Some disappointing news for the surprising New York Mets. They were hoping to get back third baseman David Wright off his hamstring injury next week. However, Wright has had a setback. The good news is that it's not to his hamstring but his lower back. An MRI on that came back clean, but he has been shut down until the pain subsides. Now there's clearly no shot that Wright will return next week. Wright, who hasn't played since April 14, is hitting .333 with a homer and four RBIs. Daniel Murphy has been playing third, but that means the Mets have to use Dilson Herrera at second and neither he nor shortstop Wilmer Flores can hit much.
Free $60 in Member MLB Picks No Obligation Click Here
Mets at Phillies (+120, 8)
Hard not to root for a guy like Phillies pitcher Chad Billingsley, whose career continually is sidetracked by serious injury. For a while there he was a really good pitcher but made only two starts for the Dodgers in 2013 and then missed all of last season. He made his return to the majors on May 5 in Atlanta and allowed six runs and eight hits over five innings in a loss. It was his first big-league start in a little more than two years. Only a few Mets have ever faced him. Murphy is 1-for-2 with a walk. Michael Cuddyer 0-for-3. Bartolo Colon (5-1, 2.90) goes for the Mets. This was set to be Dillon Gee's spot, but he landed on the DL with a groin injury. Ryan Howard has two homers and six RBIs in 14 at-bats career off him.
Key trends: The Mets are 4-1 in Colon's past five against teams with a losing record. The "over/under" has gone over in his past six against teams with a losing record. The over is 4-0 in his past four against Philly.
Early lean: Mets and over.
Marlins at Giants (-118, 7.5)
I was a big fan of the Marlins' trade for Mat Latos (1-3, 5.60) from Cincinnati this offseason, but he had been very shaky for Miami. Perhaps Latos is figuring things out as in his last start he allowed only a run and two hits in 6.1 innings at the Nationals. This will be his first start this season against a team outside the NL East. Giants catcher Buster Posey is 3-for-13 with a homer off him. Nori Aoki, not exactly a power hitter, has two homers in 19 at-bats off Latos. Ryan Vogelsong (1-2, 6.84) was in danger of losing his rotation spot but made a mechanical adjustment before his last start and it worked as he shut out the Padres over seven innings on three hits. He's a different guy at home with a 1.80 ERA in three starts. Giancarlo Stanton is 4-for-12 with two doubles and two homers off him. Dee Gordon is 10-for-29.
Key trends: The Giants are 5-0 in Vogelsong's past five at home. The under is 4-1 in his past five against Miami.
Early lean: Giants and over.
Dodgers at Rockies (+154, 9.5)
There's now no doubt, barring injury, that Zack Greinke will opt out of his contract after this season as he's in line for another monster payday. The Dodgers' Greinke (5-0, 1.56) is 5-0 for the second season in a row. He faced these Rockies on April 18 and had perhaps his worst outing of the year, allowing three runs over 6.2 innings. He still won and in fact has won 10 straight decisions and is an absurd 21-1 against the NL West since joining the Dodgers. Carlos Gonzalez is 6-for-19 with two homers off him. Drew Stubbs has 11 hits in 26 at-bats. Corey Dickerson is only 3-for-17. Kyle Kendrick (1-4, 8.73) starts for the Rockies. I don't see how he keeps his spot much longer, allowing at least six runs in four of his past five starts. He pitched at the Dodgers on April 17 and allowed six runs and walked four in 4.2 innings. Andre Ethier is 7-for-27 with two homers and seven RBIs off him. Howie Kendrick 2-for-3 with a double and homer.
Key trends: The Dodgers are 5-0 in Greinke's past five on the road. The over is 5-1 in his past six. The over is 5-1 in Kendrick's past six overall.
Early lean: Dodgers are -110 on the runline and under.
A's at Mariners (-178, 6.5)
Seattle's Felix Hernandez is pitching this season like he's angry he didn't win last year's Cy Young Award. Hernandez (5-0, 1.73) is off to a 5-0 start for the first time in his career, which is hard to believe. He has allowed more than two earned runs just once all season and that was April 12 in Oakland, where he allowed three runs and eight hits over five innings and struck out a season-low one batter. He left after five innings as a precaution because of tightness in his right quadriceps. Billy Butler is a .280 hitter off him with a homer and three RBIs. Josh Reddick hits only .175 in 40 at-bats off King Felix. Jesse Chavez (1-2, 1.80) held the Twins to no earned runs and just four hits over 7.1 innings last time out. He has pitched two-thirds of a scoreless inning in relief vs. Seattle this season. Nelson Cruz is 3-for-5 with two homers and six RBIs against him.
Key trends: The A's are 1-6 in Chavez's past seven vs. the AL West. The Mariners have won eight straight Hernandez starts. The under is 6-0 in Hernandez's past six at home.
Early lean: Mariners and under.
Royals at Tigers (TBA)
This is your Sunday night ESPN game and will have live betting at the various sportsbooks. I hate to do TBAs on the lines, but the Sunday night game is usually the most-wagered of the week and thus I am almost obligated to look at it. It was to be the turn of lefty Jason Vargas (3-1, 5.26) in the rotation for the Royals. However, he was placed on the 15-day DL on Friday with a left flexor strain and that can often lead to Tommy John surgery. Probably a good thing for K.C., at least in this game, as Vargas is 3-4 with a 5.37 ERA in 10 career starts vs. Detroit. But if he does need TJS, the Royals are going to have to trade for some pitching. There's no line because the Royals haven't officially announced Vargas' replacement, but it looks to be Chris Young (2-0, 1.06). He faced the Tigers on May 1 and didn't allow a run or hit over five innings. Miguel Cabrera is just 2-for-16 off him. Shane Greene (3-2, 5.56) goes for the Tigers. The bloom is off his rose. Greene has allowed 20 runs over 11 innings over his past three starts after just two runs over 23 innings in his first three. He hasn't faced K.C. this season. Few Royals have faced him. Eric Hosmer is 1-for-2 with an RBI. Salvador Perez 0-for-3. Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas is out again after being place on the bereavement list Friday. He will be eligible to return Monday.
Key trends: The Tigers have won four straight Sunday games. The over is 4-0 in those.
Early lean: Take Kansas City, which certainly will be dog.
Get free picks from any Doc's Sports handicapper - there is no obligation for this offer and no credit card required. Just sign up for an account, and you can use the $60 in free picks for any Doc's Sports Advisory Board handicapper and any sport. Click here to get started now.
Read more articles by Alan Matthews
Most Recent Baseball Handicapping Articles
- Expert MLB Handicapping: Can Los Angeles Dodgers Turn it Around?
- Expert Baseball Betting Advice: Are Seattle Mariners for Real?
- Daily Expert MLB Picks: Saturday, June 16, 2018, Opening Line Report
- Baseball Betting Expert Advice: MLB Underrated Pitchers
- Daily Expert MLB Picks: Friday, June 15, 2018, Opening Line Report
- Expert MLB Betting Advice: Disappointing Marquee Pitchers
- Daily Expert MLB Picks: Thursday, June 14, 2018, Opening Line Report
- MLB Betting Trends: Totals Report for Hot Over and Under Teams
- Daily Expert MLB Picks: Wednesday, June 13, 2018, Opening Line Report
- Daily Expert MLB Picks: Tuesday, June 12, 2018, Opening Line Report