Interesting night for Cubs lefty pitcher Jon Lester on Monday against the Cardinals. He took a no-hitter into the seventh inning but ended up taking the loss, allowing two runs and two hits in seven innings. But Lester likely won't remember his pitching line from Monday but the fact he finally got a hit, in his 67th career regular-season at-bat. With two outs and two men on base in a 0-0 game in the bottom of the second, Lester hit an 0-2 pitch back at Cardinals pitcher John Lackey before the ball hit Lackey's leg and bounced near shortstop Jhonny Peralta, who had no play. That 67 at-bat streak was the longest by any player ever to start a career without a hit. Lester is now 1-for-72 in his career, including the postseason. He has one walk. I can do that!
Padres at Pirates (-135, 7.5)
Big loss for the Pirates as third baseman Josh Harrison, who finished second in the NL batting race last season, will miss six weeks with torn ligaments in his thumb. Harrison is hitting .279 with four homers and 22 RBIs. Rookie Jung Ho Kang likely will play third most of the time while Harrison is out. Charlie Morton (6-2, 4.30) gets the start on the mound here for the Bucs. He pitched in San Diego on May 30 and allowed one earned run and three hits over seven innings. Morton is 4-1 with a 2.65 ERA in six career starts against the Padres. Matt Kemp is 1-for-6 with three strikeouts off him. Justin Upton is 2-for-10. It's Andrew Cashner (3-9, 4.06) for San Diego. He was good last time out, allowing a run and three hits in St. Louis. Cashner hasn't faced Pittsburgh this season. Pedro Alvarez is 2-for-7 with a homer off him.
Key trends: The Padres are 5-0 in Cashner's past five road starts. The Pirates are 7-1 in Morton's past eight vs. teams with a losing record. The "over/under" has gone over in seven of Cashner's past eight overall. The under is 5-1 in Morton's past six at home.
Early lean: Padres and under.
A's at Yankees (-110, 8)
New York will activate outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury off the disabled list ahead of this game. He hasn't played since May 19 due to a knee injury. Ellsbury is hitting .324 with an excellent .412 on-base percentage and 14 steals. Ellsbury will first face A's lefty Scott Kazmir, who has been mentioned as a possible Yankees trade target. Kazmir (5-5, 2.56) shut out Seattle on two hits over eight innings last time out, striking out seven. He is 1-3 with a 4.20 ERA in seven road starts. Alex Rodriguez is 4-for-29 off him with eight strikeouts. Mark Teixeira is 11-for-20 with two homers and eight RBIs. It's lefty CC Sabathia (3-8, 5.59) for New York. He has been pretty bad, so he will pitch here on a few extra days of rest. He pitched in Oakland on May 28 and allowed five runs in six innings. Brett Lawrie has two homers off him in 17 at-bats.
Key trends: The A's are 0-5 in Kazmir's past five road starts vs. teams with a winning record. The Yankees are 1-5 in Sabathia's past six at home vs. teams with a losing record. The under is 6-1-1 in Kazmir's past eight overall. The over is 5-2 in Sabathia's past seven vs. Oakland.
Early lean: A's and under.
Rays at Royals (+118, 7.5)
Kansas City will be without All-Star outfielder Lorenzo Cain for at least a few days after aggravating his left hamstring injury on Sunday. In addition, third baseman Mike Moustakas has been placed on the bereavement list. This is the second time he has been placed on the family medical emergency list this season. So it's a very weakened lineup against Rays ace Chris Archer (9-5, 2.18). He shut out the Yankees on three hits over 6.2 innings last time out, but the Rays have lost his past two. The Royals' Kendrys Morales is 5-for-8 with a homer off him. It's Jeremy Guthrie (6-5, 5.42) for Kansas City. He has allowed two runs in each of his past two outings, both Royals wins. He is 9-11 with a 3.97 ERA in 24 career appearances against the Rays.
Key trends: The Rays are 9-2 in Archer's past 11 road starts vs. teams with a winning record. The Royals are 4-1 in Guthrie's past five at home. The under is 4-0 in his past four at home.
Early lean: Rays and under.
Cardinals at Cubs (+100, 7)
This game is on ESPN and thus will have live betting at the sportsbooks. Good pitching matchup, too. It's All-Star Michael Wacha (10-3, 2.66) for the Redbirds. He has allowed two total runs over 13 innings in his past two starts. One of those was against these Cubs. Starlin Castro hits him well, going 7-for-14 with two doubles and a homer. Anthony Rizzo is 5-for-14 with a homer. The Cubs start Jason Hammel (5-4, 2.89). He wasn't great in St. Louis on June 28, allowing four runs and six hits over four innings. He does have a 1.73 ERA in his last six starts at Wrigley Field. Cards All-Star shortstop Jhonny Peralta is 9-for-22 with two homers and eight RBIs against him.
Key trends: The Cards are 9-1 in Wacha's past 10 against teams with a winning record. The Cubs are 7-1 in Hammel's past eight at home vs. teams with a winning record. The under is 5-1 in Hammel's past six at home. The over is 4-1 in Wacha's past five vs. the Cubs.
Early lean: Cardinals and under.
Reds at Nationals (-170, 8)
Monitor the status of Washington starters Denard Span and Yunel Escobar for this game. Span was removed from Monday's game due to a back spasm, and Escobar left with left hamstring tightness. Both guys are hitting better than .300. Cincinnati goes with Michael Lorenzen (3-3, 3.58) on the mound here. He beat the Nationals on May 31, allowing two runs and just one hit in 6.1 innings. Bryce Harper is 0-for-1 with two walks off him. Lefty Gio Gonzalez (6-4, 4.16) goes for Washington. He has been great the past two outings, allowing one run and nine hits over 14 innings. He gave up four runs over 5.1 innings on May 30 in Cincinnati. Joey Votto is 5-for-12 with two homers off him.
Key trends: The Reds are 1-7 in their past eight road games vs. a lefty. The Nats are 4-0 in Gonzalez's past four vs. teams with a losing record. The over is 5-0 in his past five on Wednesday.
Early lean: Nationals and over.
Want free sports betting picks? Doc's Sports has you covered - get $60 worth of picks free from any of Doc's Sports expert handicappers. Click here for free picks (new clients only).
Read more articles by Alan Matthews
Most Recent Baseball Handicapping
- 2020 MLB Rookie of the Year Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
- 49th-Year Anniversary - 3 for 1 Start MLB Picks Special
- 2020 MLB MVP Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
- 2020 MLB Cy Young Award Odds and Predictions for AL and NL
- 2020 World Series Predictions with Futures Odds and Expert Analysis
- 2020 MLB Season Win Totals Predictions
- KBO Predictions and Expert Korean Baseball Analysis
- Korean Baseball Betting Advice: What to Know About The KBO
- 2020 Kansas City Royals Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
- MLB Triple Crown Winners