Five to Follow MLB Betting: Wednesday September 10, 2014 Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 9/9/2014
At what point do we start talking about how epic the collapse of the Milwaukee Brewers has been and where that fits in baseball annals? I mean, are we in the ballpark of the 1969 "black cat" Chicago Cubs? The Brew Crew led the NL Central all year but now enter Tuesday having lost 11 of 12. The NL Central rice is probably over, and the team doesn't seem likely to even grab a wild card. Ron Roenicke could go from potential Manager of the Year to unemployment. Stunning. Here's a look at the Brewers' game Wednesday and four other interesting matchups.
Marlins at Brewers (-133, 8)
Want to know why Milwaukee has been so bad? The Brewers' starters are 1-11 with a 6.95 ERA in the past 13 games. Wednesday's starter, Wily Peralta, is definitely partly to blame. Peralta (15-10, 3.84) has lost three straight starts, allowing a combined 17 runs over 14 innings. He lost in Miami on May 24 despite allowing only a run and six hits over six innings. Giancarlo Stanton is looking for his first hit off him, going 0-for-9 with four strikeouts. It's Jarred Cosart for the Marlins. Cosart (13-8, 3.78) lost his first start with the Marlins, but they have won his next five, all quality outings. He hasn't ever faced Milwaukee.
Key trends: The Marlins are 1-4 in their past five Game 3s of a series. The Brewers are 6-2 in Peralta's past eight vs. teams with a losing record. The "over/under" has gone under in four of Peralta's past five at home.
Early lean: Marlins are solid dog value behind Cosart.
Orioles at Red Sox (+122, 9)
Here's a potential-starters-on-the-bench alert as this game is set to begin at 1:35 Eastern after the teams played Tuesday night. Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen gets the call for the O's (14-4, 3.69) in the series finale. He hasn't lost since Aug. 6. Chen is 2-1 with a 3.57 ERA in three starts this year against Boston. Dustin Pedroia is 14-for-27 with six extra-base hits off him. Big Papi hits .389 with a homer and five RBIs. Boston goes with Brandon Workman (1-8, 4.90). The last 10 times he has taken the mound, be it starting or relief, the Red Sox have lost. He has pitched 7.1 innings vs. Baltimore and not allowed a run. Big-league home-run leader Nelson Cruz is 0-for-2 against him. One guy Workman won't have to deal with is shortstop J.J. Hardy, who won't return to the Orioles lineup until at least Friday because of back troubles.
Key trends: The Orioles are 3-7 in Chen's past 10 road starts vs. teams with a losing record. The over/under has gone under in 13 of Baltimore's past 16 against right-handed starters. The under is 7-0 in Chen's past seven on Wednesday.
Early lean: Feels like the Orioles should at least be -150 here just looking at the two pitchers. Take Baltimore.
Rockies at Mets (-140, 7)
So when did young Colorado left-hander Tyler Matzek (5-9, 4.32) turn into Clayton Kershaw? He had been struggling in a big way but last time out threw a complete-game three-hit shutout against San Diego. It was the first complete-game shutout at the launching pad known as Coors Field by a Rockies pitcher since April 15, 2011. Matzek brings a 21-inning scoreless streak into Wednesday's game at Citi Field. He has never faced the Mets. Rafael Montero (0-3, 5.23) gets a spot start here for New York as he will then head to the bullpen. Montero was 6-4 with a 3.45 ERA in 18 starts for Triple-A Las Vegas during the regular season. He has never faced Colorado.
Key trends: Colorado is 2-7 in Matzek's past nine on the road. The Mets are 0-5 in Montero's past five at home. The under has hit in six of Matzek's past eight following a quality start in his last appearance.
Early lean: I understand Matzek has been good of late and both offenses are pretty lousy at this point. But a total of 7? Should be at least 8. I am guessing it will rise. Go over at -130.
Pirates at Phillies (+116, 8.5)
Philadelphia will be without shortstop Jimmy Rollins for the next 7-10 days as he is dealing with a hamstring strain. Not sure what the point would be of even letting him return this late in the season. The Phils would love to dump him this offseason, but no one likely wants that contract and he has a no-trade clause. Rollins is hitting .243 with 17 homers and 55 RBIs. Jerome Williams (5-5, 5.34) is on the mound for Philly in this one. The team has won his past four starts, although he wasn't great last time, allowing five runs and nine hits in five innings vs. Washington. He hasn't faced Pittsburgh this year. Former Phillie Vance Worley makes his first career start at Citizens Bank Park as a visitor. Worley (6-4, 3.05) hasn't faced the Phillies in 2014.
Key trends: Pittsburgh is 4-0 in Worley's past four vs. teams with a losing record. The Phillies are 7-3 in their past 10 vs. right-handers. The under is 5-2 in Worley's past seven vs. teams with a losing record.
Early lean: This will be an important start for Worley against his former mates Plus, no Rollins. Take the Pirates.
Astros at Mariners (-260, 7)
Seattle is hoping to get left fielder Dustin Ackley back for this game, but it's no sure thing. He hasn't played since Saturday and had an MRI Monday on his left ankle. He is hitting .251 with 11 homers and 60 RBIs but just .053 this month. Seattle starts Hisashi Iwakuma (14-6, 2.97), and the M's have won his past six starts. He is 2-1 with a 4.12 ERA in three starts against Houston. Jose Altuve hits .421 off him with three RBIs. The Astros bring up one of their pitching prospects in 24-year-old Nick Tropeano for his first big-league appearance. He was 9-5 with a 3.03 ERA at Triple-A Oklahoma City this season.
Key trends: Seattle is 5-1 in Iwakuma's past six at home. The under is 9-0 in Houston's past nine on the road vs. teams with a winning record. The under is 5-2 in Iwakuma's past seven vs. Houston.
Early lean: Seattle is by far the biggest favorite on the board. I'll really never recommend taking a team at that price, so go Mariners at -125 on the runline.
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