Five to Follow MLB Betting: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 6/17/2014
Rest in peace Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn. The greatest contact hitter I ever saw and Mr. Padre passed away at the way-too-young age of 54 on Monday from a battle with salivary gland cancer. He caught the disease because he often used chewing tobacco, so hopefully that's a lesson to others. Gwynn won eight NL batting titles, and I really thought he would hit .400 in 1994. He may have had the players not cut the season short due to a strike. It's still the highest single-season average since Ted Williams batted .406 in 1941. I'm sure parks all around baseball will be having a moment of silence for Gwynn this week. The Padres return home Wednesday. Here's a look at five interesting matchups on the schedule Tuesday.
Giants-White Sox (+108, 8.5)
San Francisco thinks it will have both catcher Buster Posey and outfielder Angel Pagan for this game. Posey was lifted from Sunday's game after a hard foul tip of his mask. He passed a concussion test. Because the Giants have the DH for this series it wouldn't surprise me to see him there. Pagan was a late scratch Sunday with a back issue. Matt Cain gets the call for the Giants. Cain (1-4, 3.84) lasted only five innings last time out, allowing four runs in a loss to Washington. Not many White Sox have faced him. Adam Dunn is 6-for-20 with two home runs. Lefty John Danks goes for the Pale Hose. Danks (5-5, 4.17) has been tremendous over his past four starts with a 1.55 ERA.
Key trends: The Giants have won seven straight interleague games. Chicago is 1-7 in its past eight interleague games against righty starters. The "under" is 6-0 in San Francisco's past six interleague road games.
Early lean: Danks finally looks like he did before Tommy John surgery, so he's the pick.
Astros-Nationals (-125, 7)
Every time I think Washington is going to run away with the NL East, the Nats go on a slide. They enter this one having lost four straight, but those were all away from home. Tanner Roark looks to get things turned around in Tuesday's series opener. Roark (5-4, 2.92) has won two straight starts, allowing just two runs and 10 hits over 14 innings. He has never faced Houston. The Astros counter with their ace Dallas Keuchel (8-3, 2.38). The lefty also has won two straight, allowing just a run and nine hits over 14 innings. Only a few Nationals have faced him. Ryan Zimmermann is 2-for-3 with two RBIs off him.
Key trends: The Astros have won their past six on the road when Keuchel starts. Washington is 9-2 in its past 11 after an off day. The Nats are 10-1 in the past 11 meetings.
Early lean: "Under" at -110.
Blue Jays at Yankees (-166, 8)
OK, finally, New York's Masahiro Tanaka will face a good offense for the second time. It hasn't happened yet this season because I don't consider the Cubs a good offense. Tanaka (10-1, 2.02) has been brilliant overall. He made his big-league debut on April 4 in Toronto, allowing three runs (tied for his second-most) and six hits over seven innings. Melky Cabrera homered off him. Marcus Stroman starts for Toronto. Stroman (3-1, 5.18) has yet to face the Yankees. He has had a quality start in all three of his big-league starts.
Key trends: The Jays have won eight of their past 10 series openers. The "under" has hit in eight of Toronto's nine against a righty starter. The "under" is 5-1 in Tanaka's past six.
Early lean: I think the Jays beat Tanaka. The Yankees also don't know Stroman.
Rangers at A's (-102, 7)
This had been the lowest total on the board, opening at six, before late movement up. No surprise it opened at six considering that Yu Darvish is pitching for the Rangers. Darvish (7-2, 2.11) has won four straight starts, allowing a combined six runs while striking out 36. He has struggled against the A's, going 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in two starts. Coco Crisp (.368, one HR, seven RBIs) and Brandon Moss (.350, four HRs, six RBIs) hit him well. It's lefty Tommy Milone (4-3, 3.47) for Oakland. The A's have won his past five outings. He faced Texas in April and allowed three runs over six innings. Adrian Beltre is a career .412 hitter with two homers off him.
Key trends: The Rangers have lost seven straight Tuesday games. But they are 6-0 Darvish's past six on the road. Texas is 1-7 in Darvish's past eight against Oakland.
Early lean: It appears the A's have Darvish's number, but he's too good of value at only -108 to pass up.
Rockies at Dodgers (-180, 7)
With so many injuries, I was ready to bury the Rockies before they went into San Francisco and swept three games this weekend. However, they are the biggest dogs on the board Tuesday against the Dodgers' Zack Greinke (8-3, 2.65). He had one of his worst outings of the year on June 7 in Colorado, giving up four runs and a season-high 11 hits over seven innings. Carlos Gonzalez hits him well, but he's one of those Rockies on the DL. It's Jhoulys Chacin (1-4, 4.53) for the Rockies. He blanked the Braves on two hits over seven innings last Thursday for his fist win. He also pitched June 7 against L.A., allowing three runs over six innings. Andre Ethier is 12-for-29 career with a homer and 10 walks off Chacin.
Key trends: Colorado is 1-7 in Chacin's past eight Game 2s of a series. The Dodgers are 17-4 in Greinke's past 21 at home. The Rockies are 4-1 in Chacin's past five in L.A.
Early lean: Take L.A. at +110 on the runline. Forget that past Greinke start against the Rockies. Coors Field will do that to even the best.
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