Five to Follow MLB Betting: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 6/3/2014
Bovada released updated MLB awards odds this week. Your leaders are: the Angels' Mike Trout (8/5) for AL MVP; Yankees' Masahiro Tanaka (4/1) for AL Cy Young; Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki (3/1) for NL MVP; and Cardinals' Adam Wainwright (3/1) for NL Cy Young. Here's a look at five interesting matchups on Wednesday's schedule.
Phillies at Nationals (-175, 6.5)
I keep expecting Washington to make its move in the NL East. Maybe the return of Ryan Zimmerman will spur things. He was likely to return Tuesday after missing 44 games with a broken thumb. The Nats were 20-24 in those 44 and averaged only 3.7 runs per game. Zimmerman will now play a lot of left field instead of third base. On Wednesday, Zimmerman will see Phillies starter A.J. Burnett (3-4, 3.79). He hasn't been all that sharp in his past five starts, with the Phillies losing three of them. He faced Washington on May 3 and allowed a run over six innings. Zimmerman is 3-for-13 with five strikeouts off Burnett. Stephen Strasburg (4-4, 3.15) starts for Washington. He has allowed three runs or less in all but one start this year. He didn't allow any earned runs over six innings on May 2 in Philly. Marlon Byrd is 4-for-9 with a homer off Strasburg career.
Key trends: The Phillies are 5-0 in Burnett's past five against the NL East. The Nats are 5-1 in Strasburg's past six at home. The "over" is 5-2 in his past seven against the Phillies.
Early lean: Lowest total on the board, to no surprise. Take Strasburg at home.
Brewers at Twins (+101, 8)
Milwaukee is expected to get back third baseman Aramis Ramirez on Wednesday. Since the Brewers will have the benefit of the DH in Minnesota, he could begin there. Ramirez (.252, five HRs, 21 RBIs) hasn't played since May 10 due to a hamstring injury. He's 5-for-19 career with a home run off Twins starter Ricky Nolasco (3-5, 5.70). He had one of his best starts of the year last time out, holding the Yankees to a run over six innings. It was his only win of May. Marco Estrada (5-2, 4.03) goes for the Brewers. He's 2-1 with a 4.08 in five road starts. Joe Mauer is 3-for-7 with three RBIs off Estrada.
Key trends: The over is 5-1-1 in Estrada's past seven. The over is 4-1 in Nolasco's past five Game 3 starts.
Early lean: Nolasco just isn't very good. Go Brew Crew and over.
Marlins at Rays (-175, 7)
Do you realize that entering Tuesday the Rays have a worse record than the Houston Astros? Now with Wil Myers out perhaps six weeks, I don't know how much longer Tampa Bay will hold onto assets like David Price (4-4, 4.27). He makes his first start since that whole dust-up with Boston's David Ortiz on Friday. In an oddity, the Rays have alternated wins and losses in every one of his starts this year, so he apparently is due a win here. The Marlins go with Tom Koehler (4-5, 3.18). They have lost three of his past four starts. He road ERA of 3.86 is more than a point worse than his home ERA.
Key trends: The Marlins are 7-2 in Koehler's past nine against teams with a losing record. Tampa is 2-6 in Price's past eight home starts against teams with a winning record. The over is 6-1 in Price's past seven at home.
Early lean: I'd take Tampa on the runline at +130.
Diamondbacks at Rockies (-135, 10.5)
A disastrous season continues for Arizona as it lost one of its best hitters, outfielder A.J. Pollock, until likely August after he had surgery to replace a fractured right hand. He was hitting a team-best .316 this season. The Snakes start Josh Collmenter (4-2, 3.34) in Denver on Wednesday. He has been a rare bright spot this season. Last time out he faced the minimum 27 batters in a three-hit shutout of Cincinnati. He was the 13th pitcher since 1914 to face the minimum while giving up three or more hits. Collmenter allowed four runs over seven innings on April 30 against the Rockies. Tulowitzki is 3-for-14 with a homer off him. It's Jordan Lyles (5-1, 3.46) for the Rockies. The team has lost his past three starts. Lyles allowed a run over six innings in Arizona on April 30.
Key trends: Arizona is 8-0 in Collmenter's past eight following a quality start in his last appearance. The Rockies are 1-10 in their past 11 against right-handers. The over is 5-1 in Collmenter's past six against Colorado.
Early lean: Collmenter has been good, but the Rockies are a different animal at home.
Mets at Cubs (-115, TBA)
The Mets might have the worst offensive outfield in the majors even when everyone is healthy. Now they are without center fielder Juan Lagares for at least the next two weeks as he was placed on the DL with a muscle strain in his ribs. He was hitting .288 with 18 RBIs. The Mets start the guy who was Tanaka before Tanaka was in Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-1, 2.45). He had made one start all year and beat Arizona on May 25. He hasn't faced the Cubs at all in 2014. Chicago starts Edwin Jackson (3-5, 4.81). The Cubs have lost four of his past five outings. Curtis Granderson is 4-for-13 with a homer off him.
Key trends: The Cubs are 2-6 in Jackson's past eight at home. The "under" has hit in nine of his past 12 at home.
Early lean: Two lousy offenses. Take the under no matter what total it is (I'd guess 8).
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