Feel like I have to talk about the latest Pete Rose news. Am I surprised that it has come to light that he did indeed bet on baseball games while a player as well? Absolutely not. Pete lied when he said at first he didn't bet as a manager before finally being caught in that. The only thing that surprises me is that it took this many years to get documented proof. Some say Rose betting as a player is worse than as a manager. I disagree. Yeah, a player could try to throw a game himself but a manager is in charge of every player and can sit guys, put in an applicable pitcher, etc. It's too bad this happened for Rose now because the All-Star Game is in Cincinnati and he was going to be a part of all that. There likely would have been a groundswell of support to finally lift Rose's ban, but that's never going to happen now and his Hall of Fame chances are zero.
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Phillies at Yankees (-123, 8)
Potentially important day for the Yankees as right-hander Ivan Nova makes his first big-league start since undergoing Tommy John surgery in April of last year. His last big-league start was on April 19, 2014, when he left after four innings against the Rays complaining of pain in his elbow. He was bombed in that game for eight runs (four homers). Nova has made three official minor-league rehab starts of late and wasn't very good in his last Friday. Nova has never faced the Phillies, who will have the designated hitter available. Jeff Francouer has faced him, going 4-for-5 with three RBIs. It's Phillies ace Cole Hamels (5-5, 2.96), who was scratched from his last start Friday with because of a strained right hamstring, but he says he's fine now. Every start might be his last as there will be plenty of scouts watching him wherever he goes. New York's Mark Teixeira is 5-for-17 with two homers off him. Will he play? Tex had a cortisone shot for a neck injury on Monday but an MRI was negative. He didn't play Monday or Tuesday.
Key trends: The Phillies are 2-7 in Hamels' past nine interleague starts. The Yankees are 10-1 in Nova's past 11 at home vs. teams with a losing record. The "over/under" has gone under in seven of Hamels' past 10 road starts vs. teams with a winning record.
Early lean: Phillies and under.
White Sox at Twins (-130, 7)
The Pale Hose are just about unwatchable most nights these days but not when lefty ace Chris Sale (6-3, 2.74) takes the mound and he will here. Sale is working on a streak of six straight games striking out at least 10 and five straight with at least 12. The latter has tied a big-league record. Only Pedro Martinez in 1999 and Randy Johnson in 1998 have done it. In those six starts, Sale has a 1.19 ERA but only a 3-2 record because the Sox offense stinks. Sale is 1-2 with a 6.35 ERA this season in three starts vs. the Twins. Torii Hunter hits .270 off him with two homers and 11 strikeouts. Minnesota's Phil Hughes (5-6, 4.47) has had three straight quality starts. Hughes is 0-1 with a 3.46 ERA in two starts this year vs. the Sox. Jose Abreu is 7-for-17 with three doubles and three RBIs off him.
Key trends: The Sox are 4-10 in Sale's past 14 road starts vs. teams with a winning record. The Twins are 1-6 in Hughes' past seven vs. the AL Central. The under is 7-1 in Sale's past eight. The over is 6-2 in his past eight vs. Minnesota.
Early lean: Big on under. Take Chicago.
Braves at Nationals (-158, 7.5)
Atlanta's best offensive player, first baseman Freddie Freeman, is likely headed for the disabled list with a wrist injury. He had an MRI on Monday and didn't take the flight to D.C. with his teammates afterward so that's a pretty obvious sign. Freeman is hitting .299 with 12 homers and 41 RBIs. So that will make things easier for Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann (5-5, 3.75). Washington has lost his past three outings. He is 1-0 with a 4.15 ERA in two starts this year against the Braves. Nick Markakis is 5-for-18 with a homer off him. Andrelton Simmons just 3-for-19. It's Shelby Miller (5-3, 1.99) for Atlanta. The Braves have lost four of his past five but he has generally been solid. Miller hasn't faced the Nationals in 2015. Bryce Harper is 1-for-8 off him. Denard Span 1-for-11.
Key trends: The Braves are 6-0 in Miller's past six vs. the NL East. The Nationals are 9-0 in Zimmermann's past nine starts with six days of rest. The over is 6-2 in Zimmermann's past eight at home vs. Atlanta.
Early lean: Another big under. Nationals.
Dodgers at Cubs (+101, TBA)
Keep an eye on Cubs center fielder and leadoff hitter Dexter Fowler's status over the next few games as he had to leave Monday's win over the Dodgers with a sprained left ankle. He is hitting .240 with eight homers and 22 RBIs. The Cubs are rather thin on outfielders as it is with Jorge Soler on the DL. Mike Bolsinger (4-2, 2.87), who was born in Chicago. starts for the Dodgers here. He wasn't good last time out, allowing five runs and eight hits over 8.1 innings against the Giants. A few Cubs have faced him. Anthony Rizzo is 0-for-3 and Starlin Castro 0-for-2. Chicago's Kyle Hendricks (2-3, 4.28) comes off his worst start of the season, allowing seven runs and 11 hits in five innings of a loss to the Twins. Yasiel Puig is 1-for-3 off him.
Key trends: The Dodgers are 1-6 in their past seven on Wednesday. The Cubs are 9-1 in Hendricks' past 10 at home. The under is 6-1 in his past seven vs. teams with a winning record.
Early lean: Cubs and probably over (wait on wind).
Royals at Mariners (-118, 7.5)
Now this sounds painful. Seattle outfielder Nelson Cruz left in the seventh inning of Monday night's loss to the Royals after he popped his pelvic bone out of place. Apparently the trainers just popped it back in but Cruz might have to miss a game or two. He's having an MVP-caliber season, batting .315 with 19 homers and 44 RBIs. Kansas City lefty Danny Duffy (2-3, 5.87) will come off the disabled list and make his first big-league start since May 16. Apparently he also spent that month altering his delivery a bit. Cruz is 1-for-5 career off him. Austin Jackson is 6-for-20 with a homer. Lefty Roenis Elias (4-4, 3.56) goes for Seattle. He tied a career high by striking out 10 last time out against Houston. Elias allowed two runs in seven innings -- solo dingers on his first and last pitches. Alex Gordon is 3-for-6 against him. Alcides Escobar is 2-for-3 with a homer and four RBIs.
Key trend: The Royals are 1-6 in their past seven vs. lefties. The Mariners are 1-7 in Elias' past eight at home. The under has hit in nine of his past 11 there.
Early lean: Mariners and under.
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