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Friday's Betting Tips

Friday's Betting Tips

Friday's Betting Tips

Weather to watch

Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves: A 40 percent chance of thunderstorms could spoil a good pitching matchup between Cole Hamels and Ben Sheets.

Who’s hot?

The Cincinnati Reds are riding a seven-game winning streak heading into a three-game set with the Colorado Rockies. The Reds are 11-2 since the All-Star break and 6-0 in their last six contests as road favorites.

Who’s not?

The Houston Astros have spent the entire season continuing to set new wonderful lows in Major League Baseball’s department of suck. Losers of 23 of their last 25 games, the Astros are in the midst of the worst 25-game stretch in franchise history.

The Milwaukee Brewers have plummeted to a season-worst 10 games under .500 - 14 games behind NL Central-leading Cincinnati. General manager Doug Melvin has acknowledged the team is fielding trade offers for 2009 American League Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke.

Key Stat

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the New Orleans Hornets and Sacramento Kings have the toughest schedules for the upcoming 2012/13 NBA season. The Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls have the easiest routes based on opponent wins and losses from last season.

Game of the day

Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees (-172, 10.5)

Injury not to be overlooked

Toronto Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia will miss approximately six weeks because of a fractured right hand. Arencibia is the 10th Blue Jay currently on the disabled list and was batting .242 with 16 homers and 50 RBIs prior to the injury. Toronto is still missing slugger Jose Bautista, who is recovering from a wrist injury.

Notable Quotable

"Of course it's easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere."- British Prime Minister David Cameron, responding to comments by U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney that were critical of the host country's preparation for the Olympic Games. Romney was in charge of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Notes and tips

The Pirates have hit at least one home run in their past 16 road games and have 35 during that stretch. Astros starter Jordan Lyles has allowed at least one homer in his last five starts. Pittsburgh is a -156 road favorite in Houston. The total is set at 8.5 runs.

The Texas Rangers have won 20 of their last 27 home games against teams with winning records and are 44-19 in their last 63 home games overall. Texas is a -137 home favorite versus the Chicago White Sox Friday.

The Tampa Bay Rays reportedly intend to bring back third baseman Evan Longoria (hamstring) as soon as next week to serve as the designated hitter. He suffered a partial tear in his right hamstring after sliding into second base in a game against the Seattle Mariners on April 30.

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt said Thursday a bad back has been causing him hamstring problems, leading to a pair of losses to training partner Yohan Blake at the Jamaican trials. "It was a slight problem. I got that fixed and I'm ready to go," Bolt said in his first formal media appearance of the London Games. Bolt has the honor of carrying his country’s flag at the Opening Ceremonies.

Brewers skipper Ron Roenicke is adopting a closer by committee approach for the foreseeable future due to the struggles of Francisco Rodriguez and John Axford. “Unfortunately, it’s come to that. I’d rather have a set bullpen. We’re going to go with whatever we see in the game and who fits that slot,” Roenicke said Thursday.

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