NL Quick Picks: May 15, 2013

Ryan+Zimmerman+Washington+N

With basketball and hockey season coming to a close in a month, baseball will soon take center stage in the sports world, but if you aren’t already paying attention to what’s happening on the diamond, you should start today because there are some big games in the NL worth watching and betting. Check out our quick picks for all seven games in National League ballparks today!

Cleveland Indians +1.5 at Philadelphia Phillies -1.5

Cole Hamels hasn’t pitched his best so far this season, but the only reason he is 1-5 is a major lack of run support. However, with the Phils’ bats heating up lately, things could very well turn around for him and Philly at home today.

Cleveland has still managed a healthy dose of wins lately, but has struggled to score runs, so look for the Phillies to win this one, covering -1.5.

Atlanta Braves +1.5 at Arizona Diamondbacks -1.5

After a blistering start, the Braves have cooled off considerably as losers of four of their last five games. Tonight, they encounter the Diamondacks, who have been hovering around .500 for most of the first month and a half of the season.

Both teams send out strong pitchers tonight, but both have struggled so far this year. Tim Hudson has posted a 4.70 ERA, while Ian Kennedy sports a 4.83 ERA coming into the ballgame.

This one seems like a toss up, but considering the Braves are slumping and are on the road, go with the D-Backs to cover -1.5 here in the win.

Milwaukee Brewers +1.5 at Pittsburgh Pirates -1.5

The Brewers have struggled lately, namely starter Yovani Gallardo, who lasted just four innings in his last outing. Tonight, he’ll get the ball again on the road against a tough up-and-coming Pirates team. Look for Pittsburgh, which is 11-8 at home this season, to earn the win and cover -1.5.

Cincinnati Reds -1.5 at Miami Marlins +1.5

The Reds bats are starting to heat up and a trip to Miami should serve them well, as they go up against one of the league’s worst teams.

The Marlins are just 5-12 at home this season and considering the Reds have won four straight road games, it’s hard to go against them here. Take Cincy to cover -1.5 in the win today.

Colorado Rockies +1.5 at Chicago Cubs -1.5

It’s been a particularly rocky month for Colorado, but it is starting to swing the bats better again and should have success at the friendly and very small confines of Wrigley Field. Since the Cubs are still one of the NL’s worst squads, go with the visiting team here and take Colorado to cover +1.5 and win outright.

New York Mets +1.5 at St. Louis Cardinals -1.5

The pitching match-up couldn’t be more lopsided in this one, as New York’s Shaun Marcum (8.59 ERA) takes on St. Louis’ Shelby Miller (1.58 ERA). This is the easiest call of the day. Go with the Cardinals to win, covering -1.5.

Washington Nationals +1.5 at Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5

Zack Greinke is making his first appearance since breaking his collarbone a month ago, so it’s hard to predict how he’ll fare against one of the better hitting teams in the NL in his return. It’s likely that he won’t go deep into this ballgame and considering how up and down the Dodgers bullpen has been, I like the Nats in this one. Take Washington to at least cover +1.5 here.

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