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National League Contenders in Action

Written by:
Guest
Published on:
Aug/20/2009

Five teams in the senior circuit are still in the playoff hunt and will be in action Thursday evening. With the season three-quarters complete, every game takes on even greater importance, even more reason to log onto Sportsbook.com to net on baseball and to take advantage of Daily Dime Lines.

Colorado at Washington

The Rockies (67-53, +11.7 units) go for the sweep in our nation's capitol before returning home. Colorado has taken a pair of one-run games against Washington, as closer Huston Street has saved 23 in a row and 31 of 32 on the season. The Rockies are 19-6 on the road versus teams outscored by 0.5 or more runs a game in the second half of the season over the last two years. They will send Jason Hammel (7-7, 4.73 ERA) to the mound, who is 2-3 with a 6.65 ERA in his last five starts. The Nationals (43-77, -25.2) are 29-87 off a loss and are +125 money line underdogs at Sportsbook.com with Garrett Mock (2-4, 5.27) the starting pitcher.

Florida at Houston

The Florida Marlins (64-56, +8.3) are still in the hunt for the wild card in the National League and could use a hot streak to close in on Colorado, trailing them by three games in the loss column. Florida will pitch their ace Josh Johnson (12-2, 2.85), who has won five in a row. Johnson has given his team a chance to win each time out and the Marlins are 18-6 when the right-hander starts in 2009. The Fish are exceptional 25-16 against left-handed starters; however, Wandy Rodriquez (11-7, 3.05) has been anything but ordinary this year. Rodriguez was shelled by Milwaukee in his last outing, giving up a career high 10 runs in four innings. Prior to that, he allowed four earned runs in seven starts. Florida is -120 money line choice, yet Rodriguez and the Astros (58-62, -1.3) are 11-4 when the ML is +125 to -125 this season.

St. Louis at San Diego

The Cardinals (69-53, +6.4 units) are flying high, winners of 16 of their last 21 games and off a series triumph of the Dodgers. St. Louis only scored nine runs on 18 hits in taking two of three against L.A. and travel south to begin a four-game series in San Diego (51-71, -13.8). The Redbirds hope to keep feasting on the Padres, having won eight in a row and 10 of 11 since August of 2007. No National League team was as aggressive in upgrading their roster before the trade deadline and St. Louis is reaping the benefits. The Cards have lambasted bad teams like San Diego and are 17-3 vs. clubs outscored by 0.5 or more runs a game this year. Manager Tony LaRussa's club is a solid -160 favorite, nonetheless they are far from a lock if you believe these trends. The Redbirds outlasted the Dodgers 3-2 last night and are confounding 0-7 on the road after a one run victory. San Diego was handcuffed by the Rich Harden last night and is 9-2 at home after a game where they had four or less hits this season.

Chicago Cubs at L.A. Dodgers

Neither the Cubs nor Dodgers are playing very good baseball at the present time, which means if either team can win this four-game series, they will start heading back in positive direction. Chicago (61-57, -6.3) salvaged one game against San Diego last night, winning 7-1, but are 1-7 after scoring five or more runs and 3-7 in last 10 outings. The Dodgers (71-50, +11.1) lead over Colorado has dwindled to 3.5 games, as last night's loss made it four losing series in a row at Dodger Stadium. Maybe the sight of Tom Gorzelanny (5-2, 5.24) will help with Dodgers, who are 22-10 vs. left-handed starters at home. Reports have Jeff Weaver (5-4, 3.71) filling in for injured Hiroki Kuroda, who suffered concussion in last outing, taking a line drive on the head. The opening line has the Dodgers at -130 and they have taken five of eight at home against Chicago.         

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