While many Cubs fans may still be celebrating the Blackhawks' third Stanley Cup in the past six years from Monday night's Game 6 win over Tampa Bay, there's another reason for Cubs fans to get excited. The team is calling up its top prospect -- now that Kris Bryant and Addison Russell are already big leaguers -- in catcher Kyle Schwarber on Tuesday. The Cubs start five games in American League parks on Wednesday in Cleveland. So they want to use Schwarber, who was tearing up the minors like Bryant had, at that spot (might pinch-hit Tuesday but won't start). Then, no matter what he does in those games, he will head to Triple-A for the first time. The team wants to get him a taste of the majors while adding his bat. And the Cubs want to keep him at catcher, so that's why he needs more minor-league seasoning.
Rays at Nationals (-158, 7.5)
Tampa Bay avoided disaster when star third baseman Evan Longoria was hit on the wrist by a pitch from Washington's Taylor Hill on Monday. While Longoria may have to miss a game or two, X-rays were negative. He's hitting .269 with six homers and 29 RBIs. Matt Andriese (1-1, 3.76) gets the start on the mound here for Tampa. Last time out against the White Sox, he struck out five in 5 2/3 innings of work to record his first MLB win. Prior to that, Andriese hadn't made it through four innings pitched in any of his three career starts. He has never faced Washington. It's Jordan Zimmermann (5-4, 3.74) for Washington. The Nats have lost his last two, and he hasn't been good in either. He pitched in Milwaukee on June 12 and was rocked for six runs and nine hits in 3.1 innings. Only a couple of Rays have seen him. Longoria is 0-for-2 with two strikeouts. No DH for the Rays here.
Key trends: The Rays are 2-6 in their past eight interleague road games vs. teams with a winning record. The Nats are 15-7 in their past 22 interleague home games vs. right-handed starters. The "over/under" has gone under in six of Washington's past seven at home vs. teams with a winning road record.
Early lean: Nationals and under.
Tigers at Reds (-120, 7)
Fantastic pitching matchup here between guys who also will be competing against one another for many, many free-agent dollars this coming offseason. It's lefty David Price (6-2, 2.44) for the Tigers, and I wouldn't be surprised if he gets $200 million this winter from someone. He has thrown back-to-back complete games, allowing one combined run and striking out 19 in wins over the Indians and White Sox. Joey Votto is 2-for-6 with a homer off Price. Brandon Phillips is 3-for-8 with two doubles. The Reds have won the past two starts of Johnny Cueto (4-4, 2.85). I think the Tigers will hang onto Price all season as they try to win, but Cueto won't be a Red come Aug. 1 if not sooner. Not many Tigers have seen him. J.D. Martinez and Rajai Davis are each 0-for-2. No DH for the Tigers here.
Key trends: The Tigers are 7-0 in Price's past seven vs. teams with a losing record. The Reds are 13-3 in their past 16 interleague home games vs. teams with a winning record. The under is 4-1 in Price's past five road starts.
Early lean: Anytime Price is a dog, I'm taking it. Go under.
Brewers at Royals (-121, 8)
Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell says the team will be without outfielder Carlos Gomez for a few games after he was scratched from Monday's matchup vs. Kansas City with right leg tightness. Not like the Brewers are playing for anything, so no need to rush him. Gomez also has been mentioned as a trade candidate. He's hitting .270 with five homers and 24 RBIs. Mike Fiers (3-6, 4.04) starts for the Brewers. He beat the Nationals last time out, allowing three runs and five hits in seven innings. He is 1-4 with a 5.45 ERA on the road this season, however. It's Joe Blanton for the Royals, and I honestly didn't even know that guy was still alive. Blanton (0-0, 1.80 ERA in seven relief appearances) makes his first start of the season in the place of an injured Jason Vargas. Milwaukee's Ryan Braun is 5-for-13 with an RBI off him. Adam Lind is 2-for-6 with a solo homer. Brewers add the DH.
Key trends: The Brewers have lost five straight on Wednesday. The Royals are 10-2 in their last 12 home games vs. teams with a losing road record. The under is 9-0 in Fiers' nine road starts.
Early lean: Royals and over.
Marlins at Yankees (-168, 8)
New York's Alex Rodriguez can resume his quest for 3,000 hits as he wasn't able to start either of New York's games in Miami on Monday and Tuesday because of no DH. A-Rod entered Tuesday's game in south Florida with 2,995 hits. The Yankees start big right-hander Michael Pineda (7-3, 3.74). He has been rather inconsistent since striking out a career-high 16 vs. Baltimore on May 10. Last time out, Pineda was ripped for six runs and nine hits over 4.1 innings in a loss at Baltimore. Pineda has never faced Miami. Jose Urena (1-2, 4.44), from the Dominican Republic like Pineda, goes for the Marlins. They have won his past two, and Urena has allowed only two combined runs over 12.2 innings. He has never faced the Yankees.
Key trends: Miami has lost five straight interleague home games. The Yanks are 6-2 in Pineda's past eight at home. The over is 7-0-1 in his past eight vs. teams with a losing record.
Early lean: Yankees and under.
Giants at Mariners (-121, 6)
If that Rays-Reds pitching matchup doesn't excite you, then maybe this one will. It's ace Madison Bumgarner (7-3, 3.16) for the Giants. He was a tough-luck loser to Arizona last time out, giving up a run over eight innings in a 1-0 defeat. All nine hits allowed were singles. Seattle's Logan Morrison is 5-for-12 with two RBIs off him. It's ace Felix Hernandez (9-3, 3.38) for Seattle. He actually comes off the worst start of his future Hall of Fame career, allowing a shocking eight runs (two homers) in just one-third of an inning in Houston. Hernandez is 1-2 with a 12.00 ERA in his last three games after starting the season nearly unhittable. The Giants' Buster Posey is 1-for-3 with two walks off him. Giants get to add the DH.
Key trends: The Giants are 11-1 in Bumgarner's past 12 road starts vs. teams with a losing record. The Mariners are 1-8 in their past nine at home. The over is 6-1 in Bumgarner's past seven on the road. The under is 8-1-1 in Hernandez's past 10 at home.
Early lean: Mariners and under -- even that low.
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Read more articles by Alan Matthews
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