Five to Follow MLB Betting: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 6/9/2014
I don't pretend to know the TV watching habits of people in Japan, but I'm guessing that Tuesday night's New Yankees-Seattle Mariners game will be one of the highest-rated Major League Baseball games ever in that country with two excellent pitchers from Japan facing off. Here's a look at that matchup and four other interesting games on Tuesday.
Yankees at Mariners (+120, 6.5)
New York's Masahiro Tanaka and Seattle's Hisashi Iwakuma used to be teammates on the Tohoku Rakuten Eagles, and this will be the first time they have ever pitched against one another as professionals. The two played for that club together from 2007-11, so it will be interesting to know if the pitchers give their teammates any hints about how to hit against one another. It's yet another first-time opponent for Tanaka (9-1, 2.02), and he has been nothing short of sensational when facing a team for the first time. Iwakuma (4-2, 2.66) shut out the Braves over seven innings last time out. Derek Jeter is 4-for-6 with a home run career off him.
Key trends: Seattle has won five straight against righty starters. The "under" is 4-1 in both starters' past five starts.
Early lean: Getting Iwakuma as a home dog is value you can't pass up.
Cardinals at Rays (+120, 7)
Tampa Bay is changing things up at closer as Grant Balfour has been a huge disappointment. He was bombed on Sunday's loss to Seattle, and Manager Joe Maddon says he will now use a committee to close out games, not that the Rays have been leading much in the ninth inning of late. Jake Odorizzi takes the bump for the Rays in Tuesday's series opener against the Cardinals. Odorizzi (2-6, 5.31) hasn't been good in his last two starts, allowing nine runs over 8.1 innings, and the Rays have lost both. He has never faced St. Louis. Adam Wainwright (8-3, 2.31) goes for the Cards. They have won five of his past six starts. James Loney hits him hard, going 10-for-23 with a home run.
Key trends: St. Louis has won five straight Tuesday starts by Wainwright. The Rays have lost nine straight interleague games against teams with a winning record.
Early lean: The Rays look like they've quit. Go Cards.
Tigers at White Sox (+136, 8.5)
This is a really important start to watch regarding Tigers starter Justin Verlander. He looks nothing like his former Cy Young self of late, and you have to wonder if something is bothering him. Verlander's average fastball mph is way down. Verlander (6-5, 4.19) has allowed at least five runs in five of his past six outings. This will be his third start this year against the Sox as he's 1-0 with a 3.21 ERA in 14.0 innings against them. Star Sox rookie Jose Abreu is 2-for-6 with a solo home run off him. The Pale Hose start lefty John Danks (4-5, 4.32). He has been terrific in his past three, allowing just three earned runs over 22.1 innings. Danks faced the Tigers on April 21 at Comerica Park and allowed a run over 6.1 innings. Torii Hunter is a career .326 hitter off him with three home runs and nine RBIs. Austin Jackson hits .385 with three homers.
Key trends: Detroit is 6-1 in Verlander's past seven road starts. Chicago is 1-11 in Danks' past 12 Game 2 starts. The Tigers are 6-1 in Verlander's past seven at the White Sox.
Early lean: Danks has been better of late than Verlander, and you get him at a great price.
Brewers at Mets (-101, 7.5)
The Mets have the longest losing streak in baseball, having dropped six straight to fall a season-high seven games under .500. The Mets look like they ran out of gas, having played 20 games in 20 days so Monday's day off could work wonders. New York turns to Daisuke Matsuzaka on Tuesday, and he could have some trade value if the Mets start selling off pieces. Dice-K (2-0, 3.21) has been in and out of the rotation. He lasted just 4.1 innings last time out, allowing four runs and walking five Cubs. Marco Estrada (5-2, 4.19) starts for Milwaukee. He has allowed 18 home runs this season, most in the majors. No current Met has gone yard off him.
Key trends: The Brewers are 6-1 in their past seven after an off day. The Mets are 1-6 in their past seven series openers. Milwaukee has won 10 of its past 12 at the Mets.
Early lean: Pretty low total for two average pitchers. Go "over."
Nationals at Giants (-132, 6.5)
Why does San Francisco have the best record in baseball? It helps the Giants are hitting a major league-best .283 with runners in scoring position and two outs. Washington's Doug Fister might be a good candidate to slow the Giants down. Fister (4-1, 3.19) started the season late because of injury but has been great other than a shaky debut. He hasn't allowed more than two runs since then, and the Nats have won his past five outings. The guy has walked just two in 36.2 innings all season. Lefty Madison Bumgarner goes for San Francisco. Bumgarner (8-3, 2.68) hasn't allowed more than a run in his past three starts, all Giants wins.
Key trends: The Giants have lost four straight Tuesday starts by Bumgarner. They are 1-4 in his past five against Washington.
Early lean: For some reason, Bumgarner has struggled at home (4.94 ERA). Take the Nats.
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