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Rays vs. Braves MLB Pick / Gambling Preview (June. 17)

MLB Thursday Preview – Tampa Bay vs Atlanta

Before baseball gambling fans turn their attention to other sports betting events this weekend, we have the Tuesday MLB game of the day pick for you. It’s time for our weekly baseball picks for online MLB betting action.

Season Record:
Tampa Bay: 41-24 SU
Atlanta: 38-28 SU

MLB Betting – First-Place Teams Meet In Atlanta In Interleague Play

Game Preview (June 17, 2010): Tampa Bay Rays vs Atlanta Braves

Take a step back from your 2010 World Cup betting odds for a second and check out this matchup of first-place teams from the East divisions of the American and National Leagues.  Philadelphia and the New York Yankees are meeting this week, but that’s not the matchup we’re talking about.  Instead, Tampa Bay and Atlanta will square off, and the Rays’ starter will be aiming to turn his fortunes around.

Rays Braves Betting – Thursday, June 17, 7:10 PM ET

James Shields (5-5, 4.55) has lost four in a row, and his last outing may have been the worst of his career.  Shields was belted for 10 runs on nine hits in just 3.1 innings of a 14-9 loss at home to Florida, and he probably just wants this month to be over already.  Shields is decent on the road with a 4-2 record in six starts with a 3.43 ERA, but this is his first trip to Atlanta, and his first time facing the Braves.  The 28-year-old righthander was one of the best pitchers in the American League before this slump, and if the Rays are going to continue to hold off the Yankees in the East, the Rays need Shields to get his mojo back.

Tim Hudson (6-2, 2.43) took the loss as the Braves fell 2-1 at Minnesota, allowing a pair of runs on seven hits over seven innings with two strikeouts and a walk.  Hudson looks to be recovered from last year’s injury problems, but we’ll have to wait until the second half of the season to see how his 34-year-old arm holds up.  The veteran righty has owned the Rays in his career, going 6-1 in 10 starts with a 2.85 ERA, and the Rays have hit just .230 off of him.  Hudson is also 3-1 in four home starts with a 2.03 ERA, so he’ll be ready, much like USA World Cup betting players hope the national team will be on Friday.

MLB betting odds should favor the Braves at home, and counting Tampa Bay’s 10-4 win in the series opener on Tuesday, the Braves had won four of their seven games at Turner Field against the Rays.  Tampa Bay is going to need Shields to shake his funk soon, and this start will be a test of his mental strength, especially going against a pitcher as experienced as Hudson, whose track record against the Rays is another reason that Shields has to pitch well.  However, the Braves are third in the National League in runs, and fourth in average, so this isn’t going to be an easy outing for Shields.  As of Wednesday, both teams had won five of their last 10, so it’s not like they’re coming into this game hot.

Gambling Trends:

Atlanta is 10-1 SU in its last 11 games at home
Atlanta is 15-6 SU in its last 21 games
Atlanta is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay is 10-5 SU in its last 15 games on the road
Tampa Bay is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games
Tampa Bay is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games when playing Atlanta

Pick: We’re giving the betting edge to the Braves, so take the home team on Thursday night.

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Poolside Rants hails from beautiful Bozeman Montana by way of Toronto, Canada. (Blame his wife for the move). He’s a Dallas Cowboys football honk. But please….don’t hold that against him. The man knows his sports and has uncanny knowledge when it comes to picking games.

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