Five to Follow MLB Betting: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 4/29/2014
The Washington Nationals did get the bad news they feared on Monday as outfielder Bryce Harper is going to be out until at least early July because he needs surgery for a torn ligament in his thumb. That most definitely affects the NL East race. Here's a look at five interesting matchup on Wednesday's MLB schedule.
Mariners at Yankees (-132, 9.5)
This trip by Seattle to the Bronx is the return of Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano to Yankee Stadium. He has not been worth $24 million a year, hitting .301 with one home run and 11 knocked in entering Tuesday. But then no one really expected him to actually be worth $24 million a season. The Yankees miss him, however. Their second basemen are batting .238 with six RBIs. Seattle starts lefty Roenis Elias (1-2, 3.54). He has been pretty solid but generally isn't going to last more than six innings. He has never faced the Yankees. New York starts righty David Phelps (0-0, 3,86) as he takes the spot of the suspended Michael Pineda. It's his first start of the year. He's 7-6 with a 4.39 ERA in his career as a starter.
Key trends: The Yankees are 7-1 in Phelps' past eight home starts. Seattle has lost six straight Game 2s of a series.
Early lean: The M's are pretty good value since the Yankees don't know Elias and Phelps likely won't last more than five innings.
Rays at Red Sox (-105, 9)
This matchup will have live betting at Bovada . The Rays and Red Sox started this season with arguably the two best rotations in the American League, but that's far from the case now as Tampa Bay is dealing with injuries there and the Red Sox ineffectiveness. Boston's starter Wednesday is lefty Felix Doubront (1-3, 6.00), and his rotation spot could be in jeopardy soon -- Manager John Farrell had to address that possibility recently, which is never a good thing. The Sox have lost three of his past four starts. He lasted only 2.2 innings last time out against the Yankees, allowing seven runs and six hits. Evan Longoria is 6-for-17 with three doubles off Doubront. Wil Myers is 3-for-8 with three RBIs. Tampa Bay starts a mildly disappointing Chris Archer (2-1, 4.11). He has been knocked around in two of his past three starts. He was 0-2 with a 5.19 ERA against Boston in 2013. David Ortiz is 2-for-4 with three RBIs off him.
Key trends: The Rays are 1-5 in their past six against lefty starters. They are 8-2 in Archer's past 10 against the AL East. The Red Sox have won five straight Game 2s of a series. The "under" is 4-0 in Doubront's past four against the Rays.
Early lean: I lean the Rays here because Archer is a better pitcher than Doubront is.
Rockies at Diamondbacks (-120, 9.5)
There has been an epidemic of hand injuries this season (along with Tommy John surgeries), but it appears the Colorado Rockies avoided disaster with catcher Wilin Rosario. His left hand has been bothering him for a week or so and he feels pain while swinging a bat. An MRI on Monday revealed no breaks or structural damage. The team hopes he can avoid a DL stint, but don't expect to see him in this game. He is hitting .244 with three homers, five doubles and 13 RBIs. Jordan Pacheco will continue to start in his place. Pacheco is 2-for-6 with an RBI in his career off Wednesday's Arizona starter, right-hander Josh Collmenter (1-2, 3.38). He had his best outing of the year last time out, shutting out the Phillies over six innings. Rather sadly, he has the best ERA of any Snakes starter. Red-hot Troy Tulowitzki is 3-for-12 with a home run off Collmenter. Colorado starts surprising Jordan Lyles (3-0, 2.93). Arizona's Miguel Montero and Gerardo Parra are both 5-for-8 off him with two doubles. Mark Trumbo killed the guy -- too bad he's on the DL for the Diamondbacks
Key trends: The Diamondbacks are 1-8 in their past nine at home against righty starters. The "over" is 4-1 in Collmenter's past five starts vs. the Rockies.
Early lean: Take Colorado, the best offensive team in the majors.
Nationals at Astros (+149, 8.5)
You have to like Atlanta's chances of winning the NL East with Harper's injury, and that early-July return is a best-case scenario. The Nats also remain without catcher Wilson Ramos and third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, so that offense is going to be fairly punchless for a while. The Braves are currently -120 at Sportsbook.ag to win the division and Washington at even money. For Wednesday's Game 2 in Houston, the Nationals start right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (1-1, 4.05) and they need their pitching to really step it up for the next few months. This is only Zimmermann's second road start of the year; he allowed two runs over seven innings in Miami on April 14. Only a handful of Astros have faced Zimmermann. Dexter Fowler is 2-for-10 with three walks against him. Houston starts lefty Brett Oberholtzer (0-4, 4.61). He was shelled for six runs and eight hits over 3.2 innings against Oakland last time out. Only Nate McLouth, Harper's replacement most games, has faced Oberholtzer.
Key trends: The Nationals are 5-1 in Zimmermann's past six interleague starts. Houston is 0-9 in Oberholtzer's past nine starts. The under has hit in eight of his past 10.
Early lean: Take the under in all Washington games for the immediate future with that injury-ravaged lineup and a pretty good pitching staff.
Padres at Giants (-170, 7)
This game also will feature live betting at Bovada. The Padres offense will be shorthanded as second baseman Jedd Gyorko will likely miss the entire series after his wife gave birth to twins. The team already is without injured regulars Chase Headley, Carlos Quentin and Seth Smith. Thus, the Padres could definitely struggle Wednesday against San Francisco's Tim Hudson (3-1, 2.19). He pitched April 19 in San Diego and allowed two runs over seven innings in his only loss. Cameron Maybin, just activated off the DL for the Padres, is 6-for-16 with a home run career of Hudson. San Diego starts lefty Robbie Erlin (1-3, 6.35). He faced the Giants on April 20 and allowed four runs in six innings in taking the loss. Buster Posey is 3-for-6 with a home run against Erlin.
Key trends: San Francisco is 1-4 in its past five against southpaws. The under is 7-1-1 in Erlin's past nine starts. The under is 6-0-1 in the Giants' past seven against a lefty.
This might be my favorite under of the week. I'd take the Giants are +135 on the runline as well.
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