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MLB Betting for Tuesday July 26, 2011: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Atlanta Braves

Written by Gaby Varji   
Monday, 25 July 2011 20:41

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Atlanta Braves Betting Odds and PicksSports Betting Overview

MLB baseball betting fans in Pittsburgh are starting to get a good feeling lately. The Pirates played an exciting series against the St. Louis Cardinals over the weekend that left the NL Central in a three-way tie for the lead. The Cardinals, Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers are all tied for the division lead, but a better divisional record has the Pirates statistically in the lead. The MLB baseball scores over the weekend showed that the Pirates can compete within their division. The MLB action at the beginning of this week will show if the Pirates can compete with the best in the NL as Pittsburgh travels to Atlanta to take on the red-hot Braves.

The Atlanta Braves refuse to allow the Philadelphia Phillies to run away with the NL East pennant. The Braves are currently six games out of first place in the NL East, and their recent two-game losing streak cost them more ground in their quest for the pennant. But the Braves are at 59-43, and have done their best to keep pace with the best team in baseball.

The Braves hold a four-game lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks for the NL wild card spot, so Atlanta always has something to play for whenever they take the field. The Braves may not be able to catch the Phillies for the NL East pennant, but anything can happen in the playoffs, and the Braves want to be there when October comes around.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Jeff Karstens is showing that he is one of the elite pitchers on the Pittsburgh staff, and he will take the mound in this game to further his case. His last start was a frustrating game where he pitched seven innings against the Cincinnati Reds, gave up only one run and still took the loss. If the Pirates want to compete in the playoffs, they will need to take advantage of games where Karstens completely shuts down a strong offense. The Braves have a very strong batting order, and the battle between Karstens and the Braves’ hitters should be fun to watch. If the Pittsburgh offense and defense can respond, then Karstens stands an excellent chance of winning this game.

Atlanta Braves
Tommy Hanson is the other half of this pitchers’ duel, and he has been looking strong as of late. For the season, Hanson is 11-5 with a 3.06 ERA. In his last 10 starts, Hanson is 6-2 but has been struggling a bit as of late. Hanson’s last two starts saw him give up a total of 11 runs but still rack up a 1-1 record. Hanson is not inconsistent, but he does have games where he cannot seem to find the plate. The Pirates have a fast batting line-up that loves to cause problems on the base paths. Hanson is the perfect pitcher to deal with that kind of a challenge with his fast release to the plate and his good move to first base.

The Bottom Line
This entire series will be fun to watch, but the Braves do hold the upper-hand in experience. This Braves team made the playoffs last season, and knows how to win big games. The Pirates need to show that they have what it takes to compete in the playoffs, and this would be the series to do it. But inexperience may cause problems for the upstart Pirates.

BSN Sports Pick: Atlanta Braves

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