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Thursday's Tip Sheet

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Nationals at Orioles – 7:05 PM EST

Probable Pitchers:
WSH: Gonzalez (6-4, 3.52 ERA)
BAL: Chen (8-3, 4.12 ERA)

Series recap: The Nationals rebounded from Monday’s 8-2 extra-innings loss to the Orioles by cruising past Baltimore last night, 6-2 as short underdogs. The victory by Washington was just the second in the last seven meetings with Baltimore dating back to 2012, as the Nats last won at Camden Yards prior to Wednesday on June 23, 2012.

What to watch for: Since coming off the disabled list, the Nationals have won each of Gonzalez’s four starts, while the southpaw hasn’t allowed a run in his last three outings. The Orioles have alternated wins and losses in each of Chen’s last eight trips to the mound, coming off a victory over the Rangers as a home underdog in his previous start.

Braves at Mets – 7:10 PM EST

Probable Pitchers:
ATL: Harang (8-6, 3.67 ERA)
NYM: Colon (8-7, 4.04 ERA)

Series recap: The Mets extended their season-high winning streak to four games after taking care of the Braves, 4-1 as +110 underdogs. Since knocking off Atlanta in walk-off fashion in the series opener, the Mets have outscored the Braves in the last two victories, 12-4, while winning each of the past four home meetings with their NL East rivals.

What to watch for: The Braves have won each of Harang’s last three starts, while tossing seven no-hit innings in a 6-0 triumph at Citi Field over the Mets in mid-April. The Mets have cashed the ‘over’ in five of Colon’s past seven trips to the mound, while splitting a pair of starts made by the veteran right-hander against Atlanta this season.

Pirates at Cardinals – 7:15 PM EST

Probable Pitchers:
PIT: Volquez (7-6, 3.88 ERA)
STL: Miller (7-7, 4.15 ERA)

Series recap: The Cardinals go for the sweep of the Pirates on Thursday after capturing each of the first three games at home. St. Louis won the first two contests thanks to walk-off homers, while winning in more conventional fashion on Wednesday. The Redbirds own a 7-5 record against the Pirates this season, including a 5-1 mark at Busch Stadium.

What to watch for: After losing five consecutive starts against Pittsburgh dating back to last season, Miller has come out victorious in his last two outings versus the Pirates. However, the Cards have dropped each of Miller’s last four starts overall, while posting a 1-4 record in the past five home outings. The Pirates have done a solid job of rebounding off a three-game losing streak, putting together a 6-1 mark in this situation.

Tigers at Royals – 8:10 PM EST

Probable Pitchers:
DET: Smyly (4-8, 3.89 ERA)
KC: Guthrie (5-7, 4.02 ERA)

Series recap: Kansas City finished off a series victory at Tampa Bay after rallying for a 5-4 triumph on Wednesday as +110 underdogs. The Royals grabbed four of six meetings from the Rays this season, while improving to 4-2 in the past six road series finales. Following a shaky first inning on Tuesday against the Dodgers, the Tigers rolled past Los Angeles for a pair of home victories, while outscoring them, 18-1 in the final 17 innings.

What to watch for: Detroit won the first five matchups this season with Kansas City, but the Royals grabbed three of four at Comerica Park from the Tigers in mid-June. The Royals have stumbled to a 3-6 record the last nine home contests, but Kansas City is 4-1 in Guthrie’s past five outings. Smyly has struggled lately with the Tigers owning a 2-7 record in his last nine trips to the mound, but the southpaw tossed seven innings of two-hit ball in a 9-2 rout at Kansas City in April.

Padres at Dodgers – 10:10 PM EST

Probable Pitchers:
SD: Despaigne (2-0, 0.92 ERA)
LAD: Kershaw (10-2, 1.85 ERA)

Previous series recap: The Dodgers were swept for the first time this season, albeit in a two-game series at Detroit. Los Angeles squandered a 5-0 lead in Tuesday’s 14-5 setback at Comerica Park, while the Dodgers fell behind early in Wednesday’s 4-1 defeat as a short ‘dog. The Padres dropped two of three games to the struggling Rockies at Coors Field, while scoring just four runs in the final two defeats.

What to watch for: Since the start of June, the Dodgers are a perfect 7-0 with Kershaw on the mound, while the former Cy Young winner hasn’t allowed a run in any of his past four starts. The Padres are making their first trip to Chavez Ravine this season, looking to improve on a 2-4 record against their division rivals. The ‘under’ has cashed in five of the first six meetings, while San Diego is 13-4 to the ‘under’ in the last 17 games overall.

You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

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