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Thursday's Tip Sheet
Braves at Nationals – 7:05 PM EST

Probable Pitchers:
ATL: Floyd (1-2, 2.98 ERA)
WSH: Zimmermann (5-3, 2.98 ERA)


Previous series recap: The Braves head to the Nation’s Capital after getting swept at home by the Phillies, while losing 4.9 units in the process. Atlanta’s pitching was lit up, allowing 21 runs to Philadelphia, while giving up at least five runs in seven of the past nine contests. The Nationals rallied to knock off the Astros, 6-5 to cash as -175 home favorites, improving to 7-1 in the last eight home contests.

What to watch for: This series has been owned by the Braves in 2014, as Atlanta is 5-1 in the first six matchups, including a three-game sweep at Turner Field in April. The Nationals have won five of their past seven home series openers, while Zimmermann has yielded just one run in the previous three trips to the mound.

Blue Jays at Yankees – 7:05 PM EST

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Probable Pitchers:
TOR: Hutchison (5-4, 3.62 ERA)
NYY: Phelps (2-4, 4.32)


Series recap: The Yankees continued their dominance of the Blue Jays at home, beating Toronto for the 15th straight time in the Bronx in last night’s 7-3 rout. New York has knocked off Toronto five of seven times overall this season, while limiting the Jays’ offense to just four runs through the first two games of this series.

What to watch for: Thanks to a late surge by the Yankees on Wednesday, the Jays saw their 10-0-1 ‘under’ stretch come to a close as the ‘over’ of 9 barely hit. Toronto hasn’t been swept on the road this season, posting a 2-0 record when trying to avoid a sweep with wins at Kansas City and Pittsburgh. The Yankees have not pulled off a home sweep this season in a series of at least three games, but the Bombers are 6-3 in their last nine home contests against division foes.

Mets at Marlins – 7:10 PM EST

Probable Pitchers:
NYM: Wheeler (2-7, 4.38 ERA)
MIA: Heaney (ML Debut)


Previous series recap: The Mets held off the Cardinals on Wednesday, 3-2 to avoid a sweep at Busch Stadium, while snapping an eight-game road skid. The Marlins dropped two of three games at home to the Cubs, as Miami’s pitching allowed 16 runs in this series. Following a strong start to the season at home, Miami has stumbled to a 4-8 record in the past 12 games at Marlins Park.

What to watch for: The last time these teams met up in May, the Marlins pulled off a three-game sweep of the Mets, as New York failed to score a run in the final two losses. Miami hasn’t started hot in a series recently, posting a 3-8 record in the past 11 Game 1’s. The Mets have dropped five of Wheeler’s last six starts, but the right-hander has split a pair of outings against the Marlins this season.

Astros at Rays – 7:10 PM EST

Probable Pitchers:
HOU: McHugh (4-4, 3.03 ERA)
TAM: Archer (3-4, 3.40 ERA)


Previous series recap: Both teams are coming off series losses, as the Rays’ offense hit the wall again in a 2-0 defeat to the Orioles on Wednesday as -145 favorites. Tampa Bay dropped two of three to Baltimore, falling to 3-8 in the past 11 games at Tropicana Field. Houston put up a good fight in two games at Washington, but lost by exact 6-5 scores in the two losses, while giving up a 5-3 lead last night.

What to watch for: The Rays played well at Houston last weekend and grabbed two of three from the Astros for their first series win since late May against Boston. Archer is winless in his past four trips to the mound for the Rays, including a 7-3 setback last Saturday at Houston in which he lasted just three innings. Following an 8-1 stretch on the road, the Astros have dropped three straight on the highway, but have stolen four of their past six away series openers.

Phillies at Cardinals – 8:15 PM EST

Probable Pitchers:
PHI: Buchanan (2-3, 5.97 ERA)
STL: Miller (7-5, 3.42 ERA)


Previous series recap: The Phillies are coming off an impressive sweep over the Braves, as Philadelphia’s bats are finally waking up by scoring 10 runs on Wednesday. The Cardinals saw their five-game winning streak come to a halt in Wednesday’s 3-2 defeat to the Mets, as St. Louis allowed more than two runs for just the second time in the last 10 contests.

What to watch for: Both these teams are on fire at the moment, as Philadelphia is picking things up with wins in seven of its past nine contests, while St. Louis owns an 8-2 mark in the last 10 games. After a three-start winless stretch, the Cardinals have won each of Miller’s last two trips to the mound, including as an underdog against the Nationals last Saturday. In Buchanan’s two road starts, the Phillies have been outscored, 11-1, while Philadelphia has hit the ‘under’ in four of his five outings.

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

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

  
HEADLINES
Rogers: Thursday's Diamond Notes
Akins: Diamond Trends - Thursday
Sportsbook: Nats, Giants clash in SF
White Sox activate Sale from suspension
Brewers' Braun sidelined with sore back
Dee Gordon apologizes on Twitter
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