Five to Follow MLB Betting: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 5/27/2014
We haven't had a manager fired yet this season, but it's bound to happen by the all-star break. Could the Mets' Terry Collins be the one to get the hook first? The Mets are last in the NL East and just fired Dave Hudgens, a long-time colleague of general manager Sandy Alderson who was in his fourth season as hitting coach. The Mets entered Tuesday 7-17 this month. Here's a look at their game Wednesday and four other interesting matchups.
Pirates at Mets (-108, 7.5)
Are Mets fans really all that surprised the team is lousy? The team's two big offseason acquisitions, outfielder Curtis Granderson and pitcher Bartolo Colon, have flopped. Colon (3-5, 5.34) gets the start in this game. Colon has been wildly erratic this year, good one start then awful the next. Thus, if recent trends hold true, he's due a bad start because he held Washington to just two runs over eight innings last time out. He does have a solid 3.15 ERA at home. Pittsburgh starts Charlie Morton (1-6, 3.29). He finally got his first win in his last start, which also happened to be against Washington. He has been a bit worse on the road with a 4.62 ERA.
Key trends: Pittsburgh is 6-0 in Morton's past six road starts against teams with a losing record. The Mets are 2-8 in their past 10 at home against right-handed starters.
Early lean: Bad Colon shows up so take Pittsburgh.
Astros at Royals (-160, 8)
I believe we have a new leader for NL Rookie of the Year: Houston's George Springer. Now you can see why the team tried to lock him up long-term on a team-friendly deal (Springer turned it down). He is hitting .325 with eight home runs, 19 runs scored and 21 RBIs in May entering Tuesday. He also had homered in four straight games. He is 0-for-1 career off Wednesday's projected Royals starter Danny Duffy (2-4, 2.59). Duffy pitched two inning of scoreless relief in Houston earlier this season. Houston starts Jarred Cosart (3-4, 4.39). He has a solid 2.96 ERA in four May starts, with Houston going 2-2 in those. He has never faced the Royals
Key trends: Houston is 1-5 in Cosart's past six road starts against teams with a losing record. The Royals have won four straight Wednesday games.
Early lean: Go "under" between two bad offenses.
Rangers at Twins (-115, 9)
It's an indication of how injury-ravaged the Texas Rangers are that they are actually excited about the return to the rotation of lefty Joe Saunders (0-1, 9.82) on Wednesday. He has been out since April 4 with a stress fracture in his left ankle. He replaces Scott Baker in the rotation, with Baker moving back into the bullpen. Saunders is 3-2 with a 4.88 ERA in five career starts vs. the Twins. Minnesota starts Kyle Gibson (4-4, 4.68). He has been way better at home with a 2.25 ERA in 28.0 innings. The Twins have won three of his four starts there in 2014. Gibson has never faced Texas.
Key trends: Minnesota is 4-1 in its past five against a lefty starter. The "over" is 13-3 in Gibson's past 16 starts.
Early lean: Saunders should not be a major-league pitcher at this point in his career. Take the Twins.
Indians at White Sox (-112, 9)
Don't expect to see disappointing Indians catcher/DH/third baseman Carlos Santana in the lineup for a few days. He was hit in the catcher's mask by a foul tip on Sunday and might have a concussion. Santana is hitting .159 this season with six homers and 17 RBIs. The Tribe start T.J. House (0-1, 6.43) in this one. He made his first start of the year April 23 in Baltimore and allowed five runs and 11 hits in six innings. House has never faced the Pale Hose. Chicago starts Hector Noesi (0-4, 6.82). Michael Bourn is 1-for-1 with a homer and four RBIs off him career.
Key trends: The over has hit in 10 of Cleveland's past 12 against righty starters. The White Sox are 3-8 in their past 11 at home against lefties.
Two struggling pitchers. This looks like a shootout, so take over.
Reds at Dodgers (-190, 6)
Los Angeles likely will be without two regulars for this game. For sure catcher A.J. Ellis is out. He's on the 15-day disabled list after hurting his ankle while celebrating Josh Beckett's no-hitter on Sunday (only in baseball can that type of silly injury happen). Shortstop Hanley Ramirez hasn't played since Friday because of a calf injury and could be DL-bound. The Dodgers shouldn't need much offense to win Wednesday with Clayton Kershaw on the mound. I wondered if he was 100 percent right heading into his last start after a very bad outing, but Kershaw (3-1, 3.49) dominated the Phillies, shutting them out on two hits over six innings. Jay Bruce hits him well, going 5-for-14 with two home runs. Cincinnati starts Homer Bailey (4-3, 5.34), who has a fat 6.08 road ERA. Adrian Gonzalez totally kills the guy, going 10-for-21 with five home runs and two doubles.
Key trends: The Reds are 0-6 in their past six against lefty starters. L.A. is 1-4 in Kershaw's past five Wednesday starts. The under is 5-2-1 in Kershaw's past eight against Cincinnati.
Take the over here as this is easily the lowest total on the board. Maybe the Reds won't score much, but Gonzalez might knock in six himself off his
personal whipping boy Bailey.
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