 11 tries, so that is another skid they’ll hope to snap today.

Meanwhile, Atlanta is sending Julio Teheran (9-5, 2.96 ERA) to the hill. Unlike Hamels, Teheran has gotten better as the season has wore on. He has won his last two starts and has 27 strikeouts in his last 24 innings with a 1.14 ERA in his last four outings.

With a significant edge in momentum and with a superior pitcher on the mound, it seems sensible to stick with the Braves today. Take Atlanta to cover -1.5 runs in the win here.

New York Mets +1.5 at Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5

Next to the Braves, the Dodgers are the hottest team in the National League, but since June 22, they have been the best team in the majors with a record of 37-8. Incredibly, they’ve been able to win with both strong pitching and solid hitting, and today they’ll look to keep things rolling with Ricky Nolasco (8-9, 3.65 ERA) on the mound against the New York Mets.

Nolasco has been sharp since being acquired from the Marlins before the All-Star break, but he hasn’t been able to escape the fifth inning in his previous five starts. Still, he’s 3-1 in a Dodger uniform and didn’t allow an earned run in his last outing against the powerful St. Louis Cardinals.

While the Mets’ playoff dreams are still far fetched, they’ve played much better during the second half of the season and have won six of their last 10. Today, they’ll send out Jenrry Mejia (1-1, 1.96 ERA), who has only allowed four earned runs in three career starts since being called up.

Both teams are playing well entering today’s game and after looking at the pitching match-up, there’s no doubt this one will be close. The Dodgers could very well extend their streak to six wins, but I like the Mets to cover +1.5, even in defeat today.

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