NL West Picks: July 28, 2013

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While the NL West has been far from the finest division in baseball this year, it’s certainly provided fans and bettors with some compelling storylines and genuine entertainment. After a terribly disappointing start, the Los Angeles Dodgers have propelled themselves back into playoff position, but the Arizona Diamondbacks – who have led the division most of the way – won’t go down easily. Who will inch closer to a West title today? Let’s take a look at all four match-ups in the division for July 28.

Chicago Cubs +1.5 at San Francisco Giants -1.5

Things certainly haven’t gone according to plan for the defending World Series champions, but a match-up against a team that looks to be cleaning house could help them turn things around.

The San Francisco Giants will send Tim Lincecum (5-10, 4.73 ERA) to the mound today, hoping he’ll recapture some of the magic he displayed two weeks ago when he no-hit the San Diego Padres in a 9-0 win. In his last start, Lincecum got rocked by the Reds, giving up eight earned runs in just three and two-thirds innings, but against a Alfonso Soriano-less Cubs team, he should have more success.

The real concern for the Giants will be generating offense against one of Chicago’s best hurlers in Travis Wood (6-7, 2.95 ERA). San Fran has struggled at the dish lately and with the inconsistent Lincecum getting the ball, we can’t trust the Giants to cover. So, take Chicago to cover +1.5 here.

Cincinnati Reds -1.5 at Los Angeles Dodgers +1.5

The Dodgers’ meteoric rise over the past two months has been incredible to watch, but they’ll take on the underdog role today in going against Central powerhouse Cincinnati and its starter Tony Cingrani (4-1, 3.18 ERA).

Los Angeles will counter with Chris Capuano (3-6, 5.03 ERA), who is coming off another rough outing that saw him give up five earned runs in fewer than five innings against the Blue Jays.

With the way the Dodgers are playing overall, we have to like them to win the West, but today they appear to be outgunned on the hill. Look for Cincinnati to cover -1.5 in the win.

San Diego Padres +1.5 at Arizona Diamondbacks -1.5

The Diamondbacks know it’s going to be a neck-and-neck race with Los Angeles the rest of the season, but with Patrick Corbin (12-1, 2.31 ERA) on the mound today, they have a great chance to get a leg up in the short run.

Corbin has been downright dominant so far this season and the Padres have been less than exceptional at the plate during the second half so far. Tyson Ross (1-4, 3.35 ERA) takes the mound for San Diego today, but in going against Corbin, does it really matter? Expect Arizona to cover -1.5 at home here.

Milwaukee Brewers +1.5 at Colorado Rockies -1.5

The Colorado Rockies certainly aren’t out of the West race yet, but they’ll need things to start rolling their way soon. The good news is they have a nice advantage in the pitching match-up at home today against one of the NL’s worst teams.

Jhoulys Chacin (9-5, 3.53 ERA) will take the hill for Colorado against Donovan Hand (0-2, 3.41 ERA), who is making just his second start for the Brewers this season. Considering the fact that Milwaukee is ranked 23rd in the league in runs scored, Hand probably won’t get much help tonight. Look for Colorado to cover -1.5 in the win.

 

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