So did you see the no-hitter by Houston's Mike Fiers on Friday against the Dodgers? It sure looked like he had some sort of weird substance on the inside of his glove. If MLB's commissioner was Roger Goodell, he probably would have been suspended for half the season. But MLB cleared Fiers, so I guess that's that. You see pitchers licking their fingers and such all the time, and technically that's not allowed. Fiers has denied having any substance. Monitor his next start because Fiers threw a career-high 134 pitches in the no-no. Fiers, acquired at the trade deadline with Carlos Gomez from Milwaukee, had never thrown a complete game in 58 starts over five seasons before the no-hitter.
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Astros at Yankees (+118, 8)
This game will have live betting at sportsbooks as it's nationally televised by the MLB Network. Potential playoff preview here as the Yankees have a slim lead in the AL East entering Monday and the Astros have a four-game edge in the AL West. If the playoffs did start today these two would square off in the ALDS with the Royals facing the wild-card winner. It's AL Cy Young favorite Dallas Keuchel (14-6, 2.37) for Houston. Last time out, Keuchel held the Rays to two runs over seven innings. What was unusual is that Keuchel didn't get a decision for the first time since June 4. The Yanks' Chase Headley is 3-for-10 with a homer off him. Carlos Beltran is 3-for-7 with a homer. New York goes with Ivan Nova (5-5, 3.72). He lost against Cleveland last time out, allowing three runs over five innings. Houston's Jed Lowrie is 4-for-8 off him. Jose Altuve is 1-for-2 with an RBI.
Key trends: Houston is 1-6 in Keuchel's past seven on the road. The Yanks are 1-6 in their past seven vs. lefties. The "over/under" is 7-1 in Keuchel's past eight vs. teams with a winning record. The under is 7-1-1 in Nova's past nine.
Early lean: Astros and over.
Padres at Nationals (-145, 7)
San Diego catcher Derek Norris had to sit out Sunday's game with a wrist injury but is expected back in the lineup on Tuesday. He was crossed up on a pitch and took it off the wrist on Saturday. Norris is hitting .246 with 13 homers and 54 RBIs. He will be catching James Shields (9-5, 3.74) in this one. He was very good last time out, ending a streak where the Padres had lost five straight of his starts. Shields shut out Atlanta on five hits over six innings. Washington's Yunel Escobar is 6-for-29 with an RBI off him. Bryce Harper has never faced Shields. The Nats' Stephen Strasburg (7-6, 4.22) has looked great since returning from the DL, allowing three earned runs over 20 innings in three starts. In five career starts versus San Diego, Strasburg is 4-1 with a 3.60 ERA. Matt Kemp is 2-for-8 with four strikeouts against him.
Key trends: The Padres are 4-0 in their past four series openers. They are 1-6 in Shields' past seven on the road. The Nats are 3-7 in Strasburg's past 10 series openers. The under is 6-1 in his past seven overall.
Early lean: Nationals and under.
Mets at Phillies (+185, 8)
New York finally was set to get back third baseman David Wright on Monday. Wright, who last played in the majors on April 14, had been dealing with spinal stenosis in his lower back. Don't expect him to play every single day, however. The early reports are that he will get Thursday off. For this one, it's rookie Noah Syndergaard (7-6, 3.17) for the Mets. He might be hitting the rookie wall with a 6.19 ERA over his past three starts. He blanked the Phillies over 7.1 innings on May 27. The Phils go with Jerome Williams (4-9, 6.10). He was pummeled last time out, allowing eight runs and eight hits, walking four, over 1.2 innings in Miami. He has a 5.73 ERA in 11.0 innings this season against the Mets. Kelly Johnson is 9-for-25 with two RBIs off him. Wright is 0-for-3 with three walks.
Key trends: The Mets are 0-4 in Syndergaard's past four on the road. The Phils are 0-4 in Williams' past four vs. the NL East. The over is 4-0-1 in Williams' past five on Tuesday.
Early lean: Mets and over.
Twins at Rays (-138, 7.5)
Minnesota wasn't expecting All-Star closer Glen Perkins back until Tuesday, but a bullpen session went well enough over the weekend that he pitched Sunday against the Orioles and got the win. He escaped a two-on, two out jam by striking out fellow All-Star Adam Jones in the 11th inning. Had the game not gone extras, the team wouldn't have used him. The Twins start Ervin Santana (2-4, 5.53) in this one. They have lost his past five and Santana has allowed at least four runs in four of those. He's 0-4 with an 8.46 ERA in that stretch. John Jaso is a career .381 hitter off him with a homer and six RBIs in 21 at-bats. Tampa Bay's Nathan Karns (7-5, 3.44) held Houston to a run over six innings in his last outing. He hasn't suffered a loss since July 9. Only a few Twins have ever faced him. Joe Mauer is 1-for-1 with a double.
Key trends: The Rays are 2-8 in their past 10 after an off day. They are 1-4 in Karns' past five vs. teams with a winning record. The under is 5-1 in Santana's past six on the road.
Early lean: Rays and over.
Orioles at Royals (-135, 8)
Baltimore lost shortstop J.J. Hardy to the disabled list due to a groin injury over the weekend. He has had an injury-plagued season and the team might be better off with Ryan Flaherty playing short. Hardy is batting just .222 with .253 on-base and .315 slugging percentages in 93 games this season and was 4-for-38 in his past 12 games. You might see Manny Machado at short occasionally as well. Baltimore starts Miguel Gonzalez (9-9, 4.73) here. He might be in danger of losing his rotation spot. Gonzalez allowed seven runs over five innings last time out vs. Minnesota. Kansas City's Jarrod Dyson should get a start here as he's 5-for-6 career off Gonzalez. Royals lefty Danny Duffy (6-6, 4.18) allowed four runs over five innings last time out vs. Boston. He hasn't faced Baltimore this season. Adam Jones is 1-for-6 off him. Matt Wieters is 1-for-3 with a double.
Key trends: The Orioles are 0-5 in Gonzalez's past five road starts vs. teams with a winning record. The Royals are 1-5 in Duffy's past six vs. the AL East. The over is 8-3 in Gonzalez's past 11. The under is 9-1 in Duffy's past 10.
Early lean: Royals and under.
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