Five to Follow MLB Betting: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 6/18/2014
Expect a moving tribute to the late Tony Gwynn on Wednesday night after the greatest San Diego Padre in history and first-ballot Hall of Famer passed away on Monday. The Padres play their first home game since then on Wednesday against Seattle. Gwynn never played at Petco Park, however. The Mariners completed a two-game sweep of this home-and home series on Tuesday. Here's a look at Wednesday's matchup and four others.
Royals at Tigers (-141, 9)
Detroit won't have outfielder Torii Hunter for this game. He left Monday's loss to Kansas City with a hamstring cramp and also wasn't in Tuesday's starting lineup. Hunter is hitting .266 with nine homers and 35 knocked in. The Royals could take over first place with a win here if they happened to beat Detroit on Tuesday, in which Kansas City took an eight-game winning streak. Jeremy Guthrie starts Wednesday for the Royals. Guthrie (3-6, 4.04) ended an 11-start winless streak last time out, allowing two runs over 5.2 innings against the White Sox. He has not faced Detroit this season. It's lefty Drew Smyly for Detroit. Smyly (3-5, 3.58) has had back-to-back quality starts. He pitched in Kansas City on May 3 and blanked the Royals on two hits over seven innings, the best start of his young career.
Key trends: The Royals are 7-3 in their past 10 against a left-hander. Detroit is 1-5 in Smyly's past six at home. The "under" is 4-1 in Guthrie's past five against Detroit.
Early lean: This total seems a run too high. Go "under."
Orioles at Rays (-146, 7.5)
The Baltimore Orioles need to make a move after catcher Matt Wieters, one of the best in the AL at his position, underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery on Tuesday. That kills the O's because of two reasons: He may not be ready for the start of 2015 and now he has no trade value. There was talk the team might deal Wieters (.308, five HRs) because he can be a free agent after next season and is represented by Scott Boras. Nick Hundley is a major downgrade as the new primary catcher. Kevin Gausman starts this game for the O's. Gausman (2-1, 3.71) has had back-to-back quality starts after being recalled from Triple-A. Alex Cobb (2-4, 3.99) goes for the Rays. He has been roughed up this month, going 1-2 with a 5.94 ERA.
Key trends: The Rays are 2-5 in their past seven at home against a right-hander. The "under" is 5-1 in Cobb's past six Wednesday starts.
Early lean: Trust Cobb more than Gausman at this point in their early careers.
Angels at Indians (+104, 8.5)
Cleveland avoided disaster when its best player and reigning American League Player of the Week Michael Brantley avoided a concussion or serious injury on Monday when he was kneed in the head while trying to break up a double play. He passed all concussion tests but did get Tuesday off. Brantley perhaps will likely Wednesday off as well. He is just 1-for-14 career of Angels starter C.J. Wilson (7-6, 3.50). The lefty has been off this month, going 1-2 with a 5.63 ERA. He faced Cleveland on April 30 and held the Tribe to two hits and a run in eight innings. Cleveland, which has been dominant at home of late, starts Justin Masterson (4-5, 5.05). He lasted only 2.2 innings last time out against Boston, giving up five runs and walking four. He lost to the Angels on April 28, allowing six runs in seven innings. Josh Hamilton kills him, going 10-for-17 with two homers, two doubles and five RBIs.
Key trends: The Angels have lost four straight Wilson road starts. The Indians are 6-1 in Masterson's past seven when he lasted less than four innings in his previous start. Cleveland is 4-1 in Masterson's past five against L.A.
Early lean: Masterson has been pretty solid at home, so take the Tribe at nice home value.
Giants at White Sox (-129, 7)
This looks to be the pitching matchup of the night. Tim Hudson (7-2, 1.81) has been just terrific at age 38 as he leads the majors in ERA. He hasn't allowed an earned run in three of his past four starts and the Giants haven't lost one of his starts since May 6. His road ERA is even lower this season at 1.37. Adam Dunn hits Hudson well, going 11-for-34 with four home runs and seven RBIs. Chris Sale (5-1, 1.97) starts for the Pale Hose. He held the Tigers to just a run over seven innings while striking out 10 last time but the Sox lost his second straight outing because they are struggling to score. Only two current Giants have faced Sale.
Key trends: San Francisco is 2-6 in its past eight interleague games against lefties. The Sox are 1-5 in Sale's past six against teams with a winning record. The "under" is 5-0 in Sale's past six at home.
Early lean: Why is this total not at 6? Go "under" at -120.
Mariners at Padres (+110, 6)
This isn't exactly a slouch of a pitching matchup either. Felix Hernandez gets the call for Seattle. Hernandez (8-2, 2.29) has allowed two runs or less in six straight starts, in which Seattle has won five. King Felix is 4-0 with a 2.14 ERA on the road this year and 5-0 with a 1.54 ERA in his career in San Diego. Padres leading hitter Seth Smith is decent off Hernandez, batting .316 in 19 at-bats. Andrew Cashner gets the nod for the Padres. He has an excellent 1.41 ERA at home but because the Padres can't hit is only 2-2.
Key trends: The "under" is 5-1 in Hernandez's past six interleague starts. The "under" is 9-1 in Cashner's past 10 against teams with a winning record.
Early lean: The Padres are last in about every major offensive category. We could be looking at a complete-game, 12-strikeout night from Hernandez. Go M's and "under."
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