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Braves' Medlen Goes For Record, Another Moneyline Win Sunday

Early this week, Bovada re-posted the odds on the winner of the National League Cy Young Award. The options were starters R.A. Dickey (-125) of the Mets and Gio Gonzalez (+125) of the Nationals along with Braves closer Craig Kimbrel (+500).

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Yet none of those three are the best and most dominating pitcher in baseball right now. That distinction belongs to Atlanta starter Kris Medlen (9-1, 1.64). The 26-year-old didn't get the decision on Tuesday night in Atlanta's game vs. the Marlins. But the Braves won 4-3 on a walk-off home run to clinch a playoff spot. And it was the team's 22nd straight win in a game Medlen started. That matches the modern record set by the Yankees' Whitey Ford in starts from 1950-1953 and the Giants' Carl Hubbell from 1936-1937.

Medlen's streak began in late May 2010 and has been made even more unthinkable because he didn't pitch from Aug. 4, 2010, through Sept. 25, 2011, after undergoing Tommy John surgery. The Braves had him on an innings limit this season and started Medlen in the bullpen. He made his first start of 2012 on July 31 and hasn't looked back. Medlen has allowed more than two earned runs in that stretch just once and that was Tuesday vs. Miami, but his teammates rescued him. As a starter this season, Medlen has a 1.04 ERA.

Medlen is scheduled to start Sunday's regular-season home finale against the Mets and will be a massive favorite - Atlanta was -280 Tuesday vs. the Marlins and hasn't been an underdog in a Medlen start so far. The Braves were -160 at the Mets on Sept. 8 when Medlen beat them, allowing two runs and four hits in six innings.

With Medlen going Sunday, he would be lined up to start the one-game wild-card playoff on normal rest next Friday. That likely will be in Atlanta against St. Louis, and Medlen hasn't faced the Cardinals as a starter in 2012. The playoff berth is no doubt sweet for the Braves after they collapsed to a 9-18 mark last September and coughed up the wild-card spot to those Cardinals on the final day of the season.

Weekend Live Betting Schedule

It's the final weekend of the regular season and the live play-by-play betting options at the book start with four games on Thursday: Brewers at Reds, Diamondbacks at Giants, Yankees at Blue Jays and Dodgers at Padres.

Milwaukee was making an unlikely wild-card push but those hopes are now hanging by a thread as the Brewers will need a minor miracle to catch St. Louis for the final NL spot. Cincinnati already has won the NL Central but is still neck-and-neck with Washington for the top seed in the National League. The No. 1 seed would face the Cardinals-Braves wild-card winner in the NLDS, while the No. 2 would face the NL West champion San Francisco Giants in the best-of-five Division Series.

The Reds, who aren't expected to get back manager Dusty Baker until at least Monday after he recently suffered a mini-stroke, probably would prefer to face the Braves in that scenario. Cincinnati is 5-1 vs. Atlanta this year and would avoid Medlen in the NLDS opener and probably only have to face him once, if at all. Cincinnati is 4-3 vs. the Giants this year and 6-6 vs. the Cardinals, with those two teams closing the regular season with a three-game series in St. Louis starting Monday.

On Friday and Saturday there is one MLB live betting game each: Rockies at Dodgers and Rays at White Sox, respectively. The Pale Hose are collapsing and must beat out Detroit for the AL Central title to make the postseason. While the Sox have to play four games over the weekend against a Rays team that is making another late surge and is still in the wild-card chase, the Tigers should beat up on Minnesota in a three-game set.

There is no Sunday night ESPN national TV game this week so no live MLB games available that day.

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