Philadelphia ace Cole Hamels was set to make his first start on Friday since no-hitting the Cubs last Saturday. The team pushed him back a day because it expected to trade him and because he threw so many pitches in the no-no. Smart move as Hamels was traded to Texas on Wednesday in an eight-player deal. Hamels is the first pitcher in major-league history traded during a season immediately after throwing a no-hitter. It's an interesting trade because the Rangers really aren't getting Hamels for this season but for 2016 and going forward to pair him with out-for-the-season-ace Yu Darvish. As for Philly, the team replenished its farm system with this deal but, man, there's really no reason for you to bet on the Phillies to win the rest of this season. The non-waiver trade deadline is 4 p.m. ET on Friday.
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Royals at Blue Jays (+100, 8)
New Kansas City ace Johnny Cueto makes his Royals debut here. He was acquired on Sunday for three minor-league pitchers from Cincinnati. Cueto (7-6, 2.62) was spectacular in his final National League start, shutting out Colorado -- at Coors Field -- over eight innings on four hits. Cueto has made two interleague career starts vs. the Blue Jays and is 2-0 with a 3.86 ERA. New Blue Jay Troy Tulowitzki, who was a monster in his Toronto debut on Wednesday, is 3-for-13 with a homer off him. Jose Bautista is 2-for-5 with a double. Drew Hutchison (9-2, 5.42) goes for Toronto. He was roughed up last time out, allowing six runs and seven hits over four innings against the Mariners. He does have a 2.21 ERA at home. By the way, as of this writing, the Jays were completing a trade for Detroit's David Price. Wow! I will touch on that tomorrow.
Key trends: The Jays are 5-0 in Hutchison's past five at home. The "over/under" has gone under in six of his past seven at home.
Early lean: The Jays already are jacked up getting Tulowitzki and now Price? I'm all over them for a while here.
Nationals at Mets (-115, 6.5)
This game is on the MLB Network and will have live betting at sportsbooks. Frankly, the most interesting thing that happened on Wednesday wasn't the Hamels trade but the non-trade of Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez to the Mets. It was announced as a done deal and apparently young Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores, who was part of it with injured pitcher Zack Wheeler, heard about it after batting in the bottom of the seventh (he got a standing ovation from the fans when he came to bat in that inning and didn't know why) and was seen crying in the field in the eighth inning. He has been a part of the organization since he was 16. Alas, the Mets pulled out because they were concerned with a hip problem Gomez has. Very awkward. Mets GM Sandy Alderson says the deal is dead. It will be a raucous crowd at Citi Field for this one as the "Dark Knight" Matt Harvey (9-7, 3.16) starts. He is 2-1 with a 1.80 ERA in three starts against Washington this season. Harvey dominates Bryce Harper, who is 0-for-14 with seven strikeouts against him. Nats lefty Gio Gonzalez (8-4, 3.83) faced the Mets on July 20, allowing two runs over six innings. Juan Lagares is 10-for-22 with a homer and three doubles off him.
Key trends: The Nats are 4-1 in Gonzalez's past five vs. teams with a winning record. The Mets are 4-0 in Harvey's past four at home. The over is 4-1 in his past five vs. teams with a winning record. The Nats are 7-1 in Gonzalez's past eight at the Mets.
Early lean: Mets and under.
Rockies at Cardinals (-236, 7.5)
St. Louis acquired first baseman/outfielder Brandon Moss from Oakland on Wednesday, and Moss' bat may be needed as Cards outfielder Matt Holliday reaggravated a quadriceps injury on Wednesday against the Reds. Holliday had spent five weeks on the disabled list between June 9 and July 16 with the quadriceps injury. Moss provides power but has a terrible average (.217). This looks to be the pitching mismatch of the night. It's All-Star Michael Wacha (11-4, 3.27) for the Cardinals. Actually, Wacha might be hitting the wall a bit as over his last three starts, Wacha has allowed 13 runs over 17 innings. He pitched in Colorado on June 9 and allowed four runs over 6.2 innings. Scorching-hot Carlos Gonzalez, if he's still a Rockie on Friday, is 1-for-3 off him with two strikeouts. Not sure why the Rockies keep putting Kyle Kendrick (4-11, 6.33) out there. He has allowed six runs in each of his past two outings, not lasting more than five innings in either. Mark Reynolds is 4-for-12 with two homers off him.
Key trends: The Rockies are 1-8 in Kendrick's past nine on the road. The Cards are 1-4 in Wacha's past five vs. teams with a losing record. The over is 4-0 in Kendrick's past four vs. teams with a winning record. The under is 5-1 in Wacha's past six at home.
Early lean: Cards at -120 on the runline and over.
Mariners at Twins (-103, 8)
Monitor the status of Seattle second baseman Robinson Cano here. It's pretty likely he will miss at least a few more games with what has been diagnosed as a Grade 1 abdominal strain. Cano was hitting .306 with nine homers and 23 RBIs in his past 37 games after a slow start. That's one less worry for Twins lefty starter Tommy Milone (5-2, 3.58). He has been lousy the past two outings, both losses, allowing 11 runs over 8.2 innings. Hasn't faced the Mariners this season. Nelson Cruz is 3-for-16 with a homer and three RBIs off him. Mike Zunino is 3-for-5 with two homers. Seattle's Taijuan Walker (7-7, 5.03) also has struggled of late, allowing 22 runs over his past four, not lasting past the sixth inning. He has never faced Minnesota.
Key trends: The Mariners are 5-0 in Walker's past five on the road. The over is 7-1-1 in Milone's past nine at home.
Early lean: Twins and over.
Angels at Dodgers (-215, 6)
Potential Freeway Series Fall Classic preview opens on Friday night at Dodger Stadium. And it's a matchup of All-Star lefties. The Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw (8-6, 2.51) takes the mound after being scratched on Wednesday due to a minor hip problem. In his most recent start, the three-time Cy Young winner took a perfect game into the seventh inning against the Mets. He hasn't allowed a run in 29 innings, the longest active scoreless stretch in the majors. Albert Pujols hits him well, going 9-for-20 with four doubles and two RBIs. It's Hector Santiago (7-4, 2.43) for the Halos. He allowed three earned runs last time out against the Rangers, which was notable because he hadn't allowed that many since June 17. Not many Dodgers have seen him. Yasiel Puig is 0-for-3 against him. Adrian Gonzalez 1-for-4 with two RBIs.
Key trends: The Angels are 7-3 in Santiago's past 10 on the road. The Dodgers are 8-3 in their past 11 interleague games vs. lefty starters. They are 8-1 in Kershaw's past nine with at least seven days of rest. The over is 4-0 in Santiago's past four. The under is 6-0 in Kershaw's past six.
Early lean: Dodgers and under.
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