Interesting news from highly-respected USA Today baseball writer Bob Nightengale as he reports that the Detroit Tigers will be sellers at the deadline as the team has all but given up on competing for the playoffs this season with Miguel Cabrera out another month or so and Justin Verlander simply awful. He reports that David Price and Yoenis Cespedes will be put on the block as both can become free agents after the season. The Tigers haven't made a selling move at the deadline since July 30, 2008, when they sent All-Star catcher Ivan Rodriguez to the Yankees to reliever Kyle Farnsworth. It's the end of an era in Motown.
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Twins at Angels (-172, 8)
Angels All-Star first baseman and future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols had three home runs in Monday's doubleheader against Boston and has moved past Mike Schmidt for 15th all-time with 549 career. Next up on the list is No. 14 Manny Ramirez with 555. Pujols also took the big-league lead as he now has 29. Pujols will look for No. 550 against Twins starter Mike Pelfrey (5-6, 4.00). This will be his first start in 12 days. He wasn't good heading into the break with a 7.59 ERA over his final six starts. Pujols is 4-for-14 with three RBIs off him but hasn't gone yard. It's lefty C.J. Wilson (7-7, 3.59) for the Halos. He was excellent last time out, shutting out Boston on five hits over eight innings. Torii Hunter is a career .306 hitter off him with two homers in 36 at-bats. Joe Mauer is just 3-for-28.
Key trends: The Twins are 0-4 in their past four against lefties. They are 3-8 in Pelfrey's past 11 road starts vs. teams with a winning record. The Angels are 9-1 in Wilson's past 10 on Wednesday. The "over/under" has gone under four of Minnesota's past five vs. a lefty. The over is 6-0 in Wilson's past six vs. the AL Central.
Early lean: Angels and over.
Mets at Nationals (-125, 6.5)
It's a getaway day early starting game (12:35 p.m.), so a starter or two may take a seat here. Rookie Noah Syndergaard (4-5, 3.05) goes for New York. He began the second half with a strong outing, holding the Cardinals to two runs and five hits over seven innings. He hasn't faced Washington this season. Syndergaard has a 0.68 ERA in two day starts this season. Washington's Jordan Zimmermann (8-5, 3.27) is 3-0 with a 1.99 ERA in his last five starts. His season debut was against the Mets, allowing a run and five hits over six innings. Daniel Murphy is a .321 hitter off him with three homers and eight RBIs in 53 at-bats. Luca Duda is 7-for-32 with two doubles.
Key trends: The Mets are 1-5 in Syndergaard's past six on the road. The under is 5-2 in Zimmermann's past seven at home. The Nats have won his past six vs. the Mets.
Early lean: Nats and under.
Orioles at Yankees (-116, 9)
This game is on ESPN and thus will have live betting at sportsbooks. Baltimore throws young right-hander Kevin Gausman (1-1, 5.00). He hasn't pitched in the majors since July 7 when he was rocked for eight runs in 3.2 innings in Minnesota. He was then sent down to Triple-A to make two starts over the break. He has thrown two-thirds of an inning this season vs. the Bombers. Jacoby Ellsbury is 1-for-10 off him. Brett Gardner is 3-for-10 with a solo homer. New York's Ivan Nova (1-3, 3.42) makes only his fifth start of the season off Tommy John surgery. He hasn't faced the Birds in 2014. Chris Davis hammers him, going 8-for-24 with three homers and 10 RBIs. Matt Wieters is 11-for-31 with four homers and seven RBIs.
Key trends: The Orioles are 1-4 in Gausman's past five road starts. The Yankees are 1-6 in Nova's past seven vs. the AL East. The under is 10-2-1 in Gausman's past 13 vs. the AL East.
Early lean: Yankees and under.
Mariners at Tigers (-140, 8.5)
These are two of your most disappointing AL clubs, with the Mariners in the basement of the AL West. Not sure if Manager Lloyd McClendon will be back next season with such high expectations heading into 2014. At least Seattle might have a keeper in the rotation in rookie left-hander Mike Montgomery (4-3, 2.51). That ERA is the fourth-lowest of any Mariners pitcher ever in his first nine career starts. He seems to like pitching away from Safeco Field as he is 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA in four road starts. Montgomery has never faced the Tigers. Detroit has won the past seven starts of Anibal Sanchez (9-7, 4.55). He pitched in Seattle on July 8 and allowed three earned over 6.1 innings. Nelson Cruz is 1-for-7 with a homer and four RBIs off him. Seth Smith hits .316 with two homers vs. Sanchez.
Key trends: The Tigers are 5-0 in Sanchez's past five at home. The under is 4-1-1 in Montgomery's past six overall. The over is 5-0 in Sanchez's past five overall.
Early lean: Mariners and under.
Red Sox at Astros (-135, 8)
Speaking of disappointments, I keep expecting the Red Sox to turn things around, but it's just not happening. They were swept in Monday's doubleheader and swept in the four-game series by the Angels. In the 55-season history of the Angels' franchise, the Sox had never been beaten there in four straight. Lefty Wade Miley (8-8, 4.49) goes here for Boston. He was great against the Angels on Friday, allowing no runs and just one hit, but the Sox still lost 1-0. Miley hasn't faced Houston this season. The Astros' Collin McHugh (10-5, 4.35) has had quality starts in five of his past six outings. Believe it or not, his 17 wins since last Aug. 1 is tied for the most in the majors with Pittsburgh's Gerrit Cole (who pitched Tuesday night). A few Red Sox have seen McHugh. Xander Bogaerts is 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs. David Ortiz is 0-for-4.
Key trends: The Sox are 6-2 in Miley's past eight starts on four days of rest. The Astros are 6-1 in McHugh's past seven at home vs. teams with a losing record. The under is 6-0 in Miley's past six vs. the AL West.
Early lean: Astros and over.
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