If you had given me 150 chances -- i.e. five starting pitchers x 30 teams -- to pick who would get the first no-hitter in the 2015 season, I would not have still even considered Chris Heston. I had barely heard of the 27-year-old Giant as he entered this season with 5.1 career big-league innings and is only in rotation because of injuries. Yet it was Heston who had the first no-no on Tuesday night against the Mets. If Heston had a bit more control he might have had a perfect game. He struck out 11 and walked none but hit three batters -- it was the first no-no with three hit batsmen. Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that it was by the Giants. It was the fourth no-hitter in four years for San Francisco. Tim Lincecum no-hit the Padres on July 13, 2012 and again on June 25, 2014. Matt Cain no-hit the Astros on June 13, 2012. Heston is the first Giants rookie to throw a no-hitter since Jeff Tesreau in 1912.
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Padres at Braves (-111, 7.5)
I have been feeling sorry for San Diego starter Andrew Cashner (2-8, 4.05) because he was just getting no run support, but he's been off his past two starts, so the empathy is gone. He lasted only 4.2 innings and allowed six runs and 11 hits on June 1 vs. the Mets. Then last Saturday, he allowed seven runs and eight hits over 5.2 innings against the Reds, although rather ironically his offense bailed him out of a loss. Juan Uribe has seen him more than any Brave, going 8-for-20 with two doubles and two RBIs. Freddie Freeman is 1-for-3 with an RBI. Atlanta's Julio Teheran (4-2, 4.87) hasn't won in his past three starts. He allowed four runs over 7.1 innings last time out against the Pirates. San Diego's Matt Kemp is 1-for-6 off him. Will Venable is 3-for-8 with a homer.
Key trends: The Padres are 2-5 in Cashner's past seven vs. the NL East. Atlanta is 5-1 in Teheran's past six at home. The "over/under" has gone over in Cashner's past four on Thursday. The over is 10-1 in Teheran's past 11 overall.
Early lean: Padres and under -- early start should mean advantage pitchers.
Giants at Mets (-115, 7)
This is your national TV game of the night on the MLB Network so will have live betting at sportsbooks. Maybe Lincecum can add another no-hitter to his resume? The Mets are pretty bad offensively, and Lincecum (6-3, 3.29) is having a nice season. Well, was. He has allowed four earned runs in three straight starts and not lasted past the sixth inning. His ERA before that stretch was 2.08. Michael Cuddyer is 7-for-18 with four doubles and a homer off him career. Curtis Granderson has two homers in nine at-bats. So much for that Mets six-man rotation. It already has been scrapped, and lefty Jon Niese has beaten out Dillon Gee (now in bullpen) for the final spot among the five starters. Niese (3-6, 4.43) hasn't gotten a win since May 9. Buster Posey is 7-for-19 with a homer off him. The Giants will be without Hunter Pence. He looks headed to the disabled list with a wrist injury. Pence, who missed several weeks with a broken forearm, is hitting .282 with 13 RBIs.
Key trends: The Giants are 2-5 in Lincecum's past seven vs. teams with a winning record. The Mets are 1-5 in Niese's past six at home vs. teams with a winning record. The under is 6-0 in Niese's past six vs. the Giants. San Francisco is 7-1 in Lincecum's past eight vs. the Mets.
Early lean: Giants and under.
Reds at Cubs (-157, 8)
Cincinnati's Joey Votto had three homers on Tuesday, but that was obviously overshadowed. The Reds are hoping to have Billy Hamilton and Brandon Phillips back for this series opener. Hamilton didn't start Tuesday or Wednesday with a wrist injury. Phillips left Tuesday's game with a groin injury and sat Wednesday. Tsuyoshi Wada (0-1, 4.91) is set to start for the Cubs. The Japanese lefty has made only four starts as he was injured to begin the season. He had his worst outing last time out, allowing five runs and nine hits over 3.2 innings in a loss to Washington. A few Reds have seen him. Votto hasn't. Zack Cozart is 2-for-2. Phillips is 0-for-2 with a strikeout. It's rookie Michael Lorenzen (1-1, 3.29) for the Reds. He tied his season high by allowing three runs last time out against the Padres. He has never faced the Cubs.
Key trends: Both teams are 2-5 in their past seven series openers. The Reds are 1-7 in the past eight meetings.
Early lean: Cubs and over.
Rangers at A's (-158, 7.5)
This could be a bit of a job interview for Oakland's Scott Kazmir (2-4, 3.14). The Rangers need pitching, and they'd certainly have some interest in the lefty from Texas. The A's are going to trade him by July 31, probably well sooner, as Kazmir will become a free agent this offseason. The A's have lost his past six because their bats go silent with him on the mound. They have two or fewer runs in four of those six starts. Oakland's last win with Kazmir on the mound was May 1 at Texas, where he allowed three runs and six hits over six innings. Prince Fielder might get the matinee off as he's just 2-for-14 off Kazmir. Texas goes with rookie Chi Chi Gonzalez (2-0, 0.00). He comes off a complete-game three-hitter in Kansas City and is only the third Rangers pitcher to win his first two big-league starts. He's also the first Texas pitcher to throw a shutout within his first two career games since Len Barker in 1976.
Key trends: The A's are 0-9 in Kazmir's past nine vs. teams with a winning record. The over is 6-1 in Kazmir's past seven at home.
Early lean: Love under. Take Oakland.
Angels at Rays (+110, 7)
Los Angeles' Garrett Richards (5-4, 4.14) comes off the worst start of his career. He lasted only two-thirds of an inning at the Yankees, giving up six runs and five hits, walking two. Richards has now allowed a home run in each of his last four starts after giving up just five all last season. Richards faced the Rays on June 1 and allowed three runs in six innings. David DeJesus is 2-for-6 with a double and RBI off him. Evan Longoria is 1-for-8 with two strikeouts. Tampa's Alex Colome (3-2, 4.54) was strong last time out in Seattle, allowing a run over six innings. He wasn't so good the start before that in Anaheim, giving up five runs and nine hits in six innings. Mike Trout is 1-for-3 with a homer and three RBIs off him. Albert Pujols is 2-for-4 with a solo homer. He's now tied with Mickey Mantle on the all-time list.
Key trends: The Rays are 5-1 in their past six Thursday games. They are 1-5 in Colome's past six starts. The over is 4-0 in Richards' past four.
Early lean: Rays and over.
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