Five to Follow MLB Betting: Wednesday, July 9, 2014 Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 7/8/2014
It's getaway day for a few MLB teams on Wednesday, meaning bettors get four matinee games to wager on, always a nice thing. Perhaps a baseball/Argentina-Netherlands parlay? Two of the four afternoon games are potential playoff matchups: Dodgers at Tigers ( +900 on Sportsbook.ag to be the World Series matchup) and Blue Jays at Angels, although both of those clubs may have to go the wild-card route and face off in that one-game playoff. Here's a look at those two games and three others Wednesday.
Dodgers-Tigers (-130, 7.5)
It's a matchup of former Cy Young winners as Los Angeles' Zack Greinke (Royals, 2009) faces Detroit's Max Scherzer (Tigers, 2013). It's not out of the question that both win another Cy Young this year. Greinke (11-4, 2.66) leads the Dodgers in wins, starts, innings and strikeouts, although I don't think you will find anyone who thinks he's better than teammate Clayton Kershaw. Greinke has allowed just one earned run in his past two starts, both Dodgers wins. He is 5-3 with a 2.59 ERA on the road. Victor Martinez is a career .304 hitter off him with a homer and eight RBIs. Miguel Cabrera is 10-for-35 with a homer but 11 strikeouts. Torii Hunter is 9-for-33 with three home runs. Scherzer (10-3, 3.47) has allowed a total of four earned runs over his past three starts, all wins for Detroit. He pitched at Dodger Stadium on April 8 and allowed two runs over seven innings in a no-decision. Here's guessing Matt Kemp gets the day off. He's 0-for-18 career off Scherzer.
Key trends: L.A. is 1-4 in Greinke's past five road starts. The Tigers are 1-4 in Scherzer's past five against teams with a winning record.
Early lean: Why is this total not at 6.5? Two great pitchers plus an early start after a night game. Go big on "under" at -105.
Blue Jays at Angels (-162, 8)
Found this interesting stat that really has nothing to do with Wednesday's game but that I still wanted to share: The Angels on Monday became the only expansion team in the modern era to have an all-time record currently of at least .500. The Halos started play in 1961 and they are 4,272-4,272 entering Tuesday. They weren't the first expansion club to get to .500 as Arizona got to 652-644, but the Snakes have since slipped well back under. The Angels have the second-best record in baseball this year since May 7, and I'm still not sold the A's will hold them off in the AL West because L.A. will make a move too. Struggling lefty C.J. Wilson (8-6, 4.23) gets the call for the Angels. He has been roughed up for 16 runs over 13 innings in his past three starts, although L.A. has won two of them. He lost in Toronto on May 12, allowing five runs in six innings. Rookie Marcus Stroman starts for Toronto. Stroman (4-2, 3.44) had the best outing of his young career July 4, shutting out Oakland for seven innings. He pitched 1.2 innings of relief May 11 against the Angels and allowed six hits and four runs.
Key trends: The Jays are 0-7 in their past seven against lefty starters. The Angels are 1-6 in Wilson's past seven against teams with a winning record. The under is 4-0 in Toronto's past four against lefties. The over is 5-0 in Wilson's past five against Toronto.
Early lean: The Jays are just bad right now. However, Stroman is pretty good. I'd go Jays at -155 on the runline.
Yankees at Indians (-112, 8.5)
I can't imagine the Yankees are done dealing because acquiring Brandon McCarthy from Arizona hardly solves New York's rotation problems, although he should be an upgrade over Vidal Nuno, who was shipped to the Snakes. McCarthy (3-10, 5.01) makes his Yankee debut in this one, and it's generally accepted pitching in the AL is tougher than the NL so I wouldn't expect much from him looking at those numbers. He did pitch well his final two Arizona starts, however, winning both. Nick Swisher is 4-for-11 with two homers and five RBIs career off McCarthy. The Tribe lost outfielder Michael Bourn to the DL on Monday. Josh Tomlin (5-6, 4.11) starts for Cleveland. He has sandwiched a complete-game one-hitter with three starts allowing five earned runs in each. Derek Jeter is just a .182 career hitter off Tomlin.
Key trends: The Indians are 1-5 in Tomlin's past six home starts against teams with a winning record. The over is 5-0 in Tomlin's past five at home.
Early lean: I don't trust either pitcher, so go over at -105.
A's at Giants (-103, 7)
It's the Oakland debut of Jason Hammel, the "other" piece in that Jeff Samardzija trade, but Hammel had been just as good as Shark this season. Hammel (8-5, 2.98) has been consistent of late, allowing exactly two earned runs over his past three starts. At least he gets to break in against a National League team. He hasn't faced the Giants this year. Michael Morse is 3-for-8 with a homer off him. Matt Cain (1-7 4.27) starts for the Giants. He might have turned a corner, allowing just a combined two runs over his past two starts, although the Giants have still lost the past five times he has taken the mound. No Oakland player has faced him too much. Brandon Moss is 2-for-12 with a homer and four strikeouts.
Key trends: The Giants are 1-6 in Cain's past seven at home against teams with a winning record. The under is 3-0-1 in his past four against Oakland. The Giants are 2-7 in Cain's past nine against the A's.
Early lean: I'm guessing the Giants won't be a home dog by first pitch. Take them now while they are.
White Sox at Red Sox (+110, 8)
In my mind, the biggest all-star snub by far in either league is that White Sox lefty Chris Sale didn't get a spot. He's 8-1 with a 2.16 ERA that would be second in the AL if he had enough innings to qualify (Sale missed around a month on the DL). He will be qualified after pitching Wednesday. Sale is one the five AL guys on the Final Vote chosen by fans. That closes Thursday afternoon. Sale threw a complete game last time out, allowing a run to Seattle while striking out 12. Sale faced the Red Sox April 17 and held them to one hit, a solo homer by Xander Bogaerts, over seven innings while striking out 10. The Red Sox will call up Rubby De La Rosa for this start as Saturday's doubleheader messed up their rotation a bit. De La Rosa had a 2.51 ERA in five starts for the Red Sox earlier this year. He has never faced a White Sox hitter.
Key trends: The White Sox are 2-5 in Sale's past seven against teams with a losing record. Boston is 1-8 in its past nine against lefties. The under is 4-0 in Sale's past four against teams with a losing record.
Early lean: Love the under here at -115.
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