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Braves vs. Mets Pick MLB – July 23rd

We got back on the winning track last night with a pair of winners, thanks in large part to Matt Moore’s brilliant effort.  The Rays won 3-0, both winning straight up and easily covering the UNDER (as well as pulling even in the loss column for the AL East lead).  As improbable as it seemed four weeks ago, the Rays can move into first place in the division with a win tonight at Fenway.

But the biggest story in baseball, and frankly all of sports, is the season-ending suspension of Ryan Braun for his involvement with PEDs in the BioGenesis scandal.  It is pretty disheartening considering the vehement denials that spewed from the former-MVP over the last few years, and the penalty, as stern as it may be, will still feel light to baseball purists.  Perhaps Braun should be relieved.  Given his quote “I’d bet my life that that stuff (steroids/PEDs) never ended my body” the penalty sure could have been worse.  To the best of my knowledge, Selig has yet to push for the electric chair…

OK, back to real sports – and today’s free picks.

Atlanta Braves -133 at New York Mets +124 (Total: 7.5)

Kris Medlen (6-9, 3.64 ERA) vs. Carlos Torres (0-1, 0.79 ERA)

Last night the Braves won a 2-1 game thanks to a diving game-saving catch with two on and two out in the bottom of the ninth by Jason Heyward.  It was good to see the big guy back in the lineup, as the Braves have been playing without all three starting outfielders the past few weeks.  The reserves held the rope, and thanks to the terrible play by the Nationals, the NL East has the makings of the only uninteresting division race in all of baseball.

The Braves get a chance to tack on another win tonight in the Bronx with Medlen on the hill.  He is 4-0 with a 2.36 ERA lifetime against New York.  Even though his season stats are less-than-stellar (his nine losses lead the team) his 3.64 ERA is certainly respectable, and given his success against the Mets, I like him tonight, especially at -133.

New York sends Carlos Torres to the mound for just his second start.  He does have ten relief appearances, and has fared well against the Braves in them, but going through an entire lineup several times is a whole different animal.

I like Atlanta to get a good effort from Medlen tonight and to pick up consecutive wins for the first time this month.

Free Pick:  Atlanta Braves to WIN -133