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MLB Series Picks

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Major League Baseball is back in action tonight after the All-Star break and with all 30 teams starting the "2nd half" of the season, the playoff push starts now. Here are a couple teams I think start out hot this weekend:

New York (+150) vs. Boston (-180)

Yankees projected starters: Andy Pettitte, Hiroki Kuroda, CC Sabathia

Red Sox projected starters: Felix Doubront, John Lackey, Jon Lester

The Yankees trail Boston by six games in the AL East and with two games in hand New York could really make up some ground this weekend. New York's got their top three starters getting the call for this three-game set and would like to erase the memory of being 2-4 SU against Boston this year. All six of those games were at Yankee Stadium so maybe a change of venue in their first trip to Fenway will do the trick.

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Pettitte and Sabathia are responsible for those two Yankee wins vs. Boston this year and the two veteran lefties should be recharged after the break. These are the guys (along with all the Yankees veterans) that really benefit from the All-Star break because it allows their bodies to rest and recover from a grueling 1st half of the year. Pettitte is 6-1 SU in his last seven starts vs. Boston and the Red Sox are decidedly worse against left-handed pitchers.

This series is a chance for the Yankees to start in the win column and with their three studs on the hill and their big bats getting healthy again, the +150 price can't be passed up.

Take New York.

Philadelphia (-110) vs. New York (-120)

Phillies projected starters: Kyle Kendrick, Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee

Mets projected starters: Jeremy Hefner, Zack Wheeler, Matt Harvey

Like the Yankees, Philadelphia has to make a strong push coming out of the All-Star break to determine if they are contenders or not. Philly is 6.5 games behind the Braves for 1st in the NL East and 5.5 games out of a wildcard spot but it's these next three weeks or so that will determine if they decide to blow up the team.

A bad stretch of losing coming out of the break will turn the Phillies into sellers come trade deadline time and that means that there is a lot riding on this series against the Mets. A series win could put them right back in the thick of things to start next week and a strong seven days there and Philly could hold on to everyone and attempt to make a run. A losing stretch would all but put the writing on the wall for some of their veteran studs like Cliff Lee.

Philly will get to face New York's two young studs on Saturday and Sunday and thankfully for them they'll have their own studs on the hill for the duel. The Phillies did manage to sweep the Mets in New York back in late April and Kendrick and Hamels were responsible for two of the three wins. They didn't have to face Harvey or Wheeler in that series which is a bit concerning (Harvey 2-0 SU vs. Philly) but they have won six of nine against New York this year.

With so much at stake in the coming 10-14 days for Philly's season, I see them coming out like gangbusters this weekend and taking this series to keep their hopes alive.

Take Philly at -110.

  
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