Monday night was the deadline for teams to acquire players in trades who cleared waivers and have them eligible for the postseason. Four contenders added some outfield help. The Cubs got Austin Jackson since Jorge Soler might miss the rest of the regular season with an injury; Jackson is the best player on this list. The Giants, who have battled outfield injuries all season, added Alejandro De Aza from the Red Sox; the Royals acquired Jonny Gomes from the Braves; and the Dodgers got Justin Ruggiano from Seattle. None of those trades are odds-altering, but I like the Jackson move. Also, on Tuesday the big-league rosters expanded, so several guys are going to get called up over the next couple of weeks.
Free $60 in Member MLB Picks No Obligation Click Here
Rays at Orioles (-138, 8)
Interesting news from Baltimore's loss to Tampa on Monday night as the team started Manny Machado at shortstop for the first time in his big-league career. He was groomed to be the Orioles' future there but had played third base since being called up in August 2012 -- and at a Gold Glove level. Usual starting shortstop J.J. Hardy remains on the DL. He also has a long-term deal, so I don't see the O's moving Machado to short full time unless they can find a taker for Hardy. Unless Hardy can play second or third. Baltimore starts Kevin Gausman (2-6, 4.39) here. He gets some of the worst run support in MLB as the O's are averaging only 2.51 runs in his 11 starts. He has pitched 2.1 innings of relief vs. the Rays this year and is 1-0 with a 7.71 ERA. Tampa's Erasmo Ramirez (10-5, 3.68) is 1-1 with a 2.87 ERA in 15.2 innings this year against the Birds. Adam Jones is 3-for-9 with two doubles off him.
Key trends: The Rays are 5-2 in Ramirez's past seven road starts vs. teams with a losing record. The Orioles are 3-7 in Gausman's past 10 at home. The "over/under" is 4-0 in Ramirez's past four on the road. The under is 5-0 in Gausman's past five on Wednesday.
Early lean: Rays and over.
Reds at Cubs (-157, TBA)
Among the Sept. 1 call-ups, probably the most interesting is the Cubs' Javier Baez, who once was a higher-regarded prospect than current Cubs rookie stars Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber. This might be a make-or-break month for Baez if playing for Chicago is in his future. The team reportedly tried to trade him ahead of the July 31 deadline. Baez was tearing up Triple-A of late, but then he did that last year and was a strikeout machine when called up to the bigs. He should get plenty of playing time at second base and maybe third if the Cubs use Bryant in the outfield at times. The Cubs face Raisel Iglesias (3-6, 3.92) in this matinee. He faced the Cubs on July 21 and allowed two runs over 5.2 innings in a no-decision. Chicago goes with Jason Hammel (7-6, 3.42). He hasn't gone more than six innings since July 3. Hammel is 0-0 with a 2.70 ERA in two starts this year vs. the Reds. Joey Votto is 3-for-17 with a homer and two RBIs off him.
Key trends: The Reds are 1-5 in Iglesias' past six on the road. The Cubs are 2-7 in Hammel's past nine at home vs. teams with a losing record. The over is 5-1 in Hammel's past six at home.
Early lean: Cubs and over (probably 8ish).
Nationals at Cardinals (-122, 6.5)
This is your ESPN Wednesday night game and will have live betting at sportsbooks. Looks to be the top pitching matchup of the day as well. It's Michael Wacha (15-4, 2.69) for the home side, and he'll get some Cy Young votes. He hasn't personally lost since July 26 and hasn't given up more than two earned runs in a start since that same date. He did win in Washington on April 23, allowing one run over seven innings. Anthony Rendon is 1-for-6 with a homer off him. Jayson Werth is 0-for-6. Washington's Max Scherzer (11-11, 2.88) has been in a bit of a funk. He has a 6.00 ERA over his past seven starts. Scherzer should be jacked up here, though, as he grew up in St. Louis as a Cardinals fan. Matt Carpenter is 2-for-3 with a double off him. Brandon Moss is 3-for-4 with a homer and six strikeouts.
Key trends: The Cards are 8-2 in Wacha's past 10 during Game 3 of a series. The under is 8-2-1 in Scherzer's past 11 vs. teams with a winning record. The under is 5-0 in Wacha's past five at home.
Early lean: Cardinals and under.
Yankees at Red Sox (+135, 8.5)
Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira has been sent back to New York for more tests on his right leg and he will miss at least this series. Rookie Greg Bird will start at first base. The Red Sox start rookie left-hander Henry Owens (2-1, 4.03). Boston has won his past two, with Owens allowing two runs in each. His big-league debut was Aug. 4 at the Yankees, allowing three runs over five innings. The Yankees' Masahiro Tanaka (10-6, 3.62) is 2-0 with a 4.91 ERA in two starts this year against Boston. David Ortiz is 2-for-11 with a solo homer off him. Pablo Sandoval is 2-for-6 with a dinger.
Key trends: The Yanks are 6-1 in Tanaka's past seven vs. the AL East. The under is 5-2 in his past seven on the road. The over is 5-0 in Owens' past five overall.
Early lean: Yankees and under.
Giants at Dodgers (-220, 6)
The slumping Giants don't figure to get better Wednesday night against L.A.'s Clayton Kershaw (11-6, 2.24). He has allowed three earned runs combined over his past four starts, although L.A. is just 2-2 in those because the Dodgers aren't scoring much with him on the mound. All that talk about Kershaw's struggles at the beginning of the season is dead and gone. Other than a four-run outing on Aug. 7 against Pittsburgh, Kershaw has not allowed more than one run in a start since June 22. He is 0-2 with a 3.54 ERA in three starts vs. the Giants in 2015, but those were all early in the year. Buster Posey hits .203 off him with two homers and 15 strikeouts in 69 at-bats. Brandon Belt almost surely will get the game off. He's an ugly 3-for-34 with 19 strikeouts vs. Kershaw. Pretty sure I could do that. It's Mike Leake (9-6, 3.53) for the Giants. He hasn't faced the Dodgers in 2015. Chase Utley is 2-for-15 with a homer off him. Andre Ethier is 7-for-15 with two homers.
Key trends: The Dodgers are 11-3 in Kershaw's past 14 during Game 3 of a series. The under is 10-2 in his past 12 overall. The under is 7-2-1 in Kershaw's past 10 at home vs. the Giants.
Early lean: Dodgers and under.
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 Articles
- MLB Expert Betting Advice: Outlook for Teams with High Futures Odds
- Expert MLB Handicapping: Does Machado Make Padres a Contender?
- 2019 MLB Season Win Totals Predictions
- Baseball Betting Advice: MLB Teams that Could Surprise
- MLB Betting Trends: Handicapping the Best and Worst on Moneyline from Last Season
- MLB Teams that Could Disappoint Bettors in 2019
- MLB Betting Advice for 2019: Toughest Aces to Handicap
- 2019 Minnesota Twins Predictions
- 2019 Atlanta Braves Predictions
- MLB Spring Training Betting Advice and Expert Baseball Handicapping