Sports Picks takes a look at a pair of crosstown MLB rivalries this weekend, starting with the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Cubs opening a three-game interleague series Friday at Wrigley Field (2:20 pm ET, FOX).

The White Sox will give the ball to righthander Edwin Jackson, who is 4-6 with a 4.13 ERA. He last started Friday, going seven innings in a 9-5 loss against the Washington Nationals. The Cubs will start Randy Wells, who is 1-2 with a 6.25 ERA. The righthander last pitched Sunday when he faced the Kansas City Royals, going six innings in a 6-3 loss.

The White Sox (39-42 SU) are third in the AL Central division, four games behind both the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers. The Cubs (33-48 SU) are fifth in the NL Central division, 11 games behind the first-place Milwaukee Brewers.

Later Friday, the New York Yankees and the New York Mets meet in the opener of the latest Subway Series at Citi Field (7:10 pm ET, FOX).

The Yankees will start Ivan Nova, who is 7-3 with a 4.19 ERA. The righthander last started Sunday against the Colorado Rockies, going six innings in a 6-4 win. The Mets will give the ball to Jonathon Niese, who is 7-6 with a 3.67 ERA. The lefty got his last start Saturday against the Texas Rangers, going five and two-thirds innings in a 14-5 win.

The Yankees (47-31 SU) are 8-2 SU in their past 10 games and have won four straight. They have a 2.5-game lead atop the AL East division. The Mets (41-39 SU) are 7-3 in their past 10, and have also won four straight. They are third in the NL Central, 9.5 games back of the first-place Philadelphia Phillies.

MLB Betting previews a battle between two of the best teams in MLB as the Boston Red Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies meet in the second game of a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday (7 pm ET, ESPN).

MLB Odds have the Phillies as a slight, -110 moneyline favorite, the Red Sox at even (+100) and the over/under total at 10.

Boston will start righthanded pitcher John Lackey, who is 5-6 with a 7.36 ERA on the season. Lackey had a poor showing in his last start last Wednesday, getting pulled after just three and one-third innings in a 5-1 loss to the San Diego Padres. Philadelphia will start righthander Vance Worley, who is 2-1 with a 2.90 ERA. Worley’s last action was Friday when he went six innings in a 1-0 win over the Oakland A’s.

Boston is 45-32 SU and has rebounded from a dreadful start to the season, and is just 1.5 games back of the first-place New York Yankees in the American League East division. But the Red Sox have been sub-par recently at 4-6 SU in their past 10 games, including 1-4 SU in their past five.

Philadelphia is 49-30 SU, the best overall record in the majors. The Phillies lead the NL East division by 4.5 games over the Atlanta Braves and are 6-4 SU in their past 10.

The Phillies won the opener 5-0 on Tuesday, cashing as a -140 home favorite. The Red Sox lead the head-to-head series, going 6-4 SU in the past 10 meetings.

MLB Picks previews the Boston Red Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies opening a three-game set at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday (7:05 pm ET, FOX).

MLB odds have the Phillies as a -125 money line favorite and the over/under total at 7.

Boston will start right-hander Josh Beckett, who is 6-2 with a league-best 1.86 ERA. After suffering through the stomach flu the past 10 days, Beckett hasn’t started since June 15, when he faced the division trival Tampa Bay Rays and went the full nine innings in a 3-0 win. The Phillies will go with lefthander Cliff Lee, who is 8-5 with a 2.87 ERA. Lee also went the full nine innings and gave up no runs in his last outing, a 4-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday.

This matchup features two of the top teams in MLB. The Red Sox (45-32 SU) are second place in the AL East, a half game behind of the New York Yankees. Boston has slipped a bit in recent games, going 5-5 SU in their past 10, but has the same number of wins as the Yankees. The Phillies (49-30 SU) have the best overall record in the majors and lead the NL East division by five games over the Atlanta Braves. Philadelphia is 6-4 SU in its past 10 games and

Head-to-head, Boston has dominated the past 10 meetings at 7-3 SU. The teams last met in a three-game set last June, won 2-1 by the Red Sox.

MLB Picks sets up the Cincinnati Reds and the Tampa Bay Rays clashing in the opener of a three-game interleague series on Monday at Tropicana Field (7:10 pm ET, ESPN).

MLB Odds opened with the game a -110 moneyline pick’em and the over/under total at 7.5.

The Reds will give the ball to Mike Leake, who is 6-3 with a 4.18 ERA this season. The righthander last started Wednesday against the New York Yankees, when he went six innings in a 4-2 loss. The Rays will have righthander Jeremy Hellickson on the mound. He is 7-6 with a 3.09 ERA, and his last start was Tuesday against the Milwaukee Brewers when he went six innings in a 5-1 loss to the Brewers.

