Five To Follow MLB Betting: Wednesday, May 20, 2015 Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 5/19/2015
There has been a trade in baseball, but I don't think it's one that will exactly open the floodgates to have other teams dealing. The Cubs have carried three catchers all season, which obviously hamstrung Manager Joe Maddon a bit as that meant one less utility player or reliever. That's no longer a problem as Chicago sent Welington Castillo to Seattle. Castillo became available when the Cubs traded for Miguel Montero this offseason and signed David Ross. Castillo hit .237 with 13 homers and 46 RBIs last season as a regular but only .163 with two homers and five RBIs this season in 43 at-bats. He'll back up Mike Zunino in Seattle. The Cubs got back reliever Yoervis Medina (1-0, 3.00 ERA), who will go to Triple-A.
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A's at Astros (-147, 8)
This is the only matinee on Wednesday and will have live betting at the sportsbooks as it's televised on the MLB Network. Have you noticed that Oakland now has the worst record in the majors? True, the A's have been ravaged by injuries, but that's baseball. Jesse Hahn (1-3, 4.42) looks to end Oakland's slump. The A's have lost his past four. He allowed four runs over 6.1 innings last time out against the White Sox. Hahn has allowed only one homer in 38.2 innings all season. He hasn't faced Houston. Only one Astro has: Evan Gattis is 0-for-3 with a strikeout. It's ace Dallas Keuchel (5-0, 1.87) for Houston. He has come back to earth a little bit, allowing eight runs and 16 hits over 12.2 innings over his past two starts, but Houston still won them both. He dominated Oakland on April 24 with a complete-game two-hitter. Coco Crisp is 7-for-19 with three doubles off him.
Key trends: Oakland is 3-12 in its past 15 Wednesday games. Houston is 5-1 in Keuchel's past six vs. teams with a losing record. The "over/under" has gone under in seven of his past 10 vs. teams with a losing record. Houston has won five straight of his starts vs. the A's.
Early lean: Astros at +150 on the runline and under.
Angels at Blue Jays (-121, 9)
Halos manger Mike Scioscia has made a decision on his lineup that's apparently permanent: Kole Calhoun is the team's new cleanup hitter. He's not exactly your typical cleanup hitter as Calhoun doesn't have much power with only three homers entering Tuesday. But Scioscia doesn't want to use Albert Pujols there, and obviously Josh Hamilton is no longer an option. Jered Weaver (2-4, 4.44) starts this one for the Angels, and he is rounding into form. He followed a complete-game six-hitter vs. Houston by allowing a run and three hits over 7.1 innings vs. Baltimore. His ERA before those starts was 6.29. I think the Jays will find a way to get Justin Smoak into the lineup Wednesday as he's 10-for-34 with three homers and eight RBIs off Weaver. Jose Bautista is just 1-for-13 with six strikeouts, so maybe he gets the day off and Smoak is at DH. Drew Hutchison (3-0, 6.17) starts for Toronto. Pujols is 1-for-5 with a homer and two RBIs off him. Mike Trout is 1-for-5 with four strikeouts.
Key trends: The Angels are 5-2 in Weaver's past seven vs. the AL East. The Jays are 2-5 in Hutchison's past seven vs. the AL West. The Angels are 8-1 in Weaver's past nine against Toronto.
Early lean: Angels and under.
Brewers at Tigers (-139, 8.5)
Detroit wildly overpaid to re-sign designated hitter Victor Martinez this offseason. Yeah, he had a huge 2014 but also is old. That decision looks terrible now. Martinez is hurting and hitting only .216 with a homer, and he may have to go to the disabled list now with knee problems; he had offseason surgery on that knee. Thus, don't look for him in the lineup Wednesday against Milwaukee's Kyle Lohse (3-4, 5.85). He comes off his best outing of the season by far, shutting out the Mets on two hits over eight innings with a season-high eight strikeouts. Miguel Cabrera is 4-for-13 with two homers and four RBIs off him. It's Shane Greene (4-2, 4.21) for Detroit. He shut out St. Louis over five innings in his last start. Only one Brewer has ever faced him: Adam Lind is 0-for-3 with a strikeout.
Key trends: Milwaukee is 1-7 in Lohse's past eight following a quality start in his last appearance. The under is 11-0-1 in his past 12 on Wednesday.
Early lean: Tigers and over.
Diamondbacks at Marlins (-124, 8)
Miami is hoping to have outfielder Marcell Ozuna back for this one. He left the ballpark on Monday to deal with a personal issue and might need another day or two. Ozuna is hitting .276 with three homers and 11 RBIs. The Marlins lost in new manager Dan Jennings' debut on Monday. Chase Anderson (0-1, 2.81) gets the start for the Diamondbacks, who have lost his past seven outings despite most of them being pretty good. He allowed a run and three hits over 5.1 innings last time out in Philly. A few Marlins have seen him. Ozuna has three singles in six at-bats. Dee Gordon is 3-for-8 with a double. Miami's David Phelps (2-0, 2.68) has been a nice surprise. He has allowed one earned run in each of his past two starts. Only a few Snakes have faced him. Mark Trumbo is 0-for-3 with a strikeout.
Key trends: Arizona is 0-7 in Anderson's past seven on the road. The under is 5-2 in his past seven overall. The over is 4-1 in Phelps' past five.
Early lean: Marlins and under.
Cubs at Padres (-137, 7)
Chicago has kicked struggling Travis Wood to the bullpen and given his starting job for now to lefty Tsuyoshi Wada (Cubs would like to trade Wood too). He went 4-4 with a 3.25 ERA in 13 starts with the Cubs last season. Wada went on the disabled list for a mild left groin strain March 27 and has been rehabbing in Triple-A. San Diego's Matt Kemp is 1-for-5 with a homer and two RBIs off him. Tyson Ross goes for San Diego (2-3, 3.94). He pitched at Wrigley Field on April 18 and took a no-decision, allowing three runs and five hits in 5.2 innings. Starlin Castro is 2-for-5 with two walks off him. Montero is 5-for-20 with a homer and three RBIs.
Key trends: The Cubs are 0-5 in Wada's past five on the road. San Diego is 8-1 in Ross' past nine at home. The under is 6-0 in his past six Wednesday starts.
Early lean: Padres and over.
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