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Glavine Approaching 298

Tom Glavine's attempt to reach 300 career wins before the All-Star break fell short following a rough few weeks. Stuck on win No. 297, Glavine hopes the second half of his season proves to go smoother than it did a year ago.

The 41-year-old southpaw takes the mound Saturday night for the New York Mets, who continue a four-game series with the Cincinnati Reds at Shea Stadium.

Oddsmakers have made New York -175 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 9 total runs (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 75% of bets for this game have been placed on New York -175 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

Glavine (7-6, 4.36 ERA) entered the break having gone 2-5 with a 5.37 ERA in his last nine starts. He is coming off one of his better performances of that stretch, however, allowing three runs and five hits in seven innings of a 5-3, 17-inning win last Saturday against the Houston Astros.

Glavine, pitching in his 20th full season, is looking to avoid a repeat of his disappointing performance in the second half of the 2006 campaign. He was 11-2 with a 3.48 ERA in 19 starts before the break, but went just 4-5 with a 4.33 ERA in his final 13 outings.

The veteran is 26-12 with a 3.40 in 47 starts against Cincinnati, and he's beaten only two franchise more times - Washington (32) and Philadelphia (28). He's just 1-3 with a 4.13 ERA in five starts against the Reds since the start of the 2004 season.

Glavine has pitched very well at home this year, going 4-1 with a 3.29 ERA in eight outings and he enters with a 12-inning scoreless streak at Shea Stadium.

New York (49-40) could use an effective outing from Glavine after a disappointing start by John Maine on Friday. Maine, the staff leader with 10 victories, lasted just 4 2-3 innings in a 8-4 loss to the Reds (37-53), allowing seven runs - four earned - and six hits.

Cincinnati's Brandon Phillips went 3-for-5, including a grand slam in the first inning. Phillips finished with six RBIs to match a career high as the Reds improved to 6-2 since interim manager Pete Mackanin replaced Jerry Narron on July 1.

"His offense, his defense, both have been extremely impressive," Mackanin said. "He can run, he looks like he loves to play - I'd take nine of him."

Lastings Milledge hit his first homer of the season and drove in two runs, but New York fell to 3-7 in July after opening this series with a 3-2 victory on Thursday. The Mets are just 1 1/2 games ahead of the Atlanta Braves for first place in the NL East.

The Mets promoted Howard Johnson to hitting coach before the game and made Rickey Henderson their new first-base coach after hitting coach Rick Down was fired during the break.

Matt Belisle (5-6, 5.28) takes the mound for the Reds on Saturday after a dismal end to his first half of the season. The right-hander is winless in his last six starts, going 0-2 with a 7.44 ERA.

Belisle has never started against the Mets. He made one relief appearance against them in 2003, pitching 1 2-3 scoreless innings against them in 2005.

by: Dave Michaels - thespread.com – Email Us

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