On Thursday's Opening Line Report , I threw it out there that it wouldn't surprise me if a former NL Cy Young winner threw a no-hitter that day against one of the expected worst teams in the National League. Alas, I went with Clayton Kershaw against Atlanta. While Kershaw was very good against the Braves, on Thursday night in Cincinnati reigning NL Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta of the Cubs threw the first no-hitter of the season and his second in his past 11 regular-season starts. What Arrieta has done since last July, which was his last loss (and the Cubs were no-hit in that game!), is just unfathomable. I'll go more into some Arrieta numbers next week ahead of his next start. But he did become only the second pitcher to be unbeaten between no-hitters. The other of course is Johnny Vander Meer, who threw consecutive no-hitters.
A's at Blue Jays (-158, 9)
A 1:07 p.m. ET start. Oakland has lost starting third baseman Danny Valencia to the 15-day DL with a left hamstring strain. He suffered the injury popping out of a slide after getting thrown out at home plate in the fourth inning of Wednesday's game against the Yankees. Valencia was second on the team with a .294 average. Oakland starts Chris Bassitt (0-0, 2.79) here, and he has been a nice surprise. Bassitt has gone seven innings in each of his past two starts and allowed two total earned runs but obviously got no-decisions in each. Bassitt has never faced Toronto. Josh Donaldson has seen him, going 1-for-3 with a double. It's lefty J.A. Happ (2-0, 1.89) for the Jays. He has yet to allow more than two earned runs in three starts with 18 hits in 19 innings. Happ didn't face Oakland in 2015. Marcus Semien eats him alive, going 7-for-10 with a homer and four RBIs. Billy Butler is 6-for-19 with two RBIs.
Key trends: The A's are 1-5 in Bassitt's past six on the road. The "over/under" is 6-2-2 in Oakland's past 10 vs. a lefty.
Early lean: Jays and over.
Indians at Tigers (+100, 7.5)
Another early start at 1:10 p.m. ET. What the heck is going on with 2014 Cy Young winner Corey Kluber? Did I think he was a one-year fluke then? Yes and no. Yes in that I didn't expect him to win another Cy Young but no in that I believed he would remain an upper-echelon starter in the American League. But Kluber is 0-3 with a 6.16 ERA. He was knocked around for six runs and nine hits last weekend against the Mets. He is 9-19 since winning the Cy Young. Kluber was 0-1 with a 3.18 ERA in two starts last year vs. the Tigers. Miguel Cabrera absolutely destroys the guy, going 19-for-35 with five homers and 10 RBIs. Detroit goes with Anibal Sanchez (2-1, 4.60). He struggled last time out, allowing five runs and eight hits over five innings in a loss at Houston. Sanchez has yet to complete six innings. He somehow managed to not face Cleveland in 2015. Yan Gomes is 4-for-9 off him with a homer and three RBIs.
Key trends: The Indians are 3-12 in Kluber's past 15 vs. the AL Central. The Tigers are 8-0 in Sanchez's past eight at home. The over is 5-1 in Kluber's past six vs. Detroit.
Early lean: Tigers, any Cabrera hitting prop and over.
Rangers at White Sox (-128, 8.5)
Another matinee at 2:10 p.m. ET. Pale Hose second-year lefty Carlos Rodon (1-2, 4.73) has the talent to be one of the AL's best pitchers, and he was in the first two outings of this season. But he's still young and prone to an occasional blow-up start. That's what happened Monday as Rodon got just one out against the Angels, allowing five runs and six hits while walking two. It was the shortest outing for a White Sox starter unrelated to injury since Neal Cotts also went one-third of an inning in 2003. Rodon was 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in two starts vs. Texas as a rookie. Elvis Andrus is 0-for-4 off him. Prince Fielder (who by the way was named after late pop icon Prince, I just found out following the singer's death Thursday) is 2-for-6 with an RBI. It's Colby Lewis (1-0, 4.00) for the Rangers. He allowed four runs and 10 hits over six innings last time vs. Baltimore. Lewis was 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA vs. Chicago last year. Austin Jackson is a career .419 hitter of him in 31 at-bats. Brett Lawrie is 1-for-14 with seven strikeouts.
Key trends: The Rangers are 7-3 in Lewis' past 10 on the road. The Sox are 4-1 in Rodon's past five at home. The under is 5-2-1 in Lewis' past eight vs. the White Sox.
Early lean: White Sox and under.
Dodgers at Rockies (+138, 10.5)
Barring weather or injury, this should be the first-ever regular-season matchup between two early NL Rookie of the Year candidates in Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda and Rockies shortstop Trevor Story. Maeda (2-0, 0.47) has been better than the Dodgers could have ever imagined, allowing one run in 19 innings and only 14 hits. The Dodgers have had some fair pitchers in their history, and Maeda became the first in team history to begin his career with three straight appearances of six innings and one or fewer runs allowed. Maybe Story faced him in the Cactus League. Tyler Chatwood (2-1, 2.79) goes for Colorado. He dominated the Cubs in Wrigley last time out, shutting them out on two hits over seven innings with seven strikeouts. Chatwood didn't pitch in the majors last year. The Dodgers' Adrian Gonzalez is 4-for-15 career off him with a homer.
Key trends: The Dodgers are 6-2 in their past eight in Game 2 of a series. The Rockies are 2-9 in their past 11 Saturday games. The over is 5-2 in Chatwood's past seven at home.
Early lean: Rockies -- welcome to the thin air of Denver, Mr. Maeda -- and over.
Marlins at Giants (+109, 7)
The story of this series doesn't involve the active players but the return to San Francisco of Marlins hitting coach Barry Bonds, meaning he will sit in the visitors' dugout at AT&T Park for the first time. Despite not having played since 2007, Bonds still holds the record with 35 "splash hits" into China Basin body of water beyond right field at AT&T Park. It's Jose Fernandez (1-1, 3.78) for Miami here. After an iffy first start, Fernandez has allowed one earned and three hits in each of his past two. He made one start in 2015 vs. the Giants and allowed three runs over six innings in a win. Joe Panik is 2-for-3 with a double of him. It's Jake Peavy (0-1, 9.00) for San Francisco, and he has allowed at least four runs in all three starts and hasn't lasted more than five innings. Peavy didn't face the Marlins in 2015. Giancarlo Stanton has never faced Peavy. Dee Gordon is 0-for-6.
Key trends: The Marlins are 10-1 in Fernandez's past 11 vs. the NL West. The Giants are 9-1 in Peavy's past 10 at home. The over is 5-2 in Fernandez's past seven on the road. The over is 6-2 in Peavy's past eight.
Early lean: Marlins and over.
Doc's is offering $60 worth of member baseball picks absolutely free - no obligation, no sales people - you don't even have to enter credit card information. You can use this $60 credit for any of our top MLB handicappers. Click here for free MLB picks now. Also, for a limited time only get three MLB handicappers for the price of one. Click here for details.
Read more articles by Alan Matthews
Most Recent Baseball Handicapping
- 2021 AL Central Predictions and Expert Betting Advice
- 2021 NL West Predictions and Expert Betting Advice
- 2021 NL East Predictions and Expert Betting Advice
- 2021 AL West Predictions and Expert Betting Advice
- 2021 NL Central Predictions and Expert Betting Advice
- 2021 AL East Predictions and Expert Betting Advice
- 2021 Minnesota Twins Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
- 2021 Chicago White Sox Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
- 2021 Detroit Tigers Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
- 2021 Kansas City Royals Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series