By the time you read this or maybe by the end of the weekend, we could see two former All-Stars traded to contenders. Phillies second baseman Chase Utley has cleared waivers and thus could be dealt to any team. He's having a lousy season but has been better since returning from the DL and adds a veteran presence and decent left-handed bat. The Giants already have made an offer with Joe Panik out and the Angels and Cubs are looking at him. Utley can refuse any trade. The other is Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes, who came over in the Troy Tulowitzki deal from Toronto. He also has cleared waivers. The problem there is Reyes is owed $55 million through 2017. So to deal him the Rockies will have to eat a bunch of money. The Yankees are sniffing around and could put Reyes at second.
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Pirates at Mets (-158, 7)
This game is nationally televised on TBS and thus will have live betting at sportsbooks. You already hear talk that the Mets are going to try and start limiting the innings of their young pitchers like Matt Harvey, who starts here. But how can you do that in a pennant race? I still say the Nationals made a mistake a few years ago when they shut down Stephen Strasburg in September for the season. These opportunities don't happen often. Harvey (11-7, 2.61), who has thrown 148.0 innings this season off Tommy John surgery, is rolling right now. He has a 0.40 ERA over his past three starts and hasn't allowed a run over 15 innings (just six hits) in his past two. He threw in Pittsburgh on May 23 and was shelled for seven runs over four innings in his worst start of the year. Andrew McCutchen is 2-for-4 with a homer off him. Pedro Alvarez is 3-for-5 with two doubles, a homer and two RBIs. Pittsburgh lefty Jeff Locke (6-7, 4.43) is trending the other way, having allowed 22 runs over 33 innings in his past six starts. He hasn't faced the Mets in 2015. Daniel Murphy is 2-for-6 with an RBI off him.
Key trends: The Pirates are 2-6 in Locke's past eight road starts. The Mets are 4-1 in their past five vs. a lefty. They are 6-0 in Harvey's past six at home. The "over/under" has gone under in five of Harvey's past six at home.
Early lean: Mets on runline and under.
Diamondbacks at Braves (+100, 7.5)
One of the oddest streaks in baseball right now belongs to Braves All-Star pitcher Shelby Miller (5-9, 2.48). You see that ERA, so one would presume at least a record of . 500. But amazingly, Miller is winless in his past 15, with eight straight personal losses in that stretch. His run support this year is 2.54, which is easily the lowest in baseball. The last time Atlanta scored more than three for him was June 13. That's the last time the Braves got a win in one of his starts. Miller took a no-decision in Arizona on June 2, allowing four runs over 4.1 innings, his shortest outing of the year. Paul Goldschmidt is 0-for-2 with two RBIs off him. Arizona has won five straight starts by Rubby De La Rosa (10-5, 4.55). He faced the Braves on June 3 and was rocked for seven runs and nine hits in five innings. Nick Markakis is 2-for-6 with two doubles off him.
Key trends: Arizona is 6-2 in De La Rosa's past eight vs. teams with a losing record. The Braves are 0-6 in Miller's past six vs. teams with a losing record.
Early lean: Miller's streak ends. Go under.
Cubs at White Sox (-140, 7.5)
It will be a packed house at U.S. Cellular, a rare sellout, on Sunday afternoon for the finale between these teams this season. It's Chris Sale (10-7, 3.47) for the White Sox. He had back-to-back starts where he allowed seven earned runs in each and caused some to worry about injury. But Sale was fine last time out, allowing two runs over 7.1 innings and striking out seven in a win over the Angels. He dominated the Cubs at Wrigley on July 11, allowing one run and six hits over seven innings, striking out 10. Anthony Rizzo is 2-for-3 off him. Look for Starlin Castro to start at second for the Cubs against the lefty. It's Dan Haren (8-7, 3.55) for the Cubs. He got his first win with Chicago in his second start with the team, allowing three runs over 5.1 innings vs. Milwaukee on Tuesday. He hasn't faced the White Sox this year. Melky Cabrera is 5-for-16 with two RBIs off him. Adam LaRoche is 3-for-7 with two RBIs.
Key trends: The Cubs are 5-1 in their past six vs. lefties. The Sox are 7-0 in Sale's past seven interleague starts. The under is 6-2 in his past eight home starts.
Early lean: Pale Hose and under.
Reds at Dodgers (-240, 7)
Even the best pitchers have a hiccup or two during the long season. That happened to MLB ERA leader Zack Greinke (12-2, 1.59) on Aug. 6 in Philadelphia when he was hit around for six runs in six innings yet still got the win. He was back to normal last time out, shutting out Washington on six hits over six innings. Greinke hasn't faced the Reds in 2015. Jay Bruce is just 5-for-30 with eight strikeouts off him. Joey Votto hits .417 with three homers in 24 at-bats off Greinke. Cincinnati goes with rookie Anthony DeSclafani (7-7, 3.75). He hasn't allowed more than three runs in his past four starts. He hasn't faced L.A. this year but a few current Dodgers saw him last year when DeSclafani pitched briefly with Miami. Carl Crawford is 1-for-3 with an RBI. Jimmy Rollins is 2-for-3 with a homer.
Key trends: The Reds are 0-7 in their past seven Game 4s of a series. The Dodgers are 8-3 in Greinke's past 11 on Sunday. The under is 6-2 in his past eight at home.
Early lean: Dodgers on runline and under.
Angels at Royals (-139, 7.5)
This is your ESPN Sunday night game and will also have live betting at the books. Keep an eye on Angels shortstop Erick Aybar for a few days. He injured the left side of his lower back while diving in the infield dirt against the White Sox on Wednesday. The Angels don't think it's something that will require a DL stint, but he looks to miss a few games perhaps. It's lefty All-Star Hector Santiago (7-6, 2.87) for the Angels. He has allowed at least three runs in four straight starts and not lasted more than six innings in any. Eric Hosmer is 4-for-16 with a homer off him. Alex Rios is 3-for-13 with two dingers. Kansas City's Yordano Ventura (7-7, 4.97) shut out the Tigers over six innings on just two hits last time out. He did walk six. He pitched at the Angels on April 12, allowing two runs over 5.2 innings. Mike Trout is 2-for-4 off him. Aybar is 0-for-5.
Key trends: The Angels are 3-7 in Santiago's past 10 road starts vs. teams with a winning record. The Royals are 2-6 in Ventura's past eight against teams with a winning record. The over is 5-2 in Santiago's past seven.
Early lean: Angels and over.
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