I now have a new favorite for the first manager to be fired: Colorado's Walt Weiss. The Rockies were competitive for a while but took a 10-game losing streak into Wednesday. The new Colorado GM felt compelled to say he likes the roster early this week and that the blame was on the players and not the coaches. That's usually a bad sign. Weiss might not make it through the weekend if the team breaks the franchise-record 13-game losing streak. Quite possible, if the Rockies lost Wednesday at the Angels, with four games at the Dodgers this weekend.
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Rockies at Dodgers (TBA)
Another interesting facet of how things are unraveling in Denver: star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki reportedly will meet with his agent on Thursday to decide whether to demand a trade. I don't see why he wouldn't as this team isn't going to win while Tulo is still a good player. Let those Mets rumors begin because they aren't hitting at all and have the pitching to trade. Eddie Butler (2-3, 3.73) gets the call in the series opener for the Rockies. He has faced the Dodgers twice this season, allowing four runs and 11 hits over 10.1 innings. The Rockies would lose both. Justin Turner should get a start at third for L.A. as he's 6-for-9 with two doubles off Butler. Adrian Gonzalez is 3-for-10 with a double, homer and two RBIs. Lefty Brett Anderson (2-1, 3.52) hasn't allowed an earned run over 11 innings in his past two starts for the Dodgers. His last start was in Colorado, his team last season, where he went five innings. Justin Morneau is 4-for-14 with a homer off him.
Key trends: Colorado has lost five straight against lefties. The Dodgers are 5-1 in their past six series openers. The "over/under" has gone under in eight of Colorado's past nine road games against a lefty. The over is 6-1 in the past seven meetings in L.A.
Early lean: This is TBA because Butler hasn't officially been named yet as he took a line drive off his leg last time out, but the Denver Post is reporting he's fine to start. L.A. will be a sizable favorite, and I'd take the Dodgers on the runline.
Blue Jays at Astros (-102, 8.5)
Houston will have young outfielder George Springer back for this series opener and perhaps even on Wednesday night as he is being activated off the seven-day disabled list. Springer has four homers, 12 RBIs and a shocking 10 steals on the season. Drew Hutchison (3-0, 6.69) starts for the Jays, and as you can see he has gotten plenty of run support. He does come off his best outing of the season, allowing a run and striking out six over five innings against the Red Sox. That lowered his ERA from 7.47. Houston's Jason Castro is 1-for-2 with a double and RBI off him. Luis Valbuena 1-for-3 with a double. Houston's Roberto Hernandez (1-3, 3.86), on the other hand, isn't getting much run support. He held the Angels to two runs and six hits over 7.2 innings last time out but still lost. Jose Bautista is 6-for-15 with five extra-base hits, including a homer, and three RBIs off him.
Key trends: Toronto is 10-4 in Hutchison's past 14 series openers. The Astros are 5-2 in their past seven Game 1s. The over is 10-2 in Hutchison's past 12 road starts.
Early lean: Astros and over.
Royals at Rangers (+106, 9.5)
Texas is expecting to activate first baseman Mitch Moreland off the disabled list on Wednesday. Moreland has been sidelined since April 27 due to an elbow injury. He has hit .304 with a homer and nine RBIs in the majors this season. It's Jeremy Guthrie (2-2, 5.70) in this matinee start for the Royals. He had his best start of the year last time out, allowing two runs and eight hits over 7.1 innings in Detroit -- the same team that plastered him the start before. Guthrie is 5-4 with a 3.40 ERA in his career against Texas. Prince Fielder is a.478 hitter off him in 23 at-bats. Moreland is 2-for-12 with a double. Rangers lefty Ross Detwiler (0-4, 7.22) had his fourth start this season of allowing exactly five earned runs last time out, lasting only four innings at Tampa Bay. This will be his first career start vs. K.C.
Key trends: The Royals are 5-0 in Guthrie's past five on the road. Texas is 1-5 in Detwiler's past six starts. The under is 3-0-2 in Guthrie's past five vs. Texas.
Early lean: Royals and over.
Cardinals at Indians (+115, 7.5)
This is your earliest game on the schedule with a 12:10 p.m. start time, and thus I fully expect a regular or two on each side to get the day off in the series finale. Like Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina for one as he left Tuesday's game as it was with back tightness. Perhaps St. Louis could use him as the designated hitter assuming that back is fine. The Cards' Michael Wacha (5-0, 2.09) has been one of the NL's best pitchers thus far. He has allowed more than two earned runs just once all season. Wacha has never faced the Indians. Cleveland's Trevor Bauer (2-1, 4.19) got off to a really strong start this season but has tailed off of late with an ERA of 10.61 over his past two starts. He has never faced St. Louis.
Key trends: The Cards are 0-4 in Wacha's past four interleague starts. The Indians are 4-1 in Bauer's past five vs. the NL. The over is 5-0 in his past five against teams with a winning record.
Early lean: Cardinals and under.
Red Sox at Mariners (-132, 7.5)
Seattle had to put Roenis Elias into the rotation a couple of weeks ago because of an injury to Hisashi Iwakuma, and it appears Elias will have to stay there for the foreseeable future as Iwakuma has been shut down for the next 10-14 days because he still is having problems with a lat strain. Thus you may not see him until after the All-Star break. The lefty Elias (0-1, 3.86) gets the call against the Red Sox. He went a season-high seven innings last time out, allowing three runs in a no-decision at the Angels. No Red Sox have ever faced him. Joe Kelly (1-2, 6.35) is yet another Red Sox starter who is struggling. He was bombed for six runs in 5.2 innings last time out in Toronto, walking seven batters. That's four straight starts he has been shelled. Seattle's Nelson Cruz is 3-for-9 with two RBIs off him.
Key trends: Boston is 8-3 in its past 11 series openers. Seattle is 0-4 in Elias' past four at home. The over is 5-2 in Kelly's past seven overall. The over is 7-0 in the past seven meetings in Seattle.
Early lean: Mariners and over.
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