So let's talk about Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke -- still can't really call him the team's ace because of Clayton Kershaw. Greinke can opt out of his contract after this season and obviously will because he's having the best year of his career and will command some $200 million extension. I do think he stays with the Dodgers because he credits L.A. pitching coach Rick Honeycutt with his success. Greinke is 18-3 with a 1.65 ERA this year. In the live ball era, since 1920, only two pitchers have posted an ERA below 1.75 with a winning percentage in his decisions of at least .850. Greg Maddux in 1995 and Dwight Gooden in 1985 are the two. Greinke could be the third. I'm surprised Kershaw wasn't on that list.
Diamondbacks at Dodgers (-245, 6.5)
This is the nightcap of the ESPN doubleheader and will have live betting at sportsbooks. Last time out, Greinke was just mortal, allowing two runs and four hits over seven innings against the Pirates. It was the 10th time Greinke has allowed more than one run in his 30 starts. He has also pitched at least six innings in each of those outings, making him the first pitcher since Detroit's Justin Verlander in 2011 to open with 30 starts of at least six innings. Twenty-eight of those starts have been quality. Greinke hasn't allowed an earned run in 15 innings against Arizona this year. Paul Goldschmidt is just 4-for-23 with 12 strikeouts career off Greinke. It's Chase Anderson (6-6, 4.52) for Arizona. It's his first outing since Sept. 8 as he was temporarily demoted to the bullpen. Anderson is 0-0 with a 2.45 ERA in two starts vs. the Dodgers. Yasmani Grandal is 3-for-8 with three homers off him.
Key trends: Arizona is 1-9 in Anderson's past 10 road starts vs. teams with a winning record. The Dodgers are 9-3 in Greinke's past 12 at home vs. teams with a losing record. The "over/under" has gone under in five of Anderson's past six road starts against teams with a winning record. The under is 8-3 in Greinke's past 11 at home.
Early lean: Dodgers on runline (-120) and under.
Yankees at Blue Jays (-170, 9)
This is the ESPN opener and also will have live betting. It's Ivan Nova (6-8, 5.11) for the Yanks. He had been demoted to the bullpen but will get the call here because Masahiro Tanaka has to miss at least this start with an injury. Nova's last start was against these Jays, allowing six runs and seven hits in 1.2 innings. Jose Bautista is 7-for-19 with a homer and six RBIs against him. Edwin Encarnacion is hitting .346 off him with a homer and seven knocked in. Toronto's Marcus Stroman (2-0, 3.00) made his season debut on Sept. 12 at the Yankees and allowed three runs and four hits over five innings. Brett Gardner is 3-for-10 off him with two homers and five RBIs.
Key trends: The Yankees are 1-5 in Nova's past six against teams with a winning record. The Jays are 6-1 in Stroman's past seven at home. The under is 5-2 in Nova's past seven on road against teams with a winning record. The over his hit in just one of Stroman's past 11 at home.
Early lean: Blue Jays and over.
White Sox at Tigers (TBA)
This is your earliest game of the day with a 1:08 p.m. ET start and will be shown on the MLB Network so will have live betting. It's lefty Chris Sale (12-10, 3.47) for the Pale Hose. Chicago has lost his past five. He had a weird line last time out, allowing seven runs but just one earned over seven innings against the Indians. Sale needs just 11 strikeouts to break the single-season franchise record of 269 set by Ed Walsh in 1908. He is 1-0 with a 5.56 ERA in two starts vs. the Tigers in 2015. Victor Martinez hits .471 career off him with four homers and nine RBIs in 34 at-bats. Detroit's Justin Verlander (3-8, 3.46) was good last time out vs. the Royals, allowing two runs over 8.2 innings but took a no-decision. This is his first start of 2015 vs. the White Sox. Jose Abreu is 8-for-16 with two homers off Verlander.
Key trends: The Sox are 1-5 in Sale's past six vs. teams with a losing record. The Tigers are 2-8 in Verlander's past 10 at home. The over is 5-0-1 in Sale's past six on road. The over is 7-2-1 in Verlander's past 10 at home vs. the White Sox.
Early lean: Not sure why this is TBA. Both pitchers are confirmed. Go Chicago and under, with total likely around 7.
Brewers at Cubs (-225, TBA)
Is Ryan Braun's season over? He hasn't played since Friday due to some back problems and admits he will need surgery on it this offseason. That has to be a scary thought for the Brewers as Braun's five-year, $105 million extension begins in 2016. The Brewers have shut down pitcher Jimmy Nelson for the season after he got hit on the head with a line drive. It's Zach Davies (1-2, 6.00) here for the Brew Crew. This is only his fifth start of the season and he hasn't seen the Cubs. Chicago goes with Kyle Hendricks (7-6, 4.22). He wasn't good last time out, allowing four runs and six hits over three innings vs. the Pirates. Hendricks is 1-0 with a 0.73 ERA in two starts vs. Milwaukee this year. Khris Davis is 4-for-9 off him.
Key trends: The Cubs are 8-2 in Hendricks' past 10 at home vs. teams with a losing record. The over is 4-0 in his past four overall. The under is 4-0 in Hendricks' past four against Milwaukee.
Early lean: Cubs and over.
Indians at Twins (+115, 7.5)
Cleveland's Corey Kluber (8-14, 3.44) made his return from the disabled list on Thursday against the Royals and was a bit rusty, allowing three runs and five hits in four innings. Not a shock considering the Tribe didn't give him any rehab starts. Kluber is 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA in three starts vs. the Twins this year with two complete games. Joe Mauer is a career .235 hitter off him with two homers and nine strikeouts in 34 at-bats. Minnesota's Phil Hughes (10-9, 4.58) hasn't won since July 30, although he also spent some time on the DL. He is taking the spot of Tommy Milone in this one. Hughes had moved to the bullpen after he struggled in his first start back from a back injury on Sept. 15. Carlos Santana is 3-for-19 with six strikeouts off him. Michael Brantley is 5-for-19 with three doubles and a homer.
Key trends: The Tribe are 1-6 in Kluber's past seven road starts against teams with a winning record. The Twins are 6-1 in Hughes' past seven at home. The Indians are 4-1 in Kluber's past four against Minnesota. The under is 12-3 in his past 15 with five days of rest.
Early lean: Indians and under.
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