Cincinnati (40-38 SU) is in fourth place in the tightly packed National League Central division, three games behind the Milwaukee Brewers. The Reds are 5-5 SU in the past 10 games. Tampa Bay (43-34 SU) is in third place in the American league East division, two games back of the first-place Boston Red Sox. The Rays are 7-3 SU in the past 10 and had won three straight heading into play Sunday.

The teams haven’t squared off since 2005, when Cincinnati swept a three-game series. The Reads are a perfect 6-0 SU in the past six games of the head-to-head series.

The Reds hammered the Baltimore Orioles 10-5 in the second game of a three-game set Saturday, covering as a -110 road favorite and evening the series at 1-1. The Rays beat the Houston Astros 7-2 on Saturday as a -115 road favorite.

MLB Picks previews the New York Mets and the Texas Rangers closing out a three-game set on Sunday at Rangers Ballpark (3:05 pm ET, FOX).

MLB Odds have the Rangers as a -130 moneyline favorite and the over/under total at 9.5.

Texas got off to a great start in this interleague series on Friday, hammering the Mets 8-1. The Rangers covered the spread as a -165 moneyline favorite, while the score just barely stayed under the over/under total of 9.5.

The Mets will give the ball to righthander Dillon Gee, who is 7-1 SU and has a 2.88 ERA this season. Gee last started Tuesday against the Oakland A’s, going just four innings in a 7-3 loss. The Rangers will start lefthander Derek Holland, who is 6-2 and has an ERA of 4.69. Holland’s last start was Monday when he went seven and one-third innings in an 8-3 win against the Houston Astros.

New York (37-39 SU) is in fourth place in the NL East division, and 10 games behind the first place Philadelphia Phillies. The Mets are 5-5 SU in the past 10 games. Texas (41-36 SU) is in first place in the AL West division, and two games in front of both the Seattle Mariners and the Los Angeles Angels. The Rangers are 5-5 SU in the past 10 games.

Before kicking off the series Friday, New York won a three-game set against the A’s 2-1. Texas beat the Houston Astros 2-1 in their three-game set last week.

MLB Picks previews the Cleveland Indians and the San Francisco Giants clashing Saturday in the second tilt of a three-game interleague series at AT&T Park (4:10 pm ET, FOX).

The Indians will start righthander Justin Masterson, who is 5-5 with a 3.18 ERA this season. Masterson’s last start was Sunday against the Pittsburgh Pirates, when he went five innings in a 5-2 win. The Giants will counter with righthander Matt Cain, who is 6-4 with a 3.44 ERA. His last start was Sunday against the Oakland A’s. He went seven innings in a 2-1 loss.

Cleveland (40-33 SU) leads the AL Central division by one game over the Detroit Tigers, while San Francisco (41-34 SU) is a half game behind the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West division.

Head-to-head, the teams last met in June, 2008, when San Francisco won a three-game series 2-1. All three games stayed under the over/under total.

Also Saturday, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Angels clash in the second game of a three-game interleague series at Dodger Stadium (4:10 pm ET, FOX).

The Angels will give the ball to righthander Tyler Chatwood, who is 4-4 with a 3.84 ERA so far this season. Chatwood’s last start was Sunday against the New York Mets. He went seven innings in a 7-3 win. The Dodgers will counter with righthander Hiroki Kuroda, who is 5-8 with a 3.07 ERA. Kuroda’s last start was Sunday, when he went seven innings in a 1-0 win against the Houston Astros.

Sports Picks previews the Los Angeles Angels and the Los Angeles Dodgers meeting Friday to open a three-game interleague set at Dodger Stadium (10:10 pm ET, FOX).

MLB Betting has the Angels as a -140 moneyline favorite and the over/under total at 6.5.

The Angels (37-39 SU) are 6-4 SU in their past 10 games and sit third in the AL West, three games behind the first-place Texas Rangers. The Dodgers (34-42 SU) are 4-6 SU in their past 10 and are fourth in the NL West, 7.5 games back of the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Angels will have righthander Dan Haren on the mound. Haren is 5-5 with a 2.99 ERA this season, and got his last start Sunday against the New York Mets, lasting just four innings in a 6-1 loss. The Dodgers will go with Rubby De La Rosa, who is 2-1 with a 5.52 ERA. The righthander’s last start was Sunday against the Houston Astros, when he went four and two-thirds innings in a 7-0 loss.

Also Friday, the Colorado Rockies and the New York Yankees open a three game interleague series at Yankee Stadium (7:05 pm ET, FOX).

MLB Odds have the Yankees as a -145 moneyline favorite and the over/under total at 9.

The Rockies (37-37 SU) are in third place in the NL West division, 3.5 games back of the first place Arizona Diamondbacks, while the Yankees (43-30 SU) are second in the AL East, but are just a half-game of the first-place Boston Red Sox.

Colorado will start righthander Ubaldo Jimenez, who is 2-7 with a 4.68 ERA. New York will start righthander AJ Burnett, who is 7-5 with a 4.05 ERA.

Baseball Picks previews the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Kansas City Royals squaring off in the finale of a three-game interleague set on Thursday at Kauffman Stadium (8:10 pm ET, FOX).

MLB odds have the Diamondbacks as a -130 moneyline favorite and the over/under total at 8.5.

Arizona (40-34 SU) is 6-4 SU in its past 10 games, and is in first place in the NL West division, but held just a slight, half-game lead over the second-place San Francisco Giants heading into action Wednesday.

Kansas City (31-42 SU) has struggled mightily, sitting in last place in the AL Central division, 8.5 games off the pace. The Royals have lost three straight and five of their past six games.

Arizona will give the ball to righthanded pitcher Daniel Hudson, who is 8-5 with a 3.56 ERA. He last pitched Friday against the Chicago White Sox, when he went the full nine innings in a 4-1 win.

Kansas City will counter with righthander Felipe Paulino, who has a 0-0 record and a 2.78 ERA this season. He last pitched on Friday, when he went six innings in a 5-4 win against the division rival St. Louis Cardinals.

Arizona won the opener 7-2 on Tuesday. This is the first series between the teams since a three-game set in June, 2009, which the Diamondbacks won 2-1. After getting shut out 5-0 in the opener of that series, the D-Backs blasted the Royals in the final two games, outscoring them 24-10.

MLB Picks previews the final game of a three-game interleague set between the Los Angeles Angels and Florida Marlins on Wednesday at Sun Life Stadium (7:10 pm ET, FOX).

MLB Odds will have the Angels as favorites in this one, as the Marlins are immersed in the worst slump of the 2011 MLB season.

Florida has been brutal, losing 11 straight games and going 1-20 SU in their past 21. The Marlins are last in the NL East division, 13 games out of first place.

On Sunday, just before the Marlins lost their 10th straight to the Tampa Bay Rays, manager Edwin Rodriguez abruptly quit, and Florida announced former manager Jack McKeon, 80, would be the team’s interim manager. McKeon, who retired in 2005, becomes the second-oldest manager in MLB history.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles (36-38 SU) is 6-4 SU in its past 10 and sits third in the AL West division, three games back of the first place Texas Rangers.

The Angels will have righthander Joel Pineiro on the mound. He is 3-3 with a 3.92 ERA and last pitched Friday against the New York Mets, going six and one-third innings in a 4-3 win. The Marlins will give the ball to southpaw Brad Hand, who is 0-3 with a 3.45 ERA. He last started Friday against the Rays, lasting just four and two-thirds innings in a 5-1 loss.

The Angels won the opener 2-1 on Monday, cashing as a +112 road underdog. This is the first set of games between the teams since 2005, when LA won a three-game set 2-1.

Sports Picks sets up the Philadelphia Phillies and the St. Louis Cardinals opening a three-game set on Tuesday at Busch Stadium (8:15 pm ET, FOX).

MLB Odds have the Phillies as a -155 moneyline favorite for the opener, with the over/under total set at 7.5.

This matchup features a pair of National League division leaders, as the Phillies (45-28 SU) are in first place in the NL East, and the Cardinals (40-33 SU) are tied with the Milwaukee Brewers for first place in the NL Central.

But Philadelphia has been playing much better ball than St. Louis in recent games, with the Phillies going 8-2 SU in their past 10 and St. Louis going 3-7 SU.

Roy Halladay will get the start for the Phillies on Tuesday. The righthanded ace is 9-3 and has a 2.56 ERA, and his last start was Wednesday against the Florida Marlins, when he went seven innings in a 5-4 win. The Cardinals will have Kyle MCclellan on the mound. The righthander is 5-3 with a 4.05 ERA. He last pitched Wednesday against the Washington Nationals, lasting just five innings in a 10-0 blowout loss.

Head-to-head, the Cards are 6-4 SU in the past 10 meetings. Philadelphia and St. Louis have met once earlier this season, when the Cardinals swept a two-game series May 16-17. The under has hit in all four of the past four meetings, and in seven of the past 10.

The Phillies are coming off a 2-1 series loss against the Seattle Mariners, while the Cardinals beat the Kansas City Royals 2-1 in their three-game set.

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