So, I went to a baseball game and a hockey fight broke out! OK, I wasn't in attendance in Arlington, Texas, on Sunday but wow what a brawl between the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers. I'm sure by now you have seen dozens of times on replay the right cross that Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor landed to the jaw of Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista. Texas pitcher Matt Bush had plunked Bautista, clearly as retaliation for Bautista's bat flip following his go-ahead homer in Game 5 of last year's ALDS vs. Texas. It's a bit odd that the Rangers waited until Bautista's final at-bat of the season against them to get vengeance (they don't play again in 2016 barring another playoff matchup). After being put on first base with that HBP, Bautista slid hard -- but clean -- into second base, where Odor was, on a fielder's choice and that's when things got crazy. Odor was clearly out of line. Obviously, he is facing a pretty lengthy suspension. Bautista probably gets a few games as will Jays manager John Gibbons since he ran onto the field after being ejected earlier in the game. He almost fought Rangers manager Jeff Banister. It was all quite good theater.
Free $60 in Member MLB Picks No Obligation Click Here
Cubs at Brewers (+150, 9)
Milwaukee thinks Ryan Braun will be able to play Tuesday. He hasn't since Friday due to a sore wrist, but X-rays were negative. Braun is off to a nice start, batting .367 with seven homers and 27 RBIs. You are starting to hear trade rumors surrounding him. The Brewers start a struggling Chase Anderson (1-5, 6.11) here. He has lost five straight starts and has an 8.88 ERA in them. Anderson has never faced the Cubs. Jason Heyward is 1-for-6 off him with an RBI. It's Kyle Hendricks (2-2, 3.03) for Chicago. He took a no-decision in his last start, allowing two earned and six hits over 6.2 innings vs. the Padres, striking out a season-high eight. Hendricks got a no-decision on April 26 at Wrigley vs. the Brewers, allowing a run and two hits over five innings. Braun is 1-for-8 career off Hendricks with four strikeouts. Scooter Gennett is 3-for-18.
Key trends: The Cubs are 8-1 in their past nine after a loss. They are 5-1 in Hendricks' past six on the road. The Brewers are 1-7 in their past eight series openers. The "over/under" is 6-1 in Anderson's past seven.
Early lean: Cubs and over.
Angels at Dodgers (-290, 6.5)
The Halos lose the designated hitter for the Freeway Series. They go with Jered Weaver (3-2, 6.10) on the mound. He had an interesting start Thursday vs. the Cardinals, retiring the first 11 batters but then putting nine of the next 10 on base. He allowed eight runs and nine hits (three homers) over four innings in the loss. Weaver has made five career starts at Dodger Stadium and has a 1.53 ERA. Adrian Gonzalez is 4-for-13 against him with a double. Carl Crawford is 5-for-18 with a solo homer. It's ace lefty Clayton Kershaw (5-1, 1.74) for the Dodgers. I never thought a pitcher could actually be worth $30 million or so a year, but he sure is. Kershaw threw a complete-game three-hitter vs. the Mets on Thursday, striking out 13. It was his fifth straight start with at least 10 and his 14th career complete-game shutout. When the Dodgers score four runs for him while he is still on the mound, the team is 81-0 all-time. That's just stupid. Kershaw is 4-2 with a 2.91 ERA in his career against the Angels. Kole Calhoun is 2-for-4 with a homer off him. Albert Pujols is 10-for-26 with four doubles and six walks against him. Mike Trout is 2-for-8.
Key trends: The Angels are 3-9 in Weaver's past 12 road starts. The Dodgers are 7-3 in their past 10 interleague starts. The under is 11-4 in Kershaw's past 15 at home. The Dodgers are 4-1 in his past five vs. the Angels.
Early lean: Dodgers and under.
Nationals at Mets (-111, 6.5)
This is one of the better pitching matchups of early season and both guys will have a lot to live up to off their most recent starts. It's Max Scherzer (4-2, 4.15) for Washington, and of course he tied a big-league record with 20 strikeouts against his former Tigers team in his last start. Scherzer was the fourth MLB pitcher in history to whiff 20 in a nine-inning game and his 23 balls were the fewest ever in a 20-strikeout game. You may remember his last start vs. the Mets as it was Game 2 of a doubleheader on Oct. 3, 2015, at Citi Field as Scherzer no-hit the Mets (his second of 2015) with 17 strikeouts. The lone baserunner reached on third baseman Yunel Escobar's sixth-inning throwing error. Curtis Granderson is 7-for-23 off him with a homer and three doubles. Neil Walker is 3-for-9 with two homers. Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard (3-2, 2.53) homered twice in his last start, only the second Mets pitcher to ever do so. He also beat the Dodgers, allowing two runs in eight innings. Washington's Bryce Harper is 3-for-9 off him with two strikeouts. Anthony Rendon is 3-for-7 with a homer.
Key trends: The Nationals are 1-4 in Scherzer's past five on Tuesday. The Mets are 10-4 in Syndergaard's past 14 at home. The under is 11-5-3 in Scherzer's past 19 on the road. The under is 10-1 in Syndergaard's past 11 series openers.
Early lean: Mets and under.
Yankees at Diamondbacks (-145, 8)
The Diamondbacks lost outfielder David Peralta to the 15-day DL over the weekend due to a wrist injury. The team's cleanup hitter is hitting .260 with seven doubles, three triples, three homers and 12 RBIs this season. Veteran Michael Bourn was called up from Double-A to replace him. The Yankees, who lose the designated hitter, go with Michael Pineda (1-4, 6.28). He was roughed up for six runs in 5.2 innings in his last start vs. Kansas City. He seems to struggle at the outset of games as batters are hitting .437 off him in the first two innings and just .202 from the third inning on. Pineda has never faced Arizona. The Snakes go with Zack Greinke (3-3, 5.26). He took the loss Thursday against the Giants, allowing four runs and eight hits over six innings. The Yankees' Mark Teixeira is 5-for-13 with two doubles and a homer off him. Starlin Castro is 5-for-19 with two doubles and two RBIs.
Key trends: The Yankees are 0-6 in Pineda's past six vs. teams with a losing record. The over is 11-4-1 in his past 15 on the road.
Early lean: Diamondbacks and over.
Giants at Padres (+152, 6.5)
Monitor the status of San Diego's Wil Myers here. The first baseman was scratched from Sunday's game with forearm tightness. Myers is hitting .270 with seven homers and 17 RBIs this season. The Friars start Colin Rea (3-1, 4.24) on the mound. He took a no-decision Wednesday at the Cubs, allowing four runs and seven hits in five innings. Rea has never faced the Giants. San Francisco goes with ace lefty Madison Bumgarner (4-2, 2.72). The Giants have won his past four outings. He held the Blue Jays to a run and three hits over 6.2 innings Thursday. Bumgarner beat the Padres in San Francisco on April 25, giving up two runs and six hits over 6.2 innings. Myers is 1-for-14 off him so perhaps he just takes another day off. Derek Norris is 9-for-26 with two doubles, a homer and six RBIs. Melvin Upton Jr. is 1-for-16 with seven strikeouts.
Key trends: The Giants are 14-4 in Bumgarner's past 18 road starts vs. teams with a losing record. They have won 13 of his past 19 vs. San Diego. The over is 7-1 in Rea's past eight at home.
Early lean: Giants and under.
Read more articles by Alan Matthews
Most Recent Baseball Handicapping Articles
- MLB Betting Trends: Totals Report for Hot Over and Under Teams
- Daily Expert MLB Picks: Tuesday, July 10, 2018, Opening Line Report
- MLB Betting Trends: Totals Report for Hot Over and Under Teams
- Daily Expert MLB Picks: Friday, June 29, 2018, Opening Line Report
- MLB Betting Advice: Trades that Could Impact Bettors
- Expert MLB Handicapping: How Bad are the Royals?
- Daily Expert MLB Picks: Tuesday, June 26, 2018, Opening Line Report
- Daily Expert MLB Picks: Saturday, June 23, 2018, Opening Line Report
- MLB Expert Handicapping: Orioles One of All-Time Worst
- Expert MLB Betting Picks: Division Winner Props