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Saturday FOX Tips

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The All-Star break is finally behind us following a four-day hiatus for baseball bettors. The Saturday FOX card reverts back to afternoon action, with a three-pack of entertaining contests. Five of the six teams getting showcased on FOX sit above .500 and are all teams threatening to qualify for the postseason. We'll begin at Fenway Park with the league's most intense rivalry brewing between a pair of AL East foes.

Yankees at Red Sox - 4:05 PM EST

Amazingly, New York started the second half in fourth-place inside its division, while finding out that shortstop Derek Jeter will be headed back to the 15-day disabled list with a quad injury. Even though the Bombers are a few days away from the return of Alex Rodriguez to the lineup, the Yanks will depend on the right arm of Hiroki Kuroda to pick up a road victory.

Kuroda (8-6, 2.65 ERA) hasn't allowed a single run in each of his last two trips to the mound, including five scoreless innings in a 2-0 victory over the Twins last Friday as a $1.70 home favorite. The right-hander has turned into one of the better 'under' pitchers this season, cashing the 'under' in eight of his last nine starts, including each of his past four away from the Bronx.

The Red Sox send out John Lackey (7-6, 2.78 ERA), who has rebounded after a slow start by putting together six consecutive quality outings. The former Angels’ righty grabbed a road victory in his previous start at Oakland, tossing seven strong innings, while allowing three hits and two earned runs in a 4-2 triumph.

Boston is riding a healthy ‘under’ run in Lackey’s appearance, posting an 8-1 mark to the ‘under’ since late May. Boston owns a 4-2 record against New York this season, with all six games being played in the Bronx. Last season, the Yankees took seven of nine meetings at Fenway Park, while the Sox compiled a 1-5 record as a home favorite.

Pirates at Reds - 4:05 PM EST

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The two clubs chasing the Cardinals atop the NL Central continue their set at Great American Ballpark. Pittsburgh holds the upper-hand over Cincinnati early in the season series by capturing six of the first 10 matchups, while splitting a four-game series in the Queen City last month.

A.J. Burnett (4-6, 3.06 ERA) makes his third start since coming off the disabled list in late June, as the Pirates' right-hander has won just once in his last nine outings. Pittsburgh is 2-7 in this span, as Burnett has lost three of his previous four starts on the road, including in division matchups against the Cubs and Brewers. Burnett received a no-decision the last time he faced the Reds at PNC Park in April, as the Pirates staved off Cincinnati, 6-5 as short home favorites.

The Reds closed the first half by alternating wins and losses in each of their final six games, including losing series to Milwaukee and Seattle. Cincinnati tries to get on track with Mat Latos (8-3, 3.52 ERA) toeing the rubber, as the tall righty has won only two of his previous six starts. One of those defeats came as a substantial home favorite against the Pirates in June, falling 4-0 in spite of allowing just three hits in five innings of work. Cincinnati has won six of Latos' eight starts at Great American Ballpark, but the Reds are 0-3 in his three outings against Pittsburgh.

Braves at White Sox - 4:05 PM EST

It's a battle of first and last-place clubs on the South Side of Chicago, as the Sox get their veteran ace back on the hill. Former Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy makes his first start since early June when the right-hander suffered a rib injury at Seattle. Peavy (6-4, 4.30 ERA) allowed six earned runs in each of his last two outings before getting hurt at Safeco Field, as he lasted just 2.1 innings in a 7-4 defeat to the Mariners as a $1.40 underdog.

The White Sox have won three of Peavy's four home starts this season, while delivering quality outings each time at U.S. Cellular Field. After sweeping Miami in late May, Chicago has dropped seven of its past 10 interleague contests, including a 1-3 home mark against the Cubs and Mets.

Chicago is hitting just .226 against left-handed pitching this season, as southpaw Paul Maholm takes the mound for the Braves. Maholm (9-8, 3.98 ERA) ended the first half with consecutive road defeats at Philadelphia and Miami, giving up a total of nine runs in those losses. The Braves have cashed the 'over' in each of Maholm's last four road contests, while losing to the White Sox last season as a member of the Cubs, 6-0.

You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at rogers@vegasinsider.com

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

  
HEADLINES
Giants acquire 3B McGehee from Marlins
Padres acquire Justin Upton from Braves
Peavy agrees to deal to stay with Giants
Rays, Padres, Nats complete 11-player deal
Yankees send Prado, Phelps to Marlins
Medlen, Royals agree to two-year deal
Padres obtain Middlebrooks from BoSox
Royals sign Rios to $11 million, 1-year deal
Phils officially send Rollins to Dodgers
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