TheSpread.com Sunday MLB Picks 8/10

TheSpread.com Sunday MLB Picks 8/10

Several division rivals lock horns on Sunday as the 2008 MLB Season rolls on. Our team of writers and handicappers gathered three of their top picks for Sunday.

Florida Marlins (61-56) at New York Mets (62-54)

The New York Mets were happy to see the Florida Marlins win earlier this week, when a Florida victory meant the three-team race in the NL East would get even tighter.

The Mets would be even more thrilled to finish a three-game sweep of the Marlins at Shea Stadium on Sunday, as they look to move 2 1/2 games ahead of Florida in the standings.

The Marlins (61-56) started their key six-game road trip by taking two out of three from division-leading Philadelphia last week, also helping the Mets move closer to the Phillies.

The Mets (62-54) have been impressive at Shea recently, winning 15 of their last 18 there to claim the second-best home record in the NL at 36-21. They trail Philadelphia by one game in the NL East, with Florida sitting 2 1/2 games back of the Phillies.

The Mets lead the season series against Florida 7-4, with six more meetings scheduled after Sunday. Florida returns to Shea to play the final regular season games there from Sept. 26-28.

Pick: NY Mets - Best line -155 SBG Global

Atlanta Braves (55-62) at Arizona Diamondbacks (59-58)

The fourth-place Braves will try to top Arizona ace Brandon Webb on Sunday and finish off a four-game sweep of the Diamondbacks, who have lost four straight and most of their slim lead in the NL West.

The Diamondbacks (59-58) came into the series with a 3.88 ERA that was the third-best in the NL. Atlanta, however, has exploded offensively since arriving at Chase Field on Thursday. The Braves (55-62) have put up 28 runs, hitting .336 while increasing Arizona's ERA to 3.99.

Webb wasn't at his best earlier this season against the Braves, giving up 10 hits and seven runs - four earned - over 4 1-3 innings in a 7-3 loss at Turner Field. In his last two starts against Atlanta prior to that, however, Webb pitched a pair of shutouts.

The Braves, who haven't swept a four-game road series since May 15-18, 2003, at San Diego, will try to become only the second team this season to defeat Haren and Webb on consecutive days. They've started back-to-back games 19 times, yet only the Florida Marlins beat them both, on May 21 and 22.

Atlanta has three teams ahead of it in the NL East, which prompted it to trade its leading run producer, Mark Teixeira, shortly before baseball's non-waiver trading deadline. But the Braves' offense has been fine without him. McCann is hitting .444 (8-for-18) with a homer and six RBIs in his last four games, and Chipper Jones is 3-for-7 with a homer and three RBIs in his first two games since returning from the disabled list.

Pick: Arizona  - Best line -245 SBG Global

Cleveland Indians (51-64) at Toronto Blue Jays (59-58)

If he wants to reclaim the AL lead in wins, Cleveland's Cliff Lee will have to figure out a way to beat the Toronto Blue Jays.

Lee looks to become the first pitcher in the AL to 16 victories as the Indians go for a three-game sweep of the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on Sunday.

Lee (15-2, 2.58 ERA) is tied with Mike Mussina of New York for the league lead in wins and trails Arizona's Brandon Webb, who tops the majors in victories, by one. Lee also owns the second-best ERA in the majors behind Oakland's Justin Duchscherer (2.51).

Lee bounced back nicely after giving up a season high-tying six runs in five innings July 30, when he helped to squander an 8-1 lead in Cleveland's 14-12, 13-inning loss to Detroit. Despite that outing, Lee is 4-0 with a 3.09 ERA over his last five starts.

The Blue Jays will try to bounce back behind Scott Richmond (0-1, 4.91), who will make his third career start. The right-hander gave up three runs in 5 2-3 innings of Toronto's 4-3 win over the Athletics on Tuesday, six days after falling 3-2 in his major league debut against Tampa Bay.

Pick: Cleveland - Best line -135 SBG Global

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