Five to Follow MLB Betting: Thursday, August 5, 2014 Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 8/7/2014
OK, here's your getaway day alert for eight teams who might rest starters on Thursday with a day game after a night game and then travel for at least one of the sides: Mets at Nationals (Washington has a big one in Atlanta starting Friday), Tigers at Yankees (not too bad here with NYY at home Friday and Tigers only flying to Toronto), Giants at Brewers and Cubs at Rockies (I'd be stunned if Cubs don't rest a few guys because they have a day game back in Chicago on Friday). Here's a look at five interesting matchups on the schedule, including some of the above.
Tigers at Yankees (+116, 8.5)
The last thing Detroit can afford to lose is an outfielder after trading Austin Jackson. Thus it appears the Tigers avoided major disaster Tuesday when Torii Hunter left the game after being hit in the left hand from Yankees fire-balling reliever Dellin Betances. How that hand didn't get broken is a minor miracle, but the Tigers said X-rays were negative. You might see Hunter get a few days off, however. He's hitting .271 with 15 homers and 62 knocked in. New Jersey native Rick Porcello no doubt will be excited to pitch in Thursday's series finale for the Tigers. He has yet to win at Yankee Stadium in his career. Porcello (13-5, 3.18) can match a career high in wins with a victory. Ichiro may get a start considering he's 9-for-25 career off Porcello with three RBIs. New York's Shane Greene (2-1, 3.68) has allowed at least three runs and not made it to the sixth inning in three straight starts. He has never faced the Tigers.
Key trends: Detroit is 7-2 in Porcello's past nine against teams with a winning record. Both teams have won five of their past six Thursday games. The "over" has hit in eight of Porcello's past 11 on the day.
Early lean: The league is figuring Greene out now, even though Detroit hasn't seen him. Take the Tigers.
Giants at Brewers (-146, 8)
San Francisco is expected to get a key piece of its offense back Thursday when outfielder Angel Pagan (back) should be activated from the disabled list. He has been out since mid-June. Pagan leads the Giants with a .307 average and the team has a far better record with him in the lineup than without. Pagan will face off against Milwaukee's Wily Peralta (13-6, 3.52), who is very quietly having a terrific season. The Brewers have won his past four, in which he hasn't allowed more than two runs. Not many Giants have had a ton of career at-bats off him. Pablo Sandoval is 2-for-5 with a double and three RBIs. Jake Peavy (1-11, 4.73) starts for the Giants and looking for his first career win at Miller Park. San Francisco has lost both his starts since coming over in a trade.
Key trends: The Brewers are 6-0 in Peralta's past six at home vs. teams with a winning record. The over is 8-1 in Milwaukee's past nine at home vs. teams with a winning road record.
Early lean: Early start should mean pitchers have the advantage. Go under at -115.
Marlins at Pirates (-138, 7.5)
The Pirates of course are already without star Andrew McCutchen, with what is now apparently a rib injury instead of an oblique (and not on the DL), and the team will be without third baseman Pedro Alvarez for a few games as he's on the bereavement list. Alvarez is hitting .234 with 15 homers and 49 RBIs. So now the Pirates have no power. That's probably good news for Miami starter Jarred Cosart (9-8, 4.51). He wasn't great in his Marlins debut after being traded from Houston, allowing four runs over 5.1 innings in a loss to the Reds. Cosart has never faced Pittsburgh. Edinson Volquez (8-7, 3.91) looks for his first win since July 10 for Pittsburgh. He has been shaky since then, allowing at least four runs in his past three starts, walking nine over that stretch. Miami's Garrett Jones is 3-for-13 career off the guy, with all three hits leaving the yard.
Key trends: The Pirates are 5-0 in Volquez's past five against teams with a losing record. The under is 4-1 in his past five at home.
Early lean: If it's close, fade Pittsburgh while McCutchen and Alvarez are out. Do so here. Also under at -105.
Twins at A's (-265, 7)
Oakland expects back starting shortstop Jed Lowrie for this game. He hasn't played since suffering a bruised right finger Monday. It mostly affects his throwing. Lowrie is hitting .245 with 42 RBIs. It's the second start in an Oakland uniform for Jon Lester (11-7, 2.59). He was solid in a win over the Royals, allowing three runs over 6.2 innings. Lester beat the Twins on June 17 while with the Red Sox, giving up a run and four hits over 6.1 innings. The Twins have won the last two times that Yohan Pino (1-3, 4.57) has taken the mound but those were both against the White Sox. He has never faced Oakland and has a 6.28 ERA on the road.
Key trends: Minnesota is 1-4 in its past five against lefties. The A's are 1-4 in their past five series openers. The Twins have lost six straight in Oakland.
Early lean: This won't be close. Take Oakland at -130 on the runline.
Dodgers at Angels (+123, 7.5)
Even with what Oakland and Detroit did at the trade deadline I still lean toward this as the World Series matchup. That's priced at +1200 at Sportsbook.com. Watching Mike Trout hit against Clayton Kershaw on Tuesday night for the first time was great theatre. This will be the teams' final meeting until possibly October. Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu (12-5, 3.39) would be the ace of several staffs but is the No. 3 on the Dodgers. L.A. has won his past four outings. Trout is 0-for-4 career off him. The Angels aren't going to the Fall Classic if southpaw C.J. Wilson (8-7, 4.74) doesn't find his stuff. In his first start back from the DL, he was shelled for six runs in 1.1 innings by the Rays. His past five starts have all been lousy – he had a 3.34 ERA before that. Adrian Gonzalez is 7-for-13 career off Wilson with five RBIs.
Key trends: The Dodgers are 11-2 in their past 13 against lefties. They are 1-4 in Ryu's past five interleague starts. The Angels have won six straight at home under Wilson. But they are 1-6 in their past seven interleague games against lefties.
Early lean: How can you trust Wilson right now? Dodgers are a great dog value.
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