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MLB Betting Previews

Rookie phenom Stephen Strasburg returns to the mound looking to rack up a few more strikeouts against the Kansas City Royals.

Strasburg (2-0, 1.86) has been everything advertised so far with 32 strikeouts in 19 1-3 innings. In his last start against the White Sox he picked up his first no-decision after the Washington offense failed to give him any run support.

Strasburg held the White Sox to one run on four hits while striking out 10 in seven innings. Getting the unenviable task of facing off against Strasburg is Royals starter Brian Bannister (6-5, 5.70).

He was beat up by the Braves in his last start, surrendering five runs on seven hits in only four innings. He does have a nice record against the Nationals in his career, with a 1-0 record and 2.77 ERA in two starts.

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With Strasburg on the mound the Nationals are big -260 favorites at Bovada in today's game, while the Royals check in at +220. The total was set low in this one at 7.5, and with both pitchers appearing to have good matchups I'd take the UNDER and also put some cash behind Strasburg and the Nats.

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Also on tap tonight is the second game of the 2007 World Series rematch between Boston and Colorado. The Rockies took the first game last night, winning a pitcher's duel between Jhoulys Chacin and Jon Lester 2-1. Chacin tossed 6 2-3 shutout innings in the win, while Lester was tagged with the loss after surrendering only one run in six innings of work.

Runs could be hard to come by again tonight with Colorado sending ace Ubaldo Jimenez (13-1, 1.15) to the hill and Boston going with John Lackey (8-3, 4.53). Jimenez has been the most dominant pitcher in baseball this season and continued to rake in his last start against the Twins in which he allowed only one run on eight hits in eight innings.

Jimenez has allowed more than two runs only once this season and he's been a constant winner for the Rockies, who are 13-1 in his starts this season.

Lackey has been on fire in June with a 3-0 record and 3.81 ERA in four starts. Last time out against Arizona he picked up the win after allowing three earned runs on eight hits in six innings. In his only career start against the Rockies he went eight innings and allowed three runs on four hits.

The Rockies are a -175 favorite at home tonight, while the Red Sox are listed at +155. It seems pretty stupid to bet against Jimenez right now so the smart money should be on the Rockies to win. If Jimenez can keep the Red Sox to two runs or less then betting the Rockies on the run line at +120 would be a more profitable wager.