Need a shortstop for the rest of the season? Former All-Star Jose Reyes is on the market. To no surprise, the Colorado Rockies designated Reyes for assignment on Wednesday. With how well rookie shortstop Trevor Story was playing and the fact that Reyes recently finished serving his 51-game suspension for violating MLB's domestic violence policy, there was no way the Rockies were going to put Reyes on the big-league roster. There was also no way the Rockies were going to be able to trade Reyes considering he has about $40 million still owed to him. Thus, Reyes is obviously going to clear waivers and become a free agent. I can maybe see a few teams interested in signing Reyes despite a bit of a PR hit. Apparently one of Reyes' former teams, the Mets, won't be one of them, however. I think Reyes would be an upgrade on Ketel Marte for the Mariners, and they are in contention in the AL West. Perhaps the Diamondbacks would take a shot. I also think Reyes would be better than Danny Espinosa for Washington, but the Nats also have top prospect Trea Turner waiting in the wings there. Reyes might have to wait until a team suffers a key injury at shortstop or even second base.
Pirates at Cubs (-290, TBA)
The lone matinee of the day with a 2:20 p.m. ET start and televised nationally by the MLB Network and thus will have live betting at sportsbooks. The Cubs have won five of six meetings with the Pirates this season. It should be six of seven by Friday evening as Chicago starts ace Jake Arrieta (10-1, 1.86). He ended a two-start losing streak (one personally) with a victory in Atlanta on Saturday, allowing two runs and four hits over seven innings. Arrieta is 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA in two starts against the Pirates this season. He has allowed only five hits in 15 innings. Matt Joyce hits him well, if he plays, going 7-for-17 with a homer and four RBIs. Andrew McCutchen is a career .310 hitter with nine strikeouts in 29 at-bats off Arrieta. Gregory Polanco is just 4-for-22 with seven strikeouts. The Bucs go with lefty Francisco Liriano (4-6, 4.92). He lost a third straight Saturday, allowing four runs (one earned) over six innings vs. the Cardinals. Liriano's worst start of the year was May 13 at Wrigley, allowing eight runs in 4.2 innings.
Key trends: The Pirates are 1-6 in their past seven vs. a right-hander. The Cubs are 10-2 in Arrieta's past 12 at home. They are 6-0 in his past six vs. Pittsburgh. The "over/under" has gone under in six of Arrieta's past nine in the series.
Early lean: Cubs.
Rockies at Marlins (-116, 8.5)
Double bummer if you are a Marlins fan living in South Florida and had tickets to this game. First off, Ichiro Suzuki on Wednesday broke Pete Rose's record of 4,257 professional hits. I honestly didn't think he'd get enough at-bats on that road trip to break the mark before returning home. Secondly, Marlins fans won't get to see ace Jose Fernandez here as the team is skipping his start to conserve innings. The Marlins go with lefty Adam Conley (3-4, 4.13). He is winless since May 16 and is 0-2 with a 5.27 ERA since. Conley was roughed up for six runs and a career-high 11 hits over five innings Sunday in Arizona. He has never faced Colorado. The Rockies go with Jon Gray (4-2, 4.70). He is starting to live up to the expectations of being the No. 3 overall pick a few years ago as Gray hasn't allowed more than two earned runs in four straight starts. He has never faced the Marlins.
Key trends: The Rockies are 5-1 in their past six after an off day. They are 2-7 in Gray's past nine series openers. The Marlins are 1-6 in their past seven after an off day. The over is 4-0-1 in Gray's past five.
Early lean: Rockies and over.
Mariners at Red Sox (-133, 9.5)
In December, the Boston Red Sox traded starting pitcher Wade Miley to Seattle for reliever Carson Smith and swingman Roenis Elias. That move has looked like a bust thus far for the Sox as Smith barely pitched this year before needing Tommy John surgery. Elias has made just one big-league appearance in 2016, allowing three runs in 1.2 innings on April 23 in Houston. But he will be called up from Triple-A to start here as the Sox are short a No. 5 starter at the moment. Elias has been pitching well with Pawtucket. He has never faced his former teammates. Seattle's Hisashi Iwakuma (5-5, 4.10) has won four of his past five outings. He beat Texas last Friday, allowing three runs in seven innings -- his fourth straight start of seven innings. Iwakuma is 0-1 with a 10.20 ERA in four career starts vs. Boston. David Ortiz is 4-for-8 off him with two homers.
Key trends: The Mariners are 11-4 in Iwakuma's past 15 on the road. The Sox are 1-5 in their past six on Friday. The over is 10-3 in Iwakuma's past 13 in Game 1 of a series.
Early lean: Mariners and over.
Tigers at Royals (-102, 8)
Where would Detroit be without Michael Fulmer? The 23-year-old, acquired last July from the Mets for Yoenis Cespedes, has to be a leading candidate for AL Rookie of the Year. Fulmer (7-1, 2.52) hasn't allowed a run in his past four starts, and he and the Cubs' Arrieta are the only pitchers in the modern era with four straight starts allowing no runs and three or fewer hits. Fulmer is the only one to do it in the same season. Overall, Fulmer has thrown 28.1 scoreless innings, putting him just 12.2 shy of the rookie record Grover Cleveland Alexander set in 1911. It's the longest by a Tigers rookie since John Hiller had a 28 2/3-inning streak in 1967. Can you imagine if the Mets had Fulmer on that already-stellar staff? But that Cespedes trade has worked out well for both teams. Fulmer has never faced the Royals. Kansas City goes with hot-head Yordano Ventura (5-4, 4.93), who continues to pitch while appealing his nine-game suspension. Ventura dominated the White Sox on Sunday, allowing one run and striking out 10 in seven innings. He beat the Tigers on April 19, giving up two runs in five innings. Victor Martinez is 4-for-16 off him with two homers and five RBIs.
Key trends: The Tigers are 6-14 in their past 20 on Friday. The Royals are 6-0 in Ventura's past six at home vs. teams with a winning record. The over is 5-1 in Ventura's past six vs. Detroit.
Early lean: Royals and under.
Rangers at Cardinals (+103, 8)
This also will be televised by the MLB Network and have live betting at sportsbooks. Not impossible this could be a World Series preview, and these clubs played one of the best Fall Classics against one another in 2011, with the Cardinals winning in seven. The Rangers will lose the DH, which means either Mitch Moreland or Prince Fielder takes a seat. Texas starts ace lefty Cole Hamels (6-1, 3.14). He won in Seattle on Sunday, allowing one run and four hits in his third straight outing of seven innings. Hamels was a long-time Phillie, so plenty of Cardinals have seen him. Matt Holliday is 4-for-13 with a double and two RBIs. Yadier Molina hits .240 off him with five RBIs in 25 at-bats. Jhonny Peralta is 4-for-11 with three doubles. St. Louis goes with Michael Wacha (2-6, 4.91). He finally had a quality start on Friday in Pittsburgh, allowing two runs and three hits over seven innings but didn't get a decision. Wacha hasn't faced the Rangers.
Key trends: The Rangers are 9-3 in Hamels' past 12 on the road. The Cards are 4-11 in Wacha's past 15 vs. teams with a winning record. The over is 9-1-1 in Hamels' past 11 vs. teams with a winning record.
Early lean: Rangers and over.
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