Five to Follow MLB Betting: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 7/21/2014
Another potentially important trade was made over the weekend with the Angels giving up about the only good prospect they had left in the minors as part of a package for San Diego's Huston Street. I believe that solidifies the only major weakness on the Halos and makes them, not Oakland, the favorites in the AL West. The A's remain -250 division favorites with L.A. at +120. The Angels' game with Baltimore on Tuesdaywill have live betting at Bovada. Here's a look at that and four other matchups.
Orioles at Angels (-134, 8.5)
Entering this week, Street has converted 109 of his last 117 save chances, the best mark in the majors in that span. The L.A. bullpen wasn't good to start this season but now might be a strength with Street locking down the ninth inning and Joe Smith and fairly new addition Jason Grilli in set-up roles. Angels manager Mike Scioscia is second in the league in relievers used in trying to cycle through guys. L.A. relievers are second-worst in the league at preventing inherited baserunners to score. Street debuted Saturday in a non-save situation and pitched a scoreless inning vs. Seattle. He may not get a save chance Tuesday considering struggling Hector Santiago is on the mound. Santiago (2-7, 4.32) actually has won two straight decisions. The last was in relief Friday against Seattle. It's Miguel Gonzalez for Baltimore. Gonzalez (4-5, 4.04) beat the Yankees last time out, allowing two runs over eight innings. He was briefly sent down to Triple-A to stay fresh.
Key trends: The Orioles are 1-7 in Gonzalez's past eight against teams with a winning record. L.A. is 5-1 in its past six Tuesday games.
Early lean: I'll rarely bet against the Angels at home and certainly not against someone as average as Gonzalez. I'd go "over" on the total.
Giants at Phillies (+106, 8.5)
Monday was a rough day for San Francisco as it placed starting pitcher Matt Cain and first baseman Brandon Belt on the disabled list (but did sign Dan Uggla). Belt is hitting .242 with 10 homers and 23 RBIs in 46 games. He missed almost two months previously with a broken thumb. He's on the seven-day concussion list. Cain has been lousy, going 2-7 with a 4.18 ERA and admits he's been pitching through a sore elbow. The team doesn't seem to think he will need surgery. Right-hander Yusmeiro Petit (3-3, 3.86) will get the start Tuesday in Cain's place. It's his first start since May as he's been used out of the bullpen. Roberto Hernandez gets the call for Philly. Hernandez (4-8, 4.22) held the Brewers to a run over eight innings in his last start July 9. Marco Scutaro is 14-for-29 career off him.
Key trends: The Giants are 5-1 in Petit's past six road starts. The Phillies are 0-4 in Hernandez's past four at home.
Early lean: Phillies are good value as a home dog.
Red Sox at Blue Jays (-105, 9)
Perhaps we shouldn't give up on the Red Sox just yet. They entered Monday having won four straight and only 7.5 games out of first in the mediocre AL East. I wonder if that means they might hang on to Jake Peavy now. He's been rumored on the trade market. Peavy (1-8, 4.59) gets the call Tuesday night in Toronto. The Red Sox have lost the past eight times he has taken the mound, but Peavy has pitched well in the past three. His lone victory was April 25 in Toronto when he held the Jays to a run over seven innings. It's lefty J.A. Happ for the Jays. Happ (7-5, 4.91) hasn't pitched since July 12 when he was roughed up in relief at Tampa Bay. He pitched in Boston on May 20, allowing four runs over five innings.
Key trends: Boston is 1-10 in Peavy's past 11 road starts. The under is 6-0 in Happ's past six at home against teams with a losing record.
Early lean: The Sox are feeling it right now. Take them.
Rays at Cardinals (-163, 7)
Perhaps we shouldn't give up on the Rays just yet. They entered Monday having won five straight and only 7.5 games out of first in the mediocre AL East. Jake Odorizzi looks to make it six straight (Rays were off Monday) in St. Louis. He faced the Cards at Tropicana Field on June 10 and allowed just a run and three hits over 7.1 innings but took the loss. Matt Holliday hit a solo dinger off him. It's Cards ace Adam Wainwright for his first start of the second half after allowing three runs in the All-Star Game. The Cardinals have won his past three starts. He was opposite Odorizzi on June 10 and blanked the Rays over seven innings. James Loney hits him well, going 12-for-26 with a home run.
Key trends: The Rays are 2-8 in their past 10 interleague road games. They have the same record in Odorizzi's past 10 on the road. The Cardinals have won four straight series openers.
Early lean: That extra rest should mean Wainwright has a little bit more on his fastball, etc. Take the Cards at +135 on the runline.
Padres at Cubs (-112, 8)
Oftentimes the best time to bet against a bad team is after it makes a big trade. The players go into a funk because management is sending a signal that it doesn't plan on winning this season. That has certainly happened to the Cubs following the Jeff Samardzija/Jason Hammel deal. They have two wins since July 4, the day of the deal, and enter on a five-game skid. Kyle Hendricks looks to turn things around on Tuesday. He's one of the team's top pitching prospects and can grab a permanent hold in the rotation if he pitches well. Hendricks made his big-league debut July 10 in Cincinnati and allowed four runs while striking out five in six innings in a no-decision. He did strike out seven. Lefty Eric Stults (3-11, 4.98) goes for the Padres, who might go into their own funk now after dealing Street. Stults faced the Cubs on May 22 and took the loss, allowing five runs in 4.2 innings. Former Padre Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run homer off him.
Key trends: The Padres are 2-9 in their past 11 road games against teams with a losing record. The Cubs are 1-5 in their past six against a lefty.
Early lean: No big opinion on the side but love the under. As with all Wrigley games, make sure to check on the wind, however.
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