Five to Follow MLB Betting: Tuesday, August 5, 2014 Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 8/4/2014
I think we all can agree the interleague play has been a success but that the luster has worn off it (and the National League really needs to adopt the DH). Are you super excited that we get a rare World Series rematch starting Tuesday in St. Louis? Perhaps if both clubs had a chance to meet again this October, but that's certainly not going to be the case for the Red Sox. Here's a look at that matchup and four others on Tuesday.
Red Sox at Cardinals (-149, 7.5)
Of course, St. Louis and Boston made a big trade last week, so while Allen Craig will get to face his former mates, unfortunately former Red Sox John Lackey isn't scheduled to pitch in this series after he won his Cardinal debut on Sunday. It's Lance Lynn in this one for the Cards. Lynn (11-8, 2.98) has pitched very well of late, with five straight quality outings, although the Cardinals have lost his past two because they totaled one combined run in those games. Lynn pitched twice in the World Series, once in relief. He allowed three runs over 5.2 innings. Rubby De La Rosa looks to continue his case as being a full-time member of the Boston rotation next year. De La Rosa (3-4, 3.64) has lost his past two starts, both against Toronto. De La Rosa is 0-3 with a 6.04 ERA on the road this season.
Key trends: The Sox are 1-8 in their past nine against teams with a losing record. The Cards have lost their past five interleague home games. The "under" has hit in six of De La Rosa's past eight starts and in five straight of Lynn's.
Early lean: Under at -110.
Tigers at Yankees (+119, 7.5)
It's the Detroit debut of David Price on Tuesday night against a team he is very familiar with in the Yankees. The lefty is 10-5 with a 3.66 ERA in 24 outings against the Yankees, including a 6-2 mark with a 3.57 ERA in 12 starts at Yankee Stadium. Price had a six-start winning streak snapped last time out, losing to Milwaukee. Derek Jeter has fared well against Price in his career, batting .305 with two home runs over 59 at-bats. Hiroki Kuroda (7-7, 3.98) gets the call for New York. He allowed three runs over seven innings last time out in a loss to Texas. Kuroda hasn't faced Detroit this season. Rajai Davis, who is now an every-day player for the Tigers with Austin Jackson sent out in the Price trade, is a career .313 hitter off Kuroda with a solo homer in 16 at-bats.
Key trends: The Tigers are 1-4 in their past five on the road against teams with a losing record. New York is 4-1 in Kuroda's past five against teams with a winning record. The under is 9-1 in Detroit's past 10 against teams with a winning record.
Early lean: A jacked-up Price has a little extra on the fastball and dominates the Yanks.
Royals at Diamondbacks (+111, 7.5)
You shouldn't be backing the Arizona Diamondbacks very often these days regardless, but now even less frequently after the Snakes lost by far their best offensive player in Paul Goldschmidt. He suffered a fractured hand after being hit by a pitch on Friday night. His regular season is almost surely over. The 2013 NL MVP runner-up was hitting .300 with 19 home runs and 69 RBIs. Thus, Kansas City's Danny Duffy (5-10, 2.42) could dominate that lousy Arizona lineup on Tuesday. He has surrendered two or fewer runs in eight of his last nine starts. He has never faced Arizona. Fellow lefty Wade Miley (7-7, 4.14) starts for Arizona. Miley is 4-1 with a 2.45 ERA in his past six starts. He has been much worse at home (2-5, 5.45 ERA) than on the road this season.
Key trends: Kansas City is 3-8 in Duffy's past 11 against lefties. Arizona is 14-3 in its past 17 interleague home games against lefties. The under is 8-0 in Miley's past eight against teams with a winning record.
Early lean: Under at -110. You will want to go under on most Arizona games going forward.
Cubs at Rockies (-146, 10.5)
It has been a long few seasons if you are a Cubs fans, but team boss Theo Epstein has built the Chicago farm system into perhaps the best in all of baseball. The team has eyes on 2016 for returning to contention, and one big piece of the puzzle will make his big-league debut on Tuesday night with Javier Baez being called up from Triple-A. He had 24 home runs down there this season and put up obscene numbers last year. He's technically called a shortstop but will play second for now with All-Star Starlin Castro still at short for the Cubs. Baez's swing looks a lot like Gary Sheffield's did. Incredibly quick bat. Baez's first at-bat will be against Rockies left-hander Brett Anderson (1-3, 3.12). He pitched at Wrigley on Saturday and allowed two runs over seven innings, striking out a season-high nine. Lefty Travis Wood (7-9, 5.10) gets the call for Chicago. He hasn't won since June 15. Wood allowed four runs over six innings opposite Anderson last time out.
Key trends: Chicago is 6-1 in Wood's past seven road starts against teams with a losing record. Colorado is 1-5 in its past six against teams with a losing record. The under is 9-1 in Colorado's past 10 after an off day.
Early lean: Colorado is just a different beast at home. How about a Baez home run prop, though.
Rays at A's (-136, 7.5)
It's the Tampa Bay debut of left-hander Drew Smyly (6-9, 3.93) on Tuesday as he was one of the pieces that came over from Detroit in the Price deal. The Rays wanted major-league talent and not prospects for Price because they aren't giving up on 2014 yet. Tampa is only five games out of the second wild-card spot entering this week. Smyly allowed six runs in five innings in his only start against Oakland this season. A's slugger Brandon Moss has two dingers in five at-bats off Smyly. Jason Hammel (8-9, 3.87) was fortunate to keep his spot in the Oakland rotation after the team traded for Jon Lester. Hammel was kept ahead of Jesse Chavez. However, Hammel might have a very short leash as he's 0-4 with a 9.53 ERA in four A's starts. James Loney hits him hard, going 12-for-38 with three homers, three doubles and nine RBIs.
Key trends: Tampa has won nine straight Game 2s of a series. Oakland is 1-4 in its past five against a lefty. The over is 5-1 in Oakland's past six against a southpaw.
Early lean: The A's are excellent at home, but how can you trust Hammel right now? Rays are good underdog value.
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