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MLB Game Previews for July 1, 2012

Want to win money at Then bet on Giants pitcher Ryan Vogelsong when he pitches at home. The right-hander takes the mound in the series finale vs. Cincinnati on Sunday. Bet on Reds-Giants and every game at

Philadelphia at Miami – Phillies RHP Joe Blanton (7-6, 4.87) vs. Marlins RHP Ricky Nolasco (6-6, 4.78): Blanton has struggled lately, but he allowed seven hits, two earned runs, two walks, one home run and struck out eight in seven innings Monday against the Pirates. He has allowed 17 home runs in 48 1/3 innings over a span of eight starts. … While he didn’t dominate, Nolasco was solid against the Cardinals in his last outing. The righty held St. Louis to just one unearned run on four hits over 6 2/3 innings. Nolasco did not earn a win as Miami’s ‘pen blew a four-run lead in the ninth.

Washington at Atlanta – Nationals LHP Gio Gonzalez (10-3, 2.78) vs. Braves RHP Tim Hudson (6-3, 3.58): Even in allowing four earned runs on eight hits in his last start, Gonzalez picked up his 10th win of the season, making him the second lefty to reach that mark in Nationals history. Gonzalez is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in two starts against the Braves. … Hudson has impressed since struggling in his final two May starts, including one against Washington. He has completed at least eight innings in two of his past four starts. He has a 2.35 ERA in 24 starts against the Nationals.

Arizona at Milwaukee – Diamondbacks RHP Josh Collmenter (0-2, 4.80) vs. Brewers RHP Yovani Gallardo (6-6, 4.14): Collmenter takes the rotation spot of the injured Daniel Hudson. He made five starts at the beginning of the season before being moved to the bullpen. In three regular-season games (two starts) versus the Brewers, Collmenter has a 1.17 ERA. … Gallardo gets an extra day of rest before facing the D-backs, a team he beat last month and has handled in his career to the tune of a 6-0 record and 1.21 ERA in six regular-season starts.

Pittsburgh at St. Louis – Pirates LHP Erik Bedard (4-8, 4.27) vs. Cardinals RHP Jake Westbrook (6-6, 3.77): Against the Cardinals, Bedard will look to record his 1,000th career strikeout. He finished Tuesday’s start against the Phillies — a 5-4 loss — two shy of the mark. The left-hander will also try to snap his four-start road losing streak. … Westbrook didn’t factor into the decision in a wild, and confusing, 10-inning affair in Miami, but he turned in a quality start nonetheless. Westbrook tossed six innings and gave up two runs, both earned, on six hits as he lowered his ERA to 3.77.

Houston at Chicago Cubs – Astros LHP Wandy Rodriguez (6-5, 3.52) vs. Cubs LHP Travis Wood (2-3, 3.54): Rodriguez hasn’t pitched as well recently as he did earlier. He’s 2-1 with a 4.68 ERA in his last four starts, allowing 29 hits and 13 runs in his last 25 innings. He’s 2-4 with a 5.09 ERA in 11 career starts at Wrigley. … Wood may not want to turn the calendar. He posted a 2.27 ERA in June, and picked up wins against former Cy Young winners Jake Peavy and Johan Santana. He has four quality starts in his last five outings.

San Diego at Colorado – Padres RHP Kip Wells (0-1, 3.60) vs. Rockies LHP Edwar Cabrera (0-1, 19.29): Wells went five innings on Tuesday, giving up five runs (two earned), striking out two and walking two. The right-hander threw 100 pitches, 60 for strikes, in his first Major League appearance since 2009. … Cabrera lasted just 2.1 innings in his major league debut Wednesday, giving up seven runs (five earned) on five hits and three walks, as the Rockies were blasted by the Nationals.

Cincinnati at San Francisco – Reds RHP Bronson Arroyo (3-5, 4.13) vs. Giants RHP Ryan Vogelsong (7-3, 2.23): Arroyo nearly made history Tuesday night, holding the Brewers hitless through seven innings. Despite his efforts, Arroyo didn’t register a win, surrendering three runs in the eighth. … Vogelsong continued his remarkable consistency by pitching seven shutout innings in his last start, a 2-0 win against the Dodgers. He now has 13 quality starts on the season, including 11 straight, and holds a 1.28 ERA in eight home starts.

NY Mets at LA Dodgers – Mets RHP Dillon Gee (5-6, 4.42) vs. Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw (5-4, 2.74): Gee’s quality starts streak ended at seven games in a 5-3 loss Tuesday to the Cubs. Gee allowed four runs in five innings, failing to go at least 5 1/3 innings for the first time this season. … Kershaw is coming off a six-inning battle against the Giants in which he allowed eight hits. One of them was a home run by Melky Cabrera, the 11th homer Kershaw has allowed this year after serving up only 15 for his entire 2011 Cy Young season.

