Pretty shocking news out of Detroit on Tuesday as the team parted ways with very successful GM/team president Dave Dombrowski. Assuming Dombrowski's post will be longtime assistant GM Al Avila, who is the father of Tigers catcher Alex Avila. I don't know what's going on behind the scenes here because Dombrowski is one of the five best, maybe better, GMs in the game. The Tigers advanced to the playoffs in six of Dombrowski's 14 years. They advanced to the World Series twice -- in 2006 and 2012 -- losing both times. Detroit was eliminated in the ALCS in 2011 and 2013 and has won four consecutive AL Central championships. However, that run is coming to an end this year, and Dombrowski traded two of the team's best players, David Price and Yoenis Cepedes, at the deadline. Maybe 86-year-old owner Mike Ilitch wasn't on board with Dombrowski's plan to "reboot" the franchise and wants to keep pushing for a World Series title before he dies. Dombrowski will get another job without question.
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Cardinals at Reds (+138, 8)
Earliest start of the day (12:35 p.m. ET) and after a night game, so you may see a regular or two on each side get the game off with both traveling out after. Michael Wacha (12-4, 3.09) goes for the Cardinals. He had been scuffling a bit but was strong last time out in shutting out Colorado on four hits over seven innings. He is 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA in two starts this season against Cincinnati. Todd Frazier is 5-for-19 with a homer off him. Joey Votto is 6-for-15 with two doubles and a homer. Jay Bruce might take the day off. He's 0-for-18 with nine strikeouts. Cincinnati's Michael Lorenzen (3-6, 4.80) was not good in July with an 8.61 ERA. He has never faced the Cardinals.
Key trends: The Cardinals are 7-0 in Wacha's past seven vs. the NL Central. The Reds are 0-5 in Lorenzen's past five on five days of rest. The "over/under" has gone over in five of Wacha's past seven on the road. The over is 4-1 in Wacha's past five vs. the Reds.
Early lean: Cardinals and under.
Dodgers at Phillies (+220, 7.5)
Los Angeles shortstop Jimmy Rollins concludes his homecoming to the City of Brotherly Love, and he's certainly one of the great Phillies of all time. This is another day game (1:05 p.m. ET) after a night game, so monitor those starting lineups. The Phillies might just throw in the towel on MLB ERA leader Zack Greinke (10-2, 1.41). He actually has just been mortal in his past two starts, allowing two earned in each after going six straight allowing zero. He shut out the Phillies over eight innings on one hit on July 9. Ryan Howard is 3-for-12 with two RBIs off him. Domonic Brown is 1-for-12. Philly's David Buchanan (2-5, 6.44) hasn't faced the Dodgers this season. He has allowed three runs in each of his past two starts, both wins.
Key trends: The Dodgers are 9-1 in Greinke's past 10 on five days of rest. The Phillies are 0-4 in Buchanan's past four vs. teams with a winning record. The under is 5-0 in Greinke's past five on the road. The over is 4-0 in Buchanan's past four on Thursday.
Early lean: Dodgers on runline and under.
Red Sox at Yankees (-156, 9)
Yes, another Boston-New York game is nationally televised and will have live betting as this one is shown on the MLB Network. It's lefty CC Sabathia (4-8, 5.54) for the Bombers. He wasn't very good last time out in Texas, allowing five runs and nine hits over five innings in a loss. And after he was dealing with dehydration and had to be hospitalized. But he's fine now and good to go. He has faced Boston once this season, allowing two runs in six innings on May 1. David Ortiz is a career .239 hitter off him with two homers in 67 at-bats. Mike Napoli is hitting .263 with two homers in 38 at-bats. Rookie lefty Eduardo Rodriguez (6-3, 4.34) goes for Boston. His lone start against New York was on July 11 and he allowed two runs over 6.1 innings.
Key trends: Boston is 3-8 in its past 11 vs. a lefty. The Yanks have won five straight at home vs. lefties. The over is 9-3 in Sabathia's past 12 overall. New York is 2-5 in Sabathia's past seven vs. Boston.
Early lean: Yankees and over.
Twins at Blue Jays (-180, 8.5)
Toronto could be going for the four-game sweep here depending on what happens on Wednesday. Troy Tulowitzki has been raking since being acquired from Houston, and the Jays have taken one of the two AL wild-card spots from the Twins. I think you can stick a fork in Minnesota. The Jays go with lefty Mark Buehrle (11-5, 3.32) here. He has held opponents to three earned runs or fewer in 11 straight starts. He won in Minnesota on May 29, throwing a complete game and allowing four runs. Joe Mauer hits just .206 off him in 63 at-bats. The Twins' Kyle Gibson (8-8, 3.37) bounced back from two rough starts by allowing two runs over seven innings vs. the Mariners last time out. Gibson allowed one earned over 5.2 innings vs. Toronto on May 30. Tulowitzki has never faced him.
Key trends: Minnesota has lost six straight Gibson starts vs. teams with a winning record. The Twins also have lost six straight road games vs. lefties. Toronto is 5-2 in Buehrle's past seven on Thursday. The over is 5-2 in Gibson's past seven vs. the AL East. The over is 12-5 in Buehrle's past 17 at home.
Early lean: Blue Jays and over.
Giants at Cubs (-118, TBA)
Potentially important series for wild-card implications begins at Wrigley Field -- the Cubs' most important home series in years. Jason Hammel (6-5, 3.13) gets the call for Chicago. Hammel got his first win since June 6 last time out, holding the Brewers to one run and six hits over 5.2 innings. He hasn't faced San Francisco this season. Hunter Pence is 5-for-17 with a homer and five RBIs off him. Buster Posey is 2-for-11 with an RBI. Giants rookie Chris Heston (11-5, 3.24) faces the Cubs for the first time. San Francisco has won his past four outings and he hasn't allowed more than three runs in any of them.
Key trends: The Giants are 7-1 in Heston's past eight on the road. The Cubs are 0-6 in Hammel's past six on five days of rest. The over is 4-0 in Heston's past four on the road. The under is 5-1 in Hammel's past six vs. teams with a winning record.
Early lean: Cubs and under.
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