When you think of Washington's Ryan Zimmerman, you probably don't think of one of the best sluggers in baseball. Solid player with a career .284 average, 189 RBIs and 741 RBIs in 1,239 games. What Zimmerman does better than perhaps anyone active right now (at least in the National League) is hit walk-off homers. On Tuesday, he hit a walk-off two-run homer to beat the Yankees in the 10th inning off closer Andrew Miller, who hadn't allowed a run this season. It was the 10th walk-off homer in his career, tied for 10th in MLB history. The record is 13 by Jim Thome. Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial and Frank Robinson, all Hall of Famers, each have 12.
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Phillies at Nationals (-260, 7)
Washington brings a five-game winning streak into this one and has taken its rightful place atop the NL East. Presumably Bryce Harper won't be ejected from this game; he was on Wednesday, his second ejection in a week. He needs to stop arguing with umps as it hurts his team when he's not in there. Max Scherzer (4-3, 1.75) is on the mound in this series opener. He has faced the Phillies twice, and the Nationals won both as he allowed two combined runs and 10 hits over 14 innings with 17 strikeouts. Ryan Howard is 0-for-7 with six strikeouts off him. It's Sean O'Sullivan (1-2, 3.68) for Philly. He is 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA in two starts this year against Washington. Harper has two homers and four RBIs off him in five at-bats.
Key trends: The Phillies are 4-1 in their past five series openers. The Nats are 5-1 in their past six series openers. The "over/under" has gone over in seven straight series openers for Washington.
Early lean: Nationals on runline (-110) and under.
Rangers at Yankees (-183, 7.5)
New York's best player this season had been center field and leadoff man Jacoby Ellsbury, but he hurt his knee in Tuesday's loss in Washington, was pulled and then placed on the 15-day DL. He was hitting .324 with a .412 on-base percentage and leading the AL with 14 stolen bases in 37 games. This is the last thing the sinking Yankees need as they have lost seven of eight. Michael Pineda (5-1, 3.31) is on the bump for the Bombers in this series opener. He comes off his worst outing of the season, allowing five runs and 10 hits over 5.1 innings of a loss to Kansas City (one start after striking out 16). He is 0-2 with a 4.74 ERA in three career starts vs. Texas. Mitch Moreland is 3-for-6 with three extra-base hits and two RBIs off him. The Rangers' Colby Lewis (3-2, 3.06) also comes off his worst outing, allowing six runs and seven hits over five innings in a loss to Cleveland. The Yanks' Brett Gardner is 2-for-5 with a double, homer and two RBIs against him.
Key trends: The Rangers are 4-0 in Lewis' past four against teams with a winning record. The Yankees are 0-6 in their past six against right-handers. The under has hit in just one of Pineda's past nine starts.
Early lean: Yankees and over.
Mets at Pirates (-145, 7)
Spectacular matchup between two highly-touted young pitchers. It's 22-year-old Noah Syndergaard (1-1, 3.18) for New York, and there's actually some talk the team could demote him back to Triple-A when Dillon Gee is healthy. That's stupid. Syndergaard got that first win against the Brewers on Sunday, allowing a run and three hits over six innings -- also plunking Carlos Gomez in the head. I think the Mets move Gee to the bullpen; he's making one more rehab start before being activated. It's 24-year-old Gerrit Cole (5-2, 2.40) for Pittsburgh. He took the loss in his last start, allowing two runs and seven hits over six innings at the Cubs. He is 2-1 with a 2.65 ERA at home this season. Not many Mets have faced him. Lucas Duda is 1-for-3. Daniel Murphy is 1-for-6 with two RBIs.
Key trends: The Pirates are 1-6 in their past seven series openers. They are 13-3 in Cole's past 16 at home. The over is 6-2 in his past eight on Friday. The Mets are 2-5 in their past seven in Pittsburgh.
Early lean: Pirates and under.
Angels at Red Sox (-107, 8.5)
L.A. avoided disaster on Wednesday when Albert Pujols was hit on the left hand/wrist by a pitch from Toronto's Drew Hutchison. X-rays were negative, and he is considered day-to-day with a contusion. Pujols is hitting .231 with seven homers and 15 RBIs. Garrett Richards (3-2, 2.29) starts for the Halos. He allowed two runs and five hits over 7.2 innings last time out in Baltimore but was a hard-luck loser. The Angels had won his previous four starts. Mike Napoli is 4-for-7 with a double, homer and three RBIs off him. Big Papi is 2-for-5 with an RBI. Boston's Rick Porcello (4-2, 4.26) has been much better in May than most of April. In four starts since April 29, he is 3-0 with a 2.10 ERA. Pujols is 4-for-13 with two doubles off him. Mike Trout is 5-for-15 with a homer and six RBIs.
Key trends: The Angels are 6-1 in Richards' past seven during Game 1 of a series. The Sox are 1-5 in their past six at home vs. a right-hander. The under is 6-2 in Richards' past eight on the road. The Angels are 4-0 in their past four in Boston.
Early lean: Angels and under.
Padres at Dodgers (-167, 6.5)
Would you like to know who the best seven-loss pitcher in baseball is? Or the only seven-loss one? That would be San Diego's Andrew Cashner, and it's criminal he has a 1-7 record despite a very good 3.24 ERA. The Padres have been held to four total runs in losing his past five, and he allowed more than three earned in just one of those. Two of those losses have come to L.A. He allowed six runs over five innings against the Dodgers in his first start of the season and then two runs over seven innings at home on April 24. Adrian Gonzalez is a .357 hitter with four homers and six RBIs in 28 at-bats off him. Zack Greinke (5-1, 1.52) has been easily the Dodgers' best pitcher, not Clayton Kershaw. Greinke is 1-0 with a 0.69 ERA in two starts against San Diego this season, allowing only six hits in 13.0 innings. Justin Upton is 8-for-20 with a homer and three RBIs off him.
Key trends: The Dodgers are 6-0 in Greinke's past six with five days of rest. The under is 5-2-1 in Cashner's past eight road starts vs. teams with a winning record. The under is 7-1 in Greinke's past eight vs. San Diego.
Early lean: Dodgers and under (this probably drops to 6).
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