Yu Darvish for American League Rookie of the Year? Well, the Angels’ Mike Trout might have something to say about that. How about Darvish for AL Cy Young? It’s a possibility as the Japanese rookie looks for his 11th win of the season Sunday vs. Oakland. Bet on A’s-Rangers and every game at

Cleveland at Baltimore – Indians RHP Justin Masterson (4-7, 4.09) vs. Orioles LHP Brian Matusz (5-9, 5.24): Masterson allowed four runs on seven hits over six frames vs. the Yanks on Tuesday. The sinkerballer felt like he pitched well, but got hurt by softly hit balls that found holes. He has a 1.55 ERA in his last four outings. … Matusz has an 8.31 ERA in his last four starts and hasn’t completed the sixth inning in any of them, leaving Tuesday’s outing against the Angels after giving up five runs on a career-worst 13 hits in five innings.

Detroit at Tampa Bay – Tigers LHP Drew Smyly (2-3, 4.48) vs. Rays RHP Alex Cobb (3-4, 4.73): Smyly returned from the disabled list showing no ill effects from his blister problems despite triple-digit heat in Texas on Tuesday, but bloop hits and smart baserunning helped sink him with a four-run fourth inning. He gave up six runs in defeat. … Cobb pitched a complete game Monday, but not a particularly pretty one. He grinded out eight innings on 113 pitches, but allowed eight runs on 13 hits against the Royals. He has 26 K’s in 25 2/3 innings at home, compared to seven in 20 road frames.

Chicago White Sox at NY Yankees – White Sox RHP Gavin Floyd (6-7, 4.80) vs. Yankees RHP Phil Hughes (8-6, 4.48): Floyd didn’t allow a run for the second straight start, throwing seven shutout innings vs. Minnesota on June 26 after quieting the Cubs for 6 1/3. He also tied a season-high nine strikeouts while snapping an eight-game winless streak vs. the Twins. … After picking up the victory against the Tribe on Tuesday with eight scoreless innings, Hughes has won five of his past six starts. He had success in his lone start vs. the White Sox last year, shutting them out over six frames to win on Aug. 2.

Kansas City at Minnesota – Royals LHP Bruce Chen (7-6, 4.53) vs. Twins LHP Francisco Liriano (2-7, 5.30): Chen is 7-2 in his past 10 starts and he’s given up more than three runs just twice in those games. His latest win came Tuesday in a seven-inning effort. As usual, he was uncannily deceptive, changed angles and speeds, and stayed around the plate. … Liriano tossed a season-high seven innings, allowing just one run with five strikeouts against the White Sox on Monday. He has a 2.41 ERA with 40 strikeouts in 37 1/3 innings over his last six outings.

LA Angels at Toronto – Angels LHP C.J. Wilson (9-4, 2.36) vs. Jays LHP Aaron Laffey (0-0, 1.80): Wilson put a whole lot of runners on base Tuesday night, but still gave up only one run in seven innings against the O’s, running his winning streak to five and giving him seven straight quality starts as he continues his case for the All-Star Game. … Laffey is set to make his second start of the season after pitching six scoreless innings against the Red Sox on Tuesday. He allowed just three hits and two walks and earned himself at least one more outing with the impressive performance.

Boston at Seattle – Red Sox LHP Felix Doubront (8-4, 4.54) vs. Mariners LHP Jason Vargas (7-7, 4.54): Doubront is winless in his past three outings. The left-hander lasted only five innings in each of his last two starts and ended up with a pair of no-decisions. Doubront will make his first career start against the Mariners. … Vargas tied the club record for home runs allowed in a month (11) his last time out, but he also struck out a career-high 10 batters and allowed just three hits to the A’s on June 26.

Oakland at Texas – A’s LHP Travis Blackley (1-2, 3.69) vs. Rangers RHP Yu Darvish (10-4, 3.57): Blackley, owner of a 2.13 ERA over his past three starts, held the Mariners to two runs on five hits and a walk and also picked up three strikeouts over seven innings in Tuesday’s no-decision. … Darvish tied the AL lead with his 10th win Tuesday, giving up four runs on four hits while striking out 10 in a 7-5 win over the Tigers. He will face the A’s for the third time this season. Darvish is 1-1 with a 4.85 ERA against the A’s.

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Sunday, July 1st, 2012 2012, Baseball

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