Here's something I'm guessing you didn't know. For the first time in the live-ball era, two players at least age 40 went 4-for-4 on back-to-back days over the weekend. In this case, it was future Hall of Famers Ichiro Suzuki and David Ortiz. The only other time two guys at least age 40 even went 4-for-4 in a the same month was July 1993 when current Hall of Famers Dave Winfield and George Brett did so. Both Ichiro and Big Papi are having great seasons. The former hasn't said he plans to retire, but the latter is. Ichiro is hitting .382 on the season, albeit as a part-time player. He is 44 hits shy of 3,000 in his MLB career. Next up on the career hits list is Sam Crawford in 31st place with 2,961, and Suzuki is 32 hits away from passing Sam Rice and breaking into the all-time Top 30. At 42 years and 212 days, Ichiro on Saturday became only the seventh player his age or older to register four or more hits in a game. The others: Pete Rose, Sam Rice, Carl Yastrzemski, Rickey Henderson, Honus Wagner and Carlton Fisk.
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Cubs at Cardinals (+101, 7.5)
ESPN game and will have live betting at sportsbooks. The Cubs