When you are not perched on the top spot, you have to be like they said in those old Avis commercials-”We try harder”. That is the case tonight for three National League teams is pursuit of the front-running teams ahead of them, while being ever mindful o
When you are not perched on the top spot, you have to be like they said in those old Avis commercials-”We try harder”. That is the case tonight for three National League teams is pursuit of the front-running teams ahead of them, while being ever mindful of wild card possibilities. Here is how the trio of second place teams size up, all on the road. Get all the decision-making betting material for these games on the GAME MATCHUPS page.
Florida at Washington
Florida (55-50, +6.2 units) has to be feeling rather chipper, having won four series in a row, the last in dramatic fashion over the Chicago Cubs. The Marlins have won nine of 11 to close the gap with Philadelphia in the NL East to five games. Tonight, Florida’s ace Josh Johnson (10-2, 2.87 ERA) will try to keep the heat on the Phillies against a team they have beaten like a defenseless MMA fighter.
The Marlins story against Washington (34-72, -32 units) isn’t fishy; they have clobbered the Nationals with 25-3 record. This includes 9-0 this season and 10-1 mark in our nation’s capital. Washington’s only hope to break Florida’s 10-game winning streak over them is score runs, which they have in last 10 games, averaging 6.9 per contest in accumulating 5-5 record. Despite pounding the ball with authority, the Nats are only 4-11 in home games with an on-base percentage of .350 or better.
Florida is a -165 money line favorite at Sportsbook.com, with total Ov8 and Johnson is 16-1 against NL East opponents since last season. (Marlins Record)
Colorado at Philadelphia
Here’s a real switch, the Colorado Rockies (58-47, +9.8 units) are playing good, consistent baseball and are with 6.5 games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Colorado put together another miraculous streak, winning 17 of 18 in June. Instead of collapsing, the Rockies have continued to climb with a 21-14 record in last 35 contests since hot streak ended. A sign of maturity is how Colorado plays on the road, with 31-26 mark. They will be severely tested by a less than hospitable Philadelphia club that return home after losing four of last five out West.
The Phillies (59-44, +6.8 units) were 14-3 in July at Citizens Bank Park and seek to regain offensive rhythm that produced 6.9 runs per game in 17 outings, after limping home scoring 2.9 RPG in last seven road tries. Jamie Moyer (10-7, 5.32) is assigned with the task of corralling Colorado and his club is a -135 money line favorite, sporting 15-6 record vs. NL teams scoring 4.8 or more runs a game. The Rocks will send Jason Hammel (5-6, 4.66) to toe the rubber and they are spectacular 13-1 when playing against a team with 54-to-62 win percentage this season.
St. Louis at New York
If you want to get really technical, St. Louis (58-50, -0.7 units) is in second place in the NL Central, after the Cubs win last night. The Cardinals and Chicago are actually tied in the standings with St. Louis having played four more games, but trail .538 to .537 if you want to get picky. The Cardinals are in the Big Apple for two tilts with the Mets (50-55, -5.1 units) and will face a rugged pitcher in Johan Santana (12-8, 2.96). The lefthander has enjoyed the spacious surroundings of Citi Field with 8-2 record and 1.69 ERA. The Mets and Santana are 9-2 at home against teams with winning record.
The Cardinals might be +100 road underdogs; however Joel Pineiro (9-9, 2.84) gives them a real chance against the punch-less New Yorkers. Pineiro has ERA of 1.22 in last five starts and is 3-0 with a 2.91 ERA in five outings against the Mets, all Cards victories. Backing Santana at this low price is tempting until you know the Redbirds and their righty starter have won last four games on the road.
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