The Chicago Cubs (55-38) will try to increase their lead atop the National League Central against the St. Louis Cardinals (48-46) on Thursday when they kick off the second half of the season as solid home favorites at the sportsbooks. The Cubs lead the Milwaukee Brewers by 2.5 games and the Cardinals by 7.5 for first place in the division thanks to a three-game winning streak.MLB betting line: The Cubs opened as -150 favorites (wager $150 to win $100) http://www.padresfanproshop.co…..aje-jersey
, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark (line updates and matchup report).MLB betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 5.6-3.9, Cubs (MLB picks on every game).Check out the OddsShark podcast on iTunes or at OddsShark.libsyn.com for more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week鈥檚 top sports betting news. Why the Cardinals can pay on the MLB linesSt. Louis underachieved in the first half and took action by firing manager Mike Matheny Christian Villanueva Jersey
, replacing him with Mike Shildt on an interim basis through the rest of the year. The Cardinals should get a spark from the move, knowing that nobody’s job is safe at this point.The players need to turn things around for the future, starting with pitcher Carlos Martinez (6-5, 3.08 ERA). The 26-year-old Puerto Rican has been viewed as a potential ace at times but needs to perform better and win more games. Martinez picked up half of his wins in his past four starts after seeing his ERA rise from 1.40 to 3.24.Why the Cubs can pay on the MLB linesChicago remains the best team in the NL Central even though Milwaukee has proved to be a worthy contender similar to last year. Like St. Louis http://www.padresfanproshop.co…..zur-jersey
, this team needs better pitching in the second half, and Kyle Hendricks (6-8, 3.92 ERA) is capable of settling in as the No. 2 starter behind ace Jon Lester.Hendricks did finish the first half on a positive note, giving up five earned runs and 17 hits in 18.1 innings with two walks and 13 strikeouts over his last three outings. He continues to be a better pitcher at Wrigley Field as well Craig Stammen Jersey
, going 3-5 with a 3.18 ERA in nine starts there this season. Smart betting pickThe Cardinals have dropped two of the previous three meetings with the Cubs after winning four of the first five to start the season, according to the OddsShark MLB Database. Chicago got off to a slow start though and has played well lately en route to posting the best record in the NL. The Cubs also lead the league in run differential at plus-114 and will begin the second half with an easy victory here.MLB betting trendsSt. Louis is 2-4 in its last six games The total has gone over in five of St. Louis’ last six games.The total has gone over in four of Chicago’s last five games.All MLB odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report鈥檚 official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week’s top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app. SEATTLE (AP) — Former No. 2 overall pick Dustin Ackley is returning to the Seattle Mariners on a minor-league deal after spending the past two seasons in the minors with the Los Angeles Angels, according to a person familiar with the deal.The person spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced. It reunites Ackley with the team that took him second in the 2009 draft.Ackley had a rocky career with the Mariners after being touted as one of the top college hitters. He made a promising debut in 2011 http://www.padresfanproshop.co…..man-jersey
, but his production decreased from there. Ackley hit .243 in parts of five seasons with the Mariners, but never came close to matching the .273 average of his first season.Ackley was traded to the New York Yankees in July 2015 and appeared in 51 games over two seasons with the Yankees. He spent the past two seasons with Triple-A Salt Lake in the Angels organization.