Five to Follow MLB Betting: Tuesday, May 6, 2014 Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 5/5/2014
I'm thinking that many batters are going to struggle on Tuesday. Why? Let's just say that many of them likely will be headed out after their games (or if off) Monday night to partake in some Cinco De Mayo celebrations. Starting pitchers don't generally do that type of thing the night before a start, so that could be a big advantage. Here's a look at five interesting matchups Tuesday.
Giants at Pirates (+106, 7.5)
Pittsburgh is perhaps the biggest disappointment in the National League, at least east of the Mississippi (Arizona to the west). The Pirates have dropped 11 of their past 15 and could find themselves below even the Cubs in the NL Central with a loss here. The rotation is 0-8 with a 5.12 ERA in the 15-game stretch. Charlie Morton (0-4, 4.21) looks to stop the bleeding against San Francisco. The Pirates won his first two starts of the year but have lost the past four he has taken the mound. Angel Pagan will be giddy to face Morton as he's 9-for-12 with three extra-base hits off him. The Giants start Tim Hudson (4-1, 2.17). He has had three straight quality starts, allowing a total of five runs over 22.2 innings. Pedro Alvarez is 4-for-10 with a home run off Hudson.
Key trends: The Pirates are 0-7 in Morton's past seven home starts against teams with a winning record. The "under" is 7-1 in his past eight vs. San Francisco. The under has hit in seven of the Giants' past nine on the road.
Early lean: Pirates can't pitch or hit right now. Take San Francisco.
Astros at Tigers (-180, 9)
A lot of people thought the Tigers badly lost in that Doug Fister trade with Washington, but the main guy the Tigers wanted back was lefty pitcher Robbie Ray, and he makes his big-league debut on Tuesday against Houston. Detroit is the biggest favorite on the board. Ray is starting in place of injured starter Anibal Sanchez, who is on the disabled list with a laceration on his right middle finger. Ray was 3-2 with a 1.59 ERA in Triple-A. Houston starts lefty Brett Oberholtzer (0-5, 5.63). He has allowed six earned runs in each of his past two starts, not lasting more than 4.2 innings in either. Only a few Tigers have ever faced him. Ian Kinsler is 1-for-4 with a double.
Key trends: Houston is 1-10 in Oberholtzer's past 11 starts. Detroit has won 15 of its past 17 against lefty starters. The under is 5-1 in Houston's past six against a southpaw.
Early lean: The Astros stink, but I'd roll the dice here. Ray is bound to have some butterflies.
Cardinals at Braves (-102, 8)
Atlanta did well in signing retread Aaron Harang, so now it hopes to catch lightning in a bottle again with former White Sox righty Gavin Floyd on Tuesday. He is replacing Ervin Santana, who has swelling below his right thumb but won't need a DL stint. Floyd missed most of last season following surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament and a torn flexor muscle in his right elbow. Jhonny Peralta has seen Floyd the most of any Cardinal, going 11-for-36 with two home runs and seven knocked in. The Cards start lefty Tyler Lyons (0-2, 4.20). His last two outings were in relief. No Braves have ever faced him. This game will have live betting at Bovada.
Key trends: The Cardinals are 7-1 in their past eight Tuesday games. Atlanta is 10-3 in its past 13 Game 2s.
Early lean: The Atlanta offense is struggling big time with a six-game skid entering Monday. Take the Cardinals.
Mets at Marlins (-129, 7.5)
New York is exhibit No. 1 why the National League should finally give in and adopt the designated hitter. Entering this week, Mets pitchers are 0-for-51, the longest hitless streak of the modern era to start a season for a pitching staff. Their starting pitcher Tuesday is Bartolo Colon. He is 0-for-9 with six strikeouts and an on-base percentage of .000. Now you see why pitchers' ERAs in the NL are generally lower. Colon (2-4, 5.65) hasn't been all that great pitching-wise, either. He allowed 10 hits and seven runs in 4.2 innings last time out. He hasn't pitched against the Marlins this year, and only a few have ever faced him. Jarrod Saltalmacchia is 4-for-15 with a double and homer off Colon. Miami starts Henderson Alvarez (1-2, 3.28). He pitched at the Mets on April 25 and allowed two runs over six innings. David Wright is 4-for-9 with three RBIs off him.
Key trends: The Marlins are 9-1 in their past 10 home games vs. teams with a winning road record. The under has hit in eight of Alvarez's past 11 starts on normal rest (four days).
Early lean: Colon is nowhere near the guy he was last season. Take the Marlins, who have become a powerhouse at home.
Reds at Red Sox (-128, 9.5)
Cincinnati suffered a big blow over the weekend when it was revealed that lefty slugger Jay Bruce would miss perhaps a month after surgery on his left knee. The guy is usually very durable, having played at least 155 games each of the past three years. He hit at least 30 bombs each of those seasons but is batting only .216 with three dingers in 2014. That depleted Reds lineup, which may or may not have Billy Hamilton back Tuesday, faces Sox lefty Felix Doubront (1-3, 5.70). He has been much worse at home this year, going 0-2 with a 6.50 ERA in four starts. The Reds start Homer Bailey (2-2, 5.50). He has alternated very good and very shaky starts in his past four, so he's due for a shaky one. Shane Victorino is 4-for-11 with a home run and three knocked in off Bailey.
Key trends: The Reds are 2-8 in Bailey's past 10 interleague starts. Boston is 4-0 in Doubront's past four interleague starts. The "over" is 6-0 in Bailey's past six and 5-1 in Doubront's.
This has the highest total of any game not being played in Denver. I'd still go over.
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