Maybe Friday's trade deadline day will be rather quiet! All the big names could be gone by then. There were two more deals Tuesday, with Kansas City acquiring Mr. Super Utility Ben Zobrist from Oakland for two minor-league pitchers. Zobrist will likely play left field (until Alex Gordon returns from injury) and second base with K.C. After adding Johnny Cueto, I think the Royals are done now as they have weakened their farm system but are clearly going all in. Washington beefed up its bullpen by getting All-Star closer Jonathan Papelbon from the Phillies for a minor-league pitcher. Papelbon is expected to replace Drew Storen as Washington's closer as Papelbon wasn't going to approve a trade anywhere he couldn't close. The Nats have to pick up his 2016 option, but at a reduced cost of $11 million. Papelbon is 17-for-17 in saves with a 1.59 ERA.
Padres at Mets (-115, 7)
My nomination for stupidest major leaguer this season is Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia. He was suspended 162 games by MLB on Tuesday -- tying Alex Rodriguez for the longest ever -- after a second failed test for performing-enhancing drugs. Mejia missed the first 80 games of the season after his first suspension and had pitched 7 1/3 scoreless innings with seven strikeouts since his return. So that trade for A's reliever Tyler Clippard looks much more important now for the Mets, who probably knew this suspension was coming. Both starting pitchers for this one reportedly are on the block. It's Andrew Cashner (4-10, 3.93) for San Diego. He was not good against the Mets on June 1, allowing six runs and 11 hits over just 4.2 innings. But Cashner has been better of late and hasn't allowed a homer since June 16. Juan Uribe is 8-for-23 with two RBIs career off him. It's lefty Jonathan Niese (5-9, 3.75) for the Mets. He was shelled for six runs and eight hits last time out vs. the Dodgers. That snapped a streak of eight straight quality starts. Justin Upton is a career .391 hitter off him. If Upton is still a Padre by game-time.
Key trends: The Padres are 1-6 in Cashner's past seven vs. teams with a winning record. The Mets are 1-4 in Niese's past five vs. teams with a losing record. The "over/under" has gone over in five straight Thursday starts by Cashner. The over is 5-1 in Niese's past six at home.
Early lean: Mets and under.
Nationals at Marlins (+140, 6.5)
We will see if Papelbon gets his first save opportunity here. Let's just say that Storen isn't happy about the deal because closers get paid more than set-up men. Max Scherzer (10-8, 2.33) takes the mound for Washington. He comes off a rare poor start, allowing five runs and seven hits over five innings against a Pirates team he no-hit earlier this season. His only start vs. Miami was on May 6, and he was knocked around for five runs and 10 hits over seven innings. Don't be shocked if Miami's Dan Haren (7-6, 3.51) either doesn't make this start or is pulled early from it as he's going to be traded, no doubt about it. His lone start this year against Washington was on April 26, and he allowed two runs and three hits over five innings. The Marlins dealt away fellow pitcher Mat Latos and first baseman/outfielder Michael Morse to the Dodgers on Wednesday afternoon.
Key trends: The Nats are 5-2 in Scherzer's past seven vs. NL East teams. The Marlins are 7-3 in Haren's past 10 at home. The under is 6-2 in Scherzer's past eight on the road. The over is 5-0-1 in Haren's past six vs. the NL East.
Early lean: Nationals and under.
White Sox at Red Sox (+154, 8)
Did you happen to see Tuesday night's White Sox-Red Sox game? Boston star rookie center fielder Mookie Betts made a great running catch of a ball hit by Chicago's Jose Abreu. Betts went tumbling over the short bullpen wall after making it, but when falling he dropped the ball. So on replay it went from an out to a homer. To make matters worse for the Red Sox, Betts likely suffered a concussion on the play and will go on the seven-day list. The surging Pale Hose might be going for a four-game sweep here depending on what happens Wednesday. And it's ace lefty Chris Sale (9-5, 2.85) on Thursday. It's the All-Star's first look at Boston this season. Betts actually was 2-for-3 career with two doubles off him, the best of any Red Sox. David Ortiz is 2-for-10 with two strikeouts. Boston goes with Steven Wright (3-4, 4.78). The knuckleballer allowed four runs in 4.1 innings last time out vs. Detroit. He has never faced the White Sox.
Key trends: The White Sox are 4-1 in Sale's past five road starts vs. teams with a losing record. Boston has lost four straight against left-handers. The under is 6-1 in Sale's past seven on Thursday.
Early lean: White Sox and under.
Yankees at Rangers (+130, 8.5)
Here's another guy who is reportedly on the market and could be dealt Thursday or Friday: the Rangers' Yovani Gallardo (7-9, 3.19). The Rangers like him, and he's a Dallas native, but will be a free agent after the season and Texas isn't going anywhere in 2015. Gallardo had been having a good season but has allowed exactly five runs in four innings in each of his past two starts. He beat the Yankees on May 24, allowing two runs over six innings. Chase Headley is 8-for-26 with a homer and nine walks career off him. A-Rod is 1-for-3. New York's Michael Pineda (9-7, 3.97) also hasn't been sharp in his past two, allowing nine runs and 14 hits over 11.2 innings, both losses. He lost against Texas on May 22, allowing seven runs in six innings. Mitch Moreland is 4-for-9 with two homers against Pineda.
Key trends: The Yankees are 8-2 in Pineda's past 10 with five days of rest. The Rangers are 6-1 in Gallardo's past seven vs. teams with a winning record. The over is 9-2 in Pineda's past 11 on the road. The under is 4-0 in Gallardo's past four at home.
Early lean: Rangers and over.
Angels at Astros (-137, 8)
The Halos got good news on Mike Trout's wrist Tuesday as an MRI came back negative, and he should be back in there as early as Wednesday. L.A. added two more outfielders on Tuesday as well in Cleveland's David Murphy and Tampa Bay's David DeJesus. That's on top of trading for Shane Victorino. Guess we are looking at platoon situations in left field and DH. Matt Shoemaker (5-7, 4.55) is on the mound here for Los Angeles. He comes off one of his best starts of the year back on July 21, shutting out the Twins on two hits over six innings while striking out 10. He allowed six runs in just three innings on May 9 vs. Houston. It's lefty Scott Kazmir (6-5, 2.24) for the Astros. He was great in his debut with the team last week after coming over from Oakland, shutting out the Royals over seven innings on three hits. While with the A's, he pitched once against the Angels in 2015, allowing a run over 7.1 innings. Trout is 3-for-8 off him.
Key trends: The Angels have won eight straight vs. lefties. They are 15-2 in Shoemaker's past 17 on the road. The over is 5-2-1 in his past eight on the road.
Early lean: Astros and under.
Doc’s Sports is offering $60 worth of member’s picks absolutely free – no obligation, no sales people – you don’t even have to enter credit card information. You can use this $60 credit any way you please for any handicapper and any sport on Doc’s Sports Advisory Board list of expert sports handicappers. Click here for more details and take advantage of this free $60 picks credit today.
Read more articles by Alan Matthews
Most Recent Baseball Handicapping
- 2020 MLB Rookie of the Year Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
- 49th-Year Anniversary - 3 for 1 Start MLB Picks Special
- 2020 MLB MVP Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
- 2020 MLB Cy Young Award Odds and Predictions for AL and NL
- 2020 World Series Predictions with Futures Odds and Expert Analysis
- 2020 MLB Season Win Totals Predictions
- KBO Predictions and Expert Korean Baseball Analysis
- Korean Baseball Betting Advice: What to Know About The KBO
- 2020 Kansas City Royals Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
- MLB Triple Crown Winners