The Major League Baseball has hit a crucial point in the season. This is the time that teams will find out if they are contenders or if they are pretenders.  These few weeks will see teams rise to the occasion and make a run for the playoffs, while others will begin to fade off and trade off some of their pieces. For the baseball handicapper, the sooner that they can identify these teams the better that it will be. These picks for today try and focus on these teams and how they can provide value during this time of the season.

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Here is the MLB Picks for Tuesday, July 22, 2014.

Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays

The Boston Red Sox know that it is now or never if they want to get back into the race for the American League East. They have come out of the All Star Break looking like gangbusters by sweeping the Kansas City Royals. Jake Peavy gets the start and he will be traded if the team does not turn it around, so the Sox will respond with a big win in this game against the Blue Jays which will only help their climb back into the standings. The Red Sox are 5-2 in their last 7 against a team with a winning record and get the big win against the Jays.

Free Pick: Boston Red Sox -110

Cincinnati Reds at Milwaukee Brewers

The Cincinnati Reds have not played well this season as they have been dealing with a slew of injuries. To make matters worse they started off limping after the All Star break. That makes this series a make or break moment for the Reds. It helps that the Reds are 6-2 in the last eight games against the Brewers and they will start Homer Bailey in this game. The Reds are 7-1 in Baileys last 8 starts when they go up against a team with a winning record and they get back into a very close race with a win over the Brewers.

Free Pick: Cincinnati Reds +110

LA Dodgers at Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates had an awful start to the season after getting high expectations after an impressive run a year ago. Although they have struggled at times they are well within striking distance. If the Bucs are going to make a difference they will need to beat good teams like the Dodgers in the second half of the season. The Dodgers are 1-4 in their last 5 road games and just 2-5 in the last 7 starts as an underdog with Josh Beckett on the hill. The Pirates hit the ball against Beckett and get a big win against a good team.

Free Pick: Pittsburgh Pirates -110