I think the cycle is the most overrated event in baseball, but I did find it interesting what Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre did on Monday. He completed his cycle by the fifth inning, which is pretty incredible. It was also Beltre's third career cycle. It stunned me to learn that ties the big-league record for a career. All three of Beltre's cycles have come at the Rangers' ballpark, two for the home team and one as a visitor when he was playing for Seattle on Sept. 1, 2008. The last major leaguer with three career cycles was Babe Herman, who had two in 1931 and one in 1933. The only other big leaguers with three career cycles are Bob Meusel (1921, 1922 and 1928) and John Reilly (twice in 1883 and 1890). I guess now I hope Beltre gets another one.
Red Sox at Yankees (-170, 9)
This game is on ESPN and thus will have live betting at sportsbooks. The Yankees are bringing up their top pitching prospect for this one in right-hander Luis Severino. The New York Times says this is the most eagerly-awaited debut for a Yankees pitching prospect since 2007 with Joba Chamberlain. Severino was 7-0 with a 1.91 ERA in Triple-A this season. He's needed because Michael Pineda is on the disabled list with a strained right forearm. Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright (4-4, 4.53) comes off maybe his best start, allowing two runs over seven innings against the White Sox. His season debut was in New York on April 10 and Wright allowed two runs over five innings. Mark Teixeira is 1-for-2 with a solo dinger off him.
Key trends: The Red Sox are 1-4 in Wright's past five starts. The Yankees are 5-1 in their past six Wednesday games. The "over/under" has gone over in five of Wright's past six.
Early lean: Yankees and over.
Indians at Angels (-109, 7.5)
The Tribe have lost All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis for 2-3 weeks due to inflammation of his right shoulder. He's having a great season, batting .326 and leading the American League with 132 hits and 31 doubles. One less worry for Angels All-Star lefty Hector Santiago (7-5, 2.70). He struggled Friday at the Dodgers, allowing five runs and nine hits over five innings -- he has only last five innings in three straight starts. Santiago hasn't faced the Indians this season. Michael Brantley is 3-for-8 with a homer and two RBIs off him. Cleveland's Danny Salazar has a 1.53 ERA in his past four starts. The Angels' Kole Calhoun is 2-for-3 with a homer off him. Mike Trout and Albert Pujols are each 1-for-3.
Key trends: The Indians are 5-1 in Salazar's past six vs. the AL West. The Angels are 4-1 in Santiago's past five at home. The over is 10-2 in Salazar's past 12 vs. teams with a winning record. The over is 5-0 in Santiago's past five overall.
Early lean: Angels and under.
Cubs at Pirates (-119, 7.5)
Chicago was rumored to be in talks for a couple of big moves at least week's non-waiver trade deadline, but the only starting pitcher the Cubs landed was Miami's Dan Haren for two minor leaguers. Haren (7-7, 3.42) makes his Chicago debut on Wednesday. He hasn't faced Pittsburgh this season. Andrew McCutchen is 4-for-15 with two homers and four RBIs career off Haren. Aramis Ramirez is 3-for-12 with an RBI. Pirates lefty Jeff Locke (6-6, 4.21) has a 3.06 ERA in his past six starts. Locke is 0-1 with a 10.22 ERA in three starts this season against the Cubs. Anthony Rizzo is 6-for-18 with two homers and three RBIs off him. Kris Bryant is 2-for-6 with a homer and five RBIs.
Key trends: The Cubs are 9-4 in their past 13 vs. a lefty. The Pirates are 6-2 in Locke's past eight at home vs. teams with a winning record. The over is 3-0-1 in Locke's past four vs. Chicago.
Early lean: Cubs and over.
Giants at Braves (+161, 7)
San Francisco put All-Star second baseman Joe Panik on the disabled list Monday with back stiffness. He's hitting .309 on the season with 35 RBIs. I mentioned that Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons was to undergo an MRI on Monday, and apparently that came back with good news as he has just a bone bruise in his right thumb. He's still perhaps out a few days, but at least there's no ligament issue. First baseman Freddie Freeman is day-to-day after leaving Monday's game with an oblique injury. It's ace lefty Madison Bumgarner (11-6, 3.39) for the Giants. He was roughed up last time out, allowing six runs and nine hits over seven innings in a loss at Texas. It was his second six-run outing in the month of July. Atlanta's Jonny Gomes is 7-for-20 with two homers off him. Atlanta's Williams Perez (4-1, 4.14) also was hit hard in his last start, giving up nine runs over 4.1 innings in Philadelphia. He won in San Francisco on May 30, shutting out the Giants on four hits over seven innings.
Key trends: The Giants are 12-3 in Bumgarner's past 15 road starts vs. teams with a losing record. The Braves are 5-2 in their past seven at home vs. southpaws. The over is 7-1 in Bumgarner's past eight on four days of rest. The under is 7-0-2 in Atlanta's past nine vs. a lefty.
Early lean: Giants and under.
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Padres at Brewers (-114, 7.5)
Keep an eye on Padres outfielder Justin Upton for this game. He had to leave Monday's with a bruised right thumb and is being called day-to-day. Upton, who was the subject of many trade rumors, is hitting .247 with a team-leading 18 home runs and 57 RBIs this year. I'm sure Brewers righty Taylor Jungmann (5-3, 2.23) would be fine with Upton missing this one. The rookie hasn't allowed more than two earned runs in his past seven outings. He hasn't faced San Diego. The Padres' Ian Kennedy (6-9, 4.44) also was rumored on the trade market ahead of the deadline. He hasn't allowed more than two earned in any of his past three and the Padres have won them all. Ryan Braun is 4-for-14 with a homer and two RBIs off him. Jean Segura is 3-for-7.
Key trends: The Padres are 6-2 in Kennedy's past eight road starts vs. teams with a losing record. The under is 8-1 in his past nine overall. The under is 5-1-1 in Jungmann's past seven.
Early lean: Brewers and under.
Read more articles by Alan Matthews
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