A healthy Roy Halladay will be a boost for the Philadelphia Phillies when they host the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday. Halladay’s overall numbers in 2012 have not been good by his standards - he’s 4-5 with a 3.96 ERA. But much of that is down to the fact that the stubborn right-hander was probably pitching for a while with an injury (a strained right lat muscle) before eventually going on the disabled list. In his first start back after properly healing he looked like his old self: he gave up just five hits and two runs, while striking out six in five innings against the Dodgers. With that first post-injury game under his belt, expect the former two-time Cy Young award winner to stretch out his innings and power the Phillies – on at 1.45 – past the Brewers, who can be had at 2.75.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are well-placed for victory when they play the Chicago Cubs at home. Erik Bedard benefitted greatly from the All Star Break. In his first start of the second half (after 11 days off) he went 6 2/3 innings, which was his longest stretch in his past six appearances. He looked good, allowing just two runs. Expect him to maintain that momentum.
The Cubs' Jeff Samardzija is moving in a very different direction: he has just one win in his past eight starts. Go with the Pirates, who have a lot more to play for in a playoff race, at 1.65 and pass on the Cubs, who are simply playing out the year, at 2.25.