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NL East Preview (July 30)

The New York Mets will look to make it two in a row against the Miami Marlins in one of Tuesday's NL East fixtures.

The New York Mets will look to make it two in a row against the Miami Marlins in one of Tuesday’s NL East fixtures.

Very much a one-sided affair, the NL East is very much the Atlanta Braves’ to lose. With a commanding lead over the second place Washington Nationals, the Braves look like they will coast to a postseason berth, while the Nationals look to be in for a spot of hard luck come October.

20130729_NL_EastStill, for bettors there’s plenty of action to be had on a game-to-game basis, starting with Tuesday’s four-game compendium of games featuring the division’s representatives.

Colorado Rockies at Atlanta Braves

Monday’s series opener against the Colorado Rockies (51-56, 20-30 road) saw the Atlanta Braves (61-45, 35-15 home) welcome a pair of pitchers into the mix.

Brandon Beachy had a tough return Monday.

Brandon Beachy had a tough return Monday.

First, Brandon Beachey (0-0, 17.18 ERA) made an inauspicious return from injury, giving up seven earned runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings. The right-hander looked understandably rusty having been out since June 16, 2012 following Tommy John surgery.

The Braves’ offense managed to bounce back from a 5-0 deficit to give the club an 8-7 lead heading into the ninth, but Jordan Walden blew the save prompting the arrival of recently acquired Scott Downs.

Downs, who arrived from the Los Angeles Angels just 10 minutes before first pitch, recorded the last out in the ninth before retiring the side in the 10th. Andrelton Simmons tripled in the bottom of the frame, scoring Dan Uggla and giving the Braves a 9-8 win. Downs (3-3, 1.76 ERA, 18 Holds) picked up the win.

The two clubs will meet again Tuesday (7:10 p.m. ET), with the Braves looking to pick up a fifth straight win. Rookie Alex Wood (0-2, 3.42 ERA), currently spelling Paul Maholm (wrist) will  start for the home club, while Juan Nicasio (6-4, 4.40 ERA), in search of his third straight win, goes for the visitors.

The BettingSports.com game matchup, featuring odds and betting trends, can be found here.

The Braves (-156) are heavily favored over the Rockies (+146) on the moneyline, and are 3-1 straight up against the NL West club this season. The over/under opened at 8 1/2. Atlanta (54-46-6) has favored the over while Colorado (49-56-2) has favored the under.

Washington Nationals at Detroit Tigers

With four wins from their last five games, the Washington Nationals (52-54, 21-29 road) have at least retaken second place in the NL East. Outside of that fact, there’s been little to celebrate for a club that has been one of the biggest disappointments this season.

20130729_NL_WildcardThe Nationals trail the Braves by nine games, the largest deficit between clubs ranked first and second in their division. The Nationals also trail the NL Wild Card race by 6 1/2 games, a deficit that could be hard to breach. Things won’t be any easier for the club Tuesday as it meets AL Central leaders, and World Series favorites, the Detroit Tigers (59-45, 32-19 home) in the first of two games at Comerica Park.

The Tigers have taken seven of their last eight, but the Nationals managed to sweep a two-game series from Jim Leyland’s side back in May. That series was played in D.C. though, and the Tigers are a different prospect at home.

A comprehensive selection of odds and betting trends can be found here.

Washington (+126) is considered the underdog against the hometown Tigers (-136) with the over/under at 7 1/2. Detroit (56-45-3) has favored the over, while Washington (50-52-4) has favored the under.

San Francisco Giants at Philadelphia Phillies

Having usurped the Nationals for second place in the division just after the All-Star break, eight straight losses has the Philadelphia Phillies (49-56, 23-35 home) back in third and back on the decline. The skid, which has sparked a negative reaction from closer Jonathan Papelbon, looks to have been the final death knell for the Phillies, who look anything but postseason bound right now.

Nine straight losses has Jonathan Papelbon upset.

Nine straight losses has Jonathan Papelbon upset.

The San Francisco Giants (46-58, 18-31 road) know a thing or two about losing. Another disappointing club in the National League this year, the Giants are rock bottom in the NL West, 10 games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers and a whopping 11 1/2 games back of the Wild Card race. A visit from the Giants, losers of seven of the last eight, may be just what the Phillies need to actually pick up a win. On the flip side, the Giants – who met on Monday with President Obama – will be looking to turn things around themselves.

Odds and betting trends for this MLB matchup can be found here.

Philadelphia (-138) is a home favorite on the moneyline over San Francisco (+128), one of the worst road teams in all of baseball. The Phillies are 2-1 straight up against the Giants this season.

The over/under opened at 8 1/2. Philadelphia (47-57-1) has favored the under whilst San Francisco (53-48-3) has favored the over.

New York Mets at Miami Marlins

The New York Mets (47-56, 21-30 home) picked up a come-from-behind 6-5 victory over the Miami Marlins (40-64, 23-29 road) in Monday’s series opener at Marlins Park. The two clubs meet for the second of four games Tuesday night (7:10 p.m. ET).

Adeiny Hechavarria and the Marlins have fared well against the Mets.

Adeiny Hechavarria and the Marlins have fared well against the Mets.

Although the Marlins have has a horrendous season that sees the club sporting the worst record in baseball, Mike Redmond’s crew has fared well against the Mets, winning eight of 13 meetings. The South Florida club, which took two of three from the Pittsburgh Pirates over the weekend and three of four in Colorado before that, will be hoping to once again hand a defeat to their Big Apple rivals.

Odds and trends for Tuesday’s divisional matchup between the Mets and Marlins can be found here.

Miami (-116) opened as a very narrow favorite over New York (+116) on the moneyline, with the over/under at 8. New York (56-43-4) has favored the over while Miami (44-54-6) has favored the under.

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