It has been a scary few days in baseball. On Tuesday, stellar Diamondbacks rookie pitcher Archie Bradley was hit in the face by a line drive off the bat of Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez. It looked terrible, but Bradley suffered only a small sinus fracture and the team placed him on the DL. He may just miss those 15 days. On Wednesday, Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar was beaned on the left side of his helmet by a 96-mph fastball from Cleveland's Danny Salazar. It appears that Escobar avoided serious injury as well but will be out at least a few days and may land on the DL if the concussion test comes back positive. There's really no way to prevent these things, although I'm wearing a faceguard if I'm hitting.
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Brewers at Cubs (-167, TBA)
This series opener is your only Friday matinee at 2:20 p.m. ET and will be shown on the MLB Network and thus should have live betting at sportsbooks. Is this where lefty Jon Lester (0-2, 6.23) gets his first win as a Cub? He was really shaky in his first three starts but improved last time out in Cincinnati, allowing three runs and five hits while striking out 10 over six innings. The Cubs would take that every time. Expect Brewers first baseman Adam Lind to get the day off as he's 3-for-29 with 12 strikeouts career off Lester. Carlos Gomez is just 1-for-14 with four punchouts. Wily Peralta (0-3, 5.04) is showing thus far that his breakout 2014 season was a fluke. He was pretty good last time out, though, holding the Cardinals to two runs over six innings. Anthony Rizzo kills this guy, going 11-for-24 with five homers, two doubles and 11 RBIs. Starlin Castro also has 11 hits in 24 at-bats off him with two dingers.
Key trends: The Brewers are 1-7 in their past eight vs. a lefty. They are 1-10 in their past 11 after a win. The Cubs are 4-1 in their past five series openers. The Brewers are 2-5 in Peralta's past seven vs. the Cubs. The "over/under" has gone under in five of Peralta's past six against Chicago.
Early lean: Cubs and something on Rizzo.
Rays at Orioles (-118, 8)
This says Rays at Orioles but this entire series is being played in St. Petersburg because of the unrest in Baltimore. The Orioles will be the home team. I'm curious how many fans show up this weekend because the Rays don't exactly draw well as it is, much less for an unexpected series on a nice weekend and with the Bucs and Lightning in action (Bucs drafting action). Alex Colome makes his season debut for the Rays. He missed a big chunk of spring due to visa problems followed by a case of pneumonia. Colome is 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA in one career start vs. the Orioles. Chris Tillman (2-2, 7.58), who was supposed to start earlier this week in one of those postponed White Sox games at Camden Yards, goes for Baltimore. His season debut was at Tampa Bay and he allowed one run and four hits in 6.2 innings. Evan Longoria is 14-for-36 with six homers and eight RBIs off him.
Key trends: The Orioles are 1-5 in their past six series openers. The under is 5-0 in the Rays' past five. Baltimore is 4-0 in Tillman's past four vs. Tampa.
Early lean: Rays, over and a Longoria hitting prop.
Nationals at Mets (-111, 6)
Spectacular pitching matchup here, maybe the best in the NL thus far. Washington's Max Scherzer gets the call. He missed one turn through the rotation after spraining his thumb while hitting against the Cardinals on April 23. That led Scherzer to call for the NL to adopt the DH (I agree). He will wear a thumb guard when he hits for this game. Scherzer (1-2, 1.26) made his Nats debut on opening day vs. the Mets and took the loss despite not allowing an earned run (three unearned). He took a no-hitter into the sixth. Curtis Granderson is 4-for-14 with a homer off him. It's Mets ace Matt Harvey (4-0, 3.04), which is always an event at Citi Field. He came within an out of a complete game last time out vs. the Yankees, allowing two runs and five hits in 8.2 innings. He pitched in Washington on April 9 and blanked the Nats over six innings. Ian Desmond is 4-for-11 with a homer and double against him.
Key trends: The Nats are 1-5 in their past six against a right-hander. The Mets are a crazy 11-0 in their past 11 at home vs. a right-hander. The under is 5-2 in the past seven meetings.
Early lean: Have to go under -- it may drop to 5.5. Slight lean to Washington.
Tigers at Royals (-114, 8.5)
I was a bit surprised that big right-hander Chris Young wasn't more in demand this offseason after he had a very solid season last year with Seattle in winning AL Comeback Player of the Year honors. He finally landed a one-year deal with the Royals in early March. He is set to make his first big-league start of the year in place of the suspended Edinson Volquez. Young has made five relief appearances and is 1-0 with a 1.86 ERA. Miguel Cabrera is just 2-for-15 with five strikeouts against Young. Detroit lefty Kyle Lobstein (2-1, 3.50) continues to hold down Justin Verlander's spot in the rotation, and it doesn't seem like Verlander will be pitching any time soon. Lobstein beat the Tribe last time out, allowing three runs and six hits over seven innings. He hasn't allowed a homer in 18.0 innings this season. Lobstein has never faced the Royals.
Key trends: The Tigers are 4-0 in Lobstein's past four against teams with a winning record. The Royals are 10-1 in their past 11 at home vs. a lefty. The under is 5-1 in the past six meetings in K.C.
Early lean: Tigers and under.
Angels at Giants (-123, 7)
L.A. won't have Albert Pujols for at least a few games after the most overpaid player in the majors left Wednesday's game with a hamstring injury that doesn't at least appear to be serious. Because this game is in the NL park there's no DH, so maybe Pujols could pinch-hit but don't expect him to start any of them. Lefty C.J. Wilson (1-2, 3.12) is on the mound for the Angels. He got a few extra days rest before his last start and it worked as Wilson allowed just a run over 5.2 innings against Texas. Not many Giants have seen him. Nori Aoki is 3-for-5 with a double. Chris Heston (2-2, 2.77) had been a huge surprise for the Giants but came back to earth last time out, allowing six runs and 11 hits over 5.1 innings at Colorado. No Angels have faced him in the regular season.
Key trends: The Angels are 6-0 in their past six interleague road games vs. teams with a losing record. L.A. is 3-13 in Wilson's past 16 on the road. The Giants are 6-1 in their past seven at home vs. a lefty.
Early lean: Angels and over.
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