Kudos to the Tampa Bay Rays, who are hanging around the top of the AL East despite losing Manager Joe Maddon and GM Andrew Friedman this past offseason. I didn't think they would go into a total spiral to the AL East basement because they had some great young pitching. However, the team got some bad news Monday when perhaps the best of those pitchers, righty Alex Cobb, was shut down from throwing as he worked to make his season debut off a forearm injury. Unfortunately, those forearm injuries can be precursors to Tommy John surgery. The Rays have another good pitcher, Matt Moore, working his way back from that. I doubt we see Cobb this season now, and that's a shame. He had double-digit wins and an ERA under 2.90 in each of the past two seasons.
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Marlins at Nationals (-200, 6.5)
Washington also got bad news on Monday when arguably its best offensive player, third baseman Anthony Rendon, was shut down after being diagnosed with an oblique strain as he rehabbed to make his season debut off a knee problem. The Nats clearly miss Rendon, who was fifth in the 2014 NL MVP voting. They shouldn't need many runs to beat the Marlins in a matinee on Wednesday as Max Scherzer (1-3, 1.26) is on the mound. He dueled against Matt Harvey last time out and got the loss despite allowing just a run and striking out 10 over seven innings. This is his first start vs. the Marlins. Dee Gordon is 4-for-11 with a double and homer off Scherzer. It's Tom Koehler for Miami. Koehler (2-2, 4.67) beat the Nationals on April 25, shutting them out on six hits over 7.1 innings. Jayson Werth is 4-for-13 with two homers and five RBIs against him.
Key trends: The Marlins are 4-0 in Koehler's past four starts vs. teams with a losing record. The "over/under" has gone over in Miami's past seven in Game 3 of a series. The over is 6-2 in the Nationals' past eight on Wednesday.
Early lean: Nats and under.
Diamondbacks at Rockies (-140, 10.5)
The Rockies feared that closer Adam Ottavino was going to need Tommy John surgery when he was placed on the disabled list with right triceps inflammation, and that news came down Monday when he was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament. He will consult with Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion before going under the knife. Ottavino hadn't allowed a run in 10.1 innings. Now it's John Axford's job the rest of the way barring injury. Right-hander Jordan Lyles (2-2, 4.25) starts for Colorado. He pitched in Arizona last time out and was rocked for seven runs and eight hits in five innings. Mark Trumbo is 5-for-15 with three homers and eight RBIs off him. Left-hander Robbie Ray is being promoted from Triple-A to make this start in place of an injured Archie Bradley. The former Tiger Ray has never faced Colorado.
Key trends: The Rockies are 6-0 in their past six at home vs. a lefty. Colorado is 4-1 in Butler's past five vs. teams with a losing record.
Early lean: Rockies and under.
Rays at Red Sox (-129, 8.5)
Boston is hoping that Hanley Ramirez won't have to land on the disabled list, but he's going to miss at least a few games. He's just a terrible defensive outfielder, a position he never played before this season, and hurt his shoulder on Monday after trying to make a running catch and hitting the Fenway side wall. Ramirez is off to a great start offensively, hitting .283 with 10 homers and 22 RBIs. So that's a break for Rays starter Alex Colome. He made his season debut on May 1 vs. Baltimore and shut out the Orioles on three hits over five innings. Colome has never faced Boston. Justin Masterson (2-0, 4.71) has pitched much better of late for the Sox. Last time out he allowed two runs over six innings vs. the Yankees. Masterson has allowed only one dinger in 28.2 innings. Evan Longoria is a career .304 hitter off him with a homer and six RBIs in 23 at-bats.
Key trends: The Rays are 4-1 in Colome's past five on the road. Boston is 2-8 in its past 10 on Wednesday. The under is 4-0 in Colome's past four.
Early lean: Rays and under.
Indians at Royals (-133, 7.5)
Cleveland has been a huge disappointment, and I'm not sure that the return of Nick Swisher will really help much, but he was to be activated and make his season debut Tuesday off knee surgery. He used to be good for at least 20 homers but hit only eight and batted .208 in 97 games last year. Carlos Carrasco (3-2, 4.98) gets the start here for the Tribe. He has allowed nine runs and 15 hits over 10.1 innings in his past two starts combined. The Royals' Alex Gordon is just 2-for-17 career off Carrasco. Lefty Danny Duffy (2-0, 3.45) goes for the Royals. He has allowed just one run over 12.1 innings in his past two starts. This is his first look this season vs. the Tribe. Carlos Santana is 7-for-19 with a homer off him.
Key trends: The Tribe are 1-4 in Carrasco's past five vs. teams with a winning record. Cleveland is 2-8 in its past 10 against a lefty. The Royals are 7-1 in Duffy's past eight at home. The under is 4-0 in his past four vs. Cleveland.
Early lean: Royals and over.
A's at Twins (+108, 8)
Minnesota has lost second baseman Oswaldo Arcia for at least two weeks with a hip injury. He's hitting .276 with two homers and eight RBIs this season. Lefty Scott Kazmir (2-0, 1.62) starts this one for Oakland. All five of his starts have been quality this season. Kazmir was 2-0 with a 5.68 ERA in two starts against the Twins in 2014. Joe Mauer is 5-for-21 with seven strikeouts off him. Kyle Gibson (2-2, 3.56) goes for Minnesota. He had his best outing of the season last time out, shutting out the White Sox on four hits over eight innings. He made one start last year vs. Oakland and allowed five runs in five innings. Billy Butler is 1-for-8 with an RBI off him.
Key trends: The A's are 1-5 in Kazmir's past six vs. the AL Central. The Twins are 5-1 in their past six against a lefty. The over is 6-1-1 in Kazmir's past eight. The under is 5-0-1 in Gibson's past six.
Early lean: A's and under.
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