Five to Follow MLB Betting: Friday May 30, 2014 Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 5/29/2014
Whenever a pitcher makes his next start following a no-hitter, it's essentially a rule in this space that I ask the question of whether we will ever see someone match Johnny Vander Meer's consecutive no-hitters in June 1938. Certainly the odds are hugely stacked against that, but Josh Beckett takes his shot Friday. And we almost saw something equally amazing: L.A. lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu took a perfect game into the eighth inning the day after Beckett's no-no, but it was broken up.
Twins at Yankees (-150, 9)
New York hasn't had Mark Teixeira since Sunday because of a wrist injury, and he will be checked out Thursday in the Yankees' day off, but they think he will play Friday against Minnesota. Teixeira (.248, nine HRs, 25 RBIs) is 4-for-8 with a home run career of Twins starter Ricky Nolasco (2-5, 6.12). He's one of the AL's worst pitchers yet does have a 3.21 home ERA. Brian McCann eats his lunch, going 20-for-58 with eight homers and 23 RBIs. The Yanks start Vidal Nuno (1-1, 5.49). His ERA at Yankee Stadium this year is a whopping 8.72. Nuno has never faced the Twins. New York would really like to make a trade to get him out of the rotation.
Key trends: The Yankees are 1-4 in Nuno's past five home starts. The "over" is 14-3 in Minnesota's past 17 road games against teams with a winning record. The over is 5-0 in New York's past five Friday games.
Early lean: Look at those ERAs: It's the worst pitching matchup of the day. Go over.
Atlanta at Miami (+110, 7)
Who would have thought the Miami Marlins would be playing for first place in the NL East this late in the year, but that's the case Friday night in their series opener against Atlanta. I certainly thought the Marlins were toast when they lost Jose Fernandez for the season. Miami actually has the best run different in the division. Tom Koehler takes the mound for the Marlins on Friday. Koehler (4-4, 3.10) pitched in Atlanta on April 21 and allowed two runs over 6.1 innings, striking out a season-high eight. Julio Teheran (4-3, 1.77) starts for the Braves. He hasn't allowed a run in his past two starts, striking out 15 over 15 innings. He allowed the Marlins a run in seven innings on April 21.
Key trends: Atlanta is 11-1 in Teheran's past 12 starts against the NL East. The Marlins are 10-1 in their past 11 against the NL East. The Braves are 4-1 in Teheran's past five against Miami.
Early lean: Teheran is a stud, but the Marlins are terrific at home. Take them as a dog.
Tigers at Mariners (-105, 6)
Should the Tigers be worried about Justin Verlander (5-4, 4.04)? He has allowed at least five runs in his past three starts along with 28 hits over 17.1 innings. Verlander has struck out only seven in that stretch. He clearly doesn't look right. Before this stretch, he hadn't allowed more than three runs in a game. Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak isn't afraid to face him, going 4-for-10 with two home runs and four knocked in. Seattle goes with Hisashi Iwakuma (3-1, 2.39). He has a stellar 1.57 ERA at home this season in three starts. He was brilliant in 2013 against Detroit, not allowing an earned run in 14 innings. New Tiger Ian Kinsler hits him hard, going 8-for-20 with three solo homers.
Key trends: Detroit is 5-1 in Verlander's past six road starts. The Mariners have won six of their past seven series openers. The Tigers are 1-4 in Verlander's past five in Seattle.
Early lean: Easily lowest total on board. You won't get Verlander as a "pick'em" often, so take advantage. His slump ends.
Pirates at Dodgers (-145, 7)
Beckett (3-1, 2.43) looks like he did in his heyday with the Red Sox and Marlins right now, which makes the Dodgers rotation truly frightening. He struck out nine Phillies in his no-no, walking three. Keep an eye on his stamina for this one, however: Beckett threw 128 pitches, which is a ton for anyone these days, much less a 34-year-old. It was L.A.'s first no-no since Hideo Homo in 1996. That's surprising. Francisco Liriano (0-5, 5.06) takes the bump for Pittsburgh. The lefty has been better on the road with a 3.43 ERA and .205 opponents' batting average in four away starts.
Key trends: L.A. is 1-8 in its past nine home games against a lefty starter. The "under" is 5-0 in Liriano's past five road starts. The over is 9-2 in Beckett's past 11 home starts.
Early lean: Go over as I do think Beckett will be off following all those pitches.
Angels at A's (-105, 7.5)
Certainly the series of the weekend in the American League is when the Angels visit Oakland, with first place in the AL West potentially on the line. The Halos entered Thursday 2.5 games back of the A's; those two teams have the best run differentials in the AL. Los Angeles starts the surprising Garrett Richards (4-1, 3.00). He pitched against Oakland on April 16 and allowed five runs over seven innings. Brandon Moss has success off him, going 6-for-16 with three doubles and a home run. Lefty Drew Pomeranz (4-2, 1.38) goes for Oakland. He has pitched 3.2 innings in relief against the Angels this year, allowing a run and two hits.
Key trends: The Angels are 7-1 in their past eight against lefty starters. The A's have won five of their past six series openers. L.A. is 0-5 in Richards' past five against Oakland.
I trust Richards more despite his track record against Oakland. Go Halos.
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