Pretty significant injury on Thursday night for the Detroit Tigers, although things could have been much worse. Outfielder J.D. Martinez, one of the best bargains in baseball with a $3 million salary this season, collided with the wall in Kansas City while attempting to make a play on Paulo Orlando's triple in the bottom of the second inning. Martinez braced himself with his right arm but was injured and later diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture of the radial neck of his right elbow. At first, the worries were that could be season-ending. Remember, Diamondbacks star outfielder A.J. Pollock broke his elbow on the eve of the season, hasn't played since and may not this year (although he expects to). Apparently whatever Martinez did wasn't as bad because he will miss 4-6 weeks. That's probably short enough of an absence to where the Tigers won't make a major trade to replace him. Martinez is hitting .286 with 12 homers and 39 RBIs.
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Diamondbacks at Phillies (+163, 7.5)
A 3:05 p.m. first pitch. Not that any pitcher is worth $200 million or more -- well, maybe Clayton Kershaw is -- but Arizona's Zack Greinke is now pitching almost worthy of that contract. Greinke (9-3, 3.75) won a sixth straight start Monday in facing his old Dodgers teammates for the first time. He allowed two runs and seven hits over seven innings. Greinke is 6-1 with a 2.68 ERA in eight career outings against the Phillies. Carlos Ruiz is 0-for-12 off him. Freddy Galvis is 0-for-8. The Phils go with Jerad Eickhoff (4-8, 3.40), one of their promising young arms. He shut out the Blue Jays on three hits in six innings in Toronto on Monday. It was Eickhoff's third straight quality start. He has never faced the Diamondbacks.
Key trends: The Diamondbacks are 5-0 in Greinke's past five road starts. The Phillies are 1-4 in Eickhoff's past five vs. teams with a losing record. The "over/under" has gone under in five of Greinke's past eight vs. teams with a losing record.
Early lean: Diamondbacks and under.
Blue Jays at Orioles (+103, 9.5)
It's a 4:05 p.m. ET matinee at Camden Yards. The Orioles have demoted struggling starter Ubaldo Jimenez to the bullpen and taking his spot is the team's big offseason free-agent acquisition, Yovani Gallardo (1-1, 7.00). He hasn't pitched in the majors since April 22 due to shoulder problems and wasn't very good in the four starts he made this season. Gallardo has worked on a shoulder strengthening program since and lost 12 pounds thanks to a rigorous training plan. Gallardo looked solid enough in his three rehab starts. Toronto's Edwin Encarnacion is 5-for-16 career off Gallardo with three homers and six RBIs. Jose Bautista is just 1-for-12 with four strikeouts; monitor his status after Bautista left Thursday's game after hurting his big toe running into a wall. Russell Martin is 5-for-23 with six whiffs. The Jays go with knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (4-7, 4.16). He lost for the first time since May 24 on Monday, giving up three runs over 6.1 innings against the Phillies. Dickey took a no-decision in Baltimore on April 20, allowing three runs in six innings. Manny Machado is 7-for-19 with three doubles career off him. Chris Davis has two homers and nine strikeouts in 27 at-bats off Dickey.
Key trends: The Jays are 0-5 in Dickey's past five on Saturday. The over is 6-1-2 in his past nine on the day. The Jays are 0-4 in Dickey's past four in Baltimore.
Early lean: Orioles and over.
Angels at A's (TBA)
Also a 4:05 p.m. ET start. Two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum will make his first big-league start with a team other than the San Francisco Giants on Saturday with the Angels, so it's perhaps fitting it comes across the bay in Oakland. The Halos gave Lincecum a one-year, $2.5 million deal last month to see if he has anything left in the tank. He has looked great in the minors. Lincecum didn't pitch after June 27 in the majors last season due to degenerative hips and then in September had surgery. Considering how decimated the Angels' rotation is, Lincecum is certainly worth a shot. Yonder Alonso has faced Lincecum more than any Oakland batter, going 3-for-23 with eight strikeouts. Khris Davis is 3-for-4 with two solo homers off him. The A's need a starter here with top prospect Sean Manaea landing on the DL Tuesday with a strained left forearm. The leading candidate is Zach Neal (1-1, 9.75). He has made five appearances this season with one start. He threw one inning of relief Tuesday vs. Texas and allowed two runs.
Key trends: The A's are 1-5 in their past six on Saturday. The over is 15-6-2 in the past 22 meetings (entering Friday).
Early lean: TBA on A's starter -- doesn't matter who it is, and it's probably Neal, go L.A.
Giants at Rays (-127, 8)
San Francisco adds the DH for this 4:10 p.m. ET game. It seems laughable now, but back in 1992 a group of investors from the Tampa Bay area signed a memorandum of agreement to buy the Giants and move them from San Francisco to St. Petersburg in time for the 1993 season. Needless to say, that didn't work out as NL owners voted against the move. Now the Giants have maybe the best stadium in MLB and the Rays the worst. The Giants go with Jake Peavy (3-6, 5.83) here. He has largely turned it around after a really shaky beginning to the season. He shut out the Dodgers on four hits over six innings Sunday. In doing so, he became the sixth active pitcher to reach the 150-win career mark. Can you name the other five? I'll give you two hints: there's one lefty among the five and three are in the NL. Evan Longoria has seen Peavy more than any Rays batter, going 5-for-21 with a homer. Monitor Longoria's status, however, as he's day-to-day with a forearm issue. The Rays also lost outfielder Steven Souza to the DL earlier this week with a hip injury. They start lefty Matt Moore (3-4, 5.05). He comes off easily his best start of the season, shutting out Houston on two hits over seven innings and striking out 10. Moore has never faced the Giants.
Key trends: The Giants are 3-8 in Peavy's past 11 on the road. The Rays are 7-3 in Moore's past 10 at home. The under is 5-2 in Peavy's past seven.
Early lean: Rays and under.
Rangers at Cardinals (TBA)
Another matinee with a 4:15 p.m. ET first pitch. Remember that Texas loses the DH. National TV game on Fox Sports 1 and should have live betting at sportsbooks. Texas starts lefty Cesar Ramos (1-3, 4.88), who has taken the rotation spot of Yu Darvish, who is back on the DL with shoulder tightness. Ramos was blasted in Oakland on Monday, allowing eight runs and eight hits while walking five in 3.2 innings. He is 1-2 with a 5.03 ERA in four starts this year but has been better in relief. Ramos has never faced the Cardinals. St. Louis goes with Carlos Martinez (7-5, 3.46). He won a third straight start Saturday, allowing one run and six hits in a season-high 8.1 innings in Pittsburgh. Keep an eye on Martinez as he also threw by far a season-high 122 pitches. He has never faced Texas.
Key trends: The Cards are 13-6 in Martinez's past 19 vs. teams with a winning record. The over has hit in eight of his past 13 at home.
Early lean: Hate doing the TBAs but like to alert bettors of those live betting games like this. It's either going to be Ramos or Nick Martinez -- probably a committee no matter what -- and I'd like the Cardinals and over whatever number regardless.
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Read more articles by Alan Matthews
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