I guess congratulations to the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez, who hit career homer No. 661 on Thursday to move past Willie Mays for fourth on the all-time list. The Yankees as an organization didn't go out of their way to celebrate that one or pay A-Rod his $6 million bonus for tying Mays with No. 660. Nor should the team, considering Rodriguez's cheating history. I wonder how many of those dingers were legit? To his credit, A-Rod is having a fine season at age 39, but there's no way he catches No. 3 Babe Ruth at No. 714. I doubt he even gets to 700 (I'm talking about in future years obviously not this one). A-Rod's next milestone is 3,000 hits, which he is 38 shy of entering Friday.
Reds at White Sox (+127, 7.5)
It's a potentially big day for the White Sox franchise as one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, lefty Carlos Rodon, makes his first career start -- and considering how bad guys like Hector Noesi and John Danks have been, I doubt it's his last. Rodon, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 draft, was called up from Triple-A a few weeks ago and has made three relief appearances, allowing two runs and nine hits over 6.1 innings. But his future is in the rotation without question. Technically Rodon is taking the spot of Jeff Samardzija, who dropped an appeal of his five-game suspension. It's ace Johnny Cueto (2-3, 2.72) for the Reds. He had his worst outing of the season last time out, allowing five runs and nine hits in a season-low six innings in Atlanta. Adam LaRoche is 2-for-16 with seven strikeouts against him. Melky Cabrera is 5-for-10 with a double.
Key trends: The Reds are 5-2 in Cueto's past seven on five days of rest. The "over/under" has gone under in nine of his past 11 interleague starts.
Early lean: Reds and under.
Dodgers at Rockies (+162, 8.5)
The Dodgers have done something they didn't do all last season: lose three straight Clayton Kershaw starts. He makes a fourth attempt for career win No. 100 on Saturday. Kershaw (1-2, 3.72) has had quality starts in each of the past three outings, but the Dodgers have totaled just six runs in them. What's unusual is that Kershaw has allowed six homers already. He faced visiting Colorado on April 17 and allowed three runs (one earned) over six innings, striking out a season-high 12. Lefty Jorge De La Rosa (0-2, 9.00) goes for Colorado. He got a late start to the season due to injury and has yet to go more than five innings. He was 3-2 with a 4.88 ERA in five starts against the Dodgers in 2014. Adrian Gonzalez is a career .349 hitter with three homers and 11 RBIs against him.
Key trends: The Dodgers are 5-0 in Kershaw's past five at Colorado. The over is 4-1 in those past five. The Rockies are 4-1 in De La Rosa's past five at home in this series.
Early lean: Rockies and under -- De La Rosa usually pitches well at home. Take a shot.
Astros at Angels (-113, 7.5)
The best starting pitcher in the majors thus far this season has been Houston lefty Dallas Keuchel (3-0, 0.80). He has allowed more than one run in a start only once and four total earned runs over 45.0 innings with just 21 hits and 30 strikeouts. Keuchel faced the Angels on April 18 and shut them out over six innings on two hits, striking out seven. Mike Trout is 5-for-22 career off Keuchel with nine strikeouts. David Freese is 8-for-14 with a homer and six RBIs. It's Matt Shoemaker (2-2, 5.40) for the Angels. He struck out a season-high 10 in his last start, giving up three runs over 7.1 innings vs. Seattle. He hasn't faced Houston yet in 2015. Shoemaker had a 5.79 ERA in 9 1/3 innings against the Astros last year. Jose Altuve is 3-for-5 with a double off him.
Key trends: The Astros are 5-0 in Kuechel's past five on the road. The Angels are 11-2 in Shoemaker's past 13 vs. the AL West. The under is 4-1 in Kuechel's past five against L.A.
Early lean: Astros and under.
Royals at Tigers (-155, 8.5)
I'm not going to address relievers who aren't closers much in this space, but there may not be any better set-up men in the majors than Kansas City's Kelvin Herrera, who will miss this series. He appealed a seven-game suspension and had it reduced to six. He started serving it Thursday. Herrera hadn't allowed a homer since July 2013 until Tuesday against Cleveland. He's the seventh-inning guy in K.C. Right-hander Jeremy Guthrie (1-2, 6.52) gets the call here for the Royals. He faced Detroit last weekend and allowed six runs and 11 hits in six innings. He is 2-5 with a 4.53 ERA in his career at Comerica Park. Miguel Cabrera is a career .358 hitter off him with four homers and 14 RBIs in 53 at-bats. Anibal Sanchez (2-3, 5.11) goes for Detroit. He was opposite Guthrie last time out, allowing three runs and four hits over 7.1 innings. Sanchez is 6-2 with a 1.40 ERA in eight career meetings with K.C. Lorenzo Cain is only 3-for-16 off him. Salvador Perez 2-for-17.
Key trends: The Royals are 4-0 in Guthrie's past four on the road. Detroit is 5-1 in Sanchez's past six vs. teams with a winning record. The under is 4-1 in Sanchez's past five against the Royals.
Early lean: Tigers at +130 on the runline and over.
Padres at Diamondbacks (-102, 8.5)
San Diego will be holding its breath on an MRI for first baseman Yonder Alonso on Friday. Alonso jammed his shoulder after diving for a ground ball hit by Diamondbacks third baseman Yasmany Tomas in the bottom of the eighth inning of Thursday's game. Alonso had to leave. He is leading the team in batting average at .333 and has a homer and 10 RBIs. The Padres start Tyson Ross here. Ross (1-3, 4.15) has yet to face Arizona this season. The Padres have lost his past four starts, although he pitched well last time out, allowing two runs over seven innings at San Francisco. Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt is 5-for-16 with two homers and four RBIs against him. Chase Anderson (0-1, 3.38) gets the call for the Snakes. They have lost his past four starts. That streak started on April 15 in San Diego, where Anderson allowed two runs and eight hits over six innings. Justin Upton is 3-for-5 with a homer and two RBIs against Anderson.
Key trends: San Diego is 1-7 in Ross' past eight on the road. The Diamondbacks are 0-6 in Anderson's past six on five days of rest. The under is 5-2-1 in Ross' past eight vs. Arizona.
Early lean: Diamondbacks and under.
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