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NL East Picks: June 19, 2013


With a seven-game lead, the Atlanta Braves are still in complete control of the NL East, but they’d like to get out of their current funk today and earn a win against division rival, the New York Mets. Meanwhile, the Washington Nationals take on the Philadelphia Phillies in a battle for second position and the Miami Marlins go outside of the division against the West-leading D-Backs. There’s a lot to keep track of with all five East teams on the field today, but luckily we’ve got some winning picks for you, so sit back, enjoy a day of baseball and watch the money roll in!

Miami Marlins +1.5 at Arizona Diamondbacks -1.5

Unfortunately for Marlins fans, their team has been the butt of many jokes this season, but the laughs are starting to die down now that Miami is playing better baseball. The Marlins still have the worst record in the NL, but as winners of six of their last 10 games, they’ve shown they’re no pushover.

Surprisingly, today the Marlins actually have an advantage in the pitching match-up with Jose Fernandez (4-3, 3.11 ERA) getting the ball against Arizona’s Trevor Cahill (3-8, 3.98 ERA). If there was ever a time to take the Marlins on the road, it would be today. Look for Miami to cover +1.5 and don’t be afraid to take them to win outright as well.

Washington Nationals +1.5 at Philadelphia Phillies -1.5

The Nationals and Phillies enter today’s game tied for second place in the NL East, but with the Nats slipping lately – as losers of their last three, including two against the Phils – Philly hopes it can leap frog into sole possession of the division’s number two spot.

To do it, Philly will have to get past Gio Gonzalez, who has pitched extremely well for the Nats this season. However, the Nats’ bats have routinely taken the night off when he’s gotten the ball, as Gonzalez is 0-1 in his last seven starts, despite posting an ERA of 2.12 in that span.

Washington is a good enough team – or so we thought before the start of the season – that it should be able to wake up at some point and start putting together a run. With Gonzalez going against Philly’s Kyle Kendrick (3.76 ERA), there’s a good chance it could start today. Considering Gonzalez is 3-1 lifetime against the Phils, I like Washington to at least cover +1.5 today.

New York Mets +1.5 at Atlanta Braves -1.5 

Even though the Braves still hold a significant division lead, they’ve showed they aren’t always the most dominant team in the NL, especially in their current series with the lowly Mets. Not only is Atlanta in danger of losing their third straight game against the Mets, but it is also in danger of losing its first series at home since August of last year.

Atlanta will send out Kris Medlen (3-7, 3.09 ERA) to end the skid against New York’s Shawn Marcum (0-8, 5.43), who hasn’t had much success against anyone all year long. Medlen certainly hasn’t benefited from healthy run support this season, but you would think he would get some today as his guy’s battle the winless Marcum.

The Braves are in a funk, but they should be able to cover -1.5 against the Mets today. If you’re still a little worried the Braves can’t win by two, stick with them on the moneyline to win outright.

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