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The good thing about wagering on sports this time of year is that with a plethora of activity, you may fine a soft line here or there if you probe hard enough. Two teams who are beginning to get healthy and make some noise are the Philadelphia Phillies and the Los Angeles Dodgers.The Philadelphia Phillies seek to push their winning streak to 10 games for the first time in nearly 15 years when they wrap up a three-game series against resurgent Tom Glavine and the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday.
With a 5-4 win in the middle game of the series on Tuesday, Philadelphia (18-14) has won nine in a row for the first time since a 13-game streak from July 30-Aug. 12, 1991.
The streak also has allowed the Phillies to move within two games of the Mets, who sit atop the NL East and are trying to avoid their first three-game losing streak of 2006.
The City of Brotherly Love is beginning to embrace the Phils as both the 76ers and Flyers have been banished from their respective sports and the players are brimming with confidence. Having won 9 in a row and facing a pitcher (Glavine), you would think the Phils would be rock solid favorites, but the morning line has the game a pick-em!
The leftys last two outing have been superb however and there should be some Mets money to keep the odds attractive if you are a Cory Liddle fan. The right-hander will try to put together consecutive wins for the first time this season. Against Atlanta on Friday, he gave up three runs and five hits with a season-high three walks over six innings in a 6-3 victory that lifted the Phillies to .500 for the first time this year.
He's had success against his former team, going 4-1 with a 2.15 ERA in five outings, striking out 26 and walking just five. Glavine (4-2, 1.94) will make the start for New York looking for his 280th career win, but also looking to beat the Phillies for the first time in 10 starts.
Since last defeating Philadelphia on Sept. 19, 2002, Glavine is 0-7 with a 5.82 ERA and opponents have hit .298 against him. He has dropped his last five starts versus them, allowing 24 runs and 35 hits in 29 innings. Overall, Glavine is 24-16 with a 3.77 ERA in his career against Philadelphia.
At 40, Glavine is pitching recently like the two-time Cy Young Award winner he is. In wins April 29 over Atlanta and Thursday against Pittsburgh, the left-hander has given up just seven hits with 11 strikeouts and just three walks in 14 innings.
Take the Phillies to extend their streak!
In the other game you have two teams passing each other in the express elevator. The Dodgers are on their way to the penthouse, while Houston is freefalling to the outhouse. LA winner of 4 in a row is beginning to get production from their big name players Garciaparra, Drew and as always Jeff Kent.
On the other hand you have Astros slugger Lance Berkman in a terrible funk hitless in five at-bats and is 4-for-20 with no RBIs on the road trip. Only 14 of his 36 RBIs have come on the road. Tonight momentum is in the Dodgers favorite.
Brett Tomko (3-1, 3.41 ERA) has been outstanding in his last three outings for Los Angeles, going 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA in that stretch. He did not win his last outing despite allowing five hits over seven scoreless innings in a 3-0 loss to San Diego on Thursday.
"I tweaked a couple of things in the bullpen this week, and it worked. I felt more comfortable with my off-speed stuff," Tomko said. "It would have been a lot nicer if we would have come out with the win." The veteran right-hander is 4-5 with a 4.90 ERA in 13 career starts against Houston.
Impressive Houston rookie Taylor Buchholz (2-1, 2.16) will oppose Tomko in his fifth career start. Buchholz is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA since joining the rotation on April 17.
The right-hander failed to record a decision his last time out after allowing three runs and six hits over seven innings in a 5-4 loss at Colorado last Friday.You have to grab LA at -110!
Bob Acton is an experienced sports writer and handicapper, who has written for the sports industry for over 10 years. His years of writing for Sports Scene, sports consulting on 33 Made for Television and Major Motion Pictures and his work as an instructor at Pro Teach Baseball Academy, have made Bob a trusted and respected source in the sports world.cf baseball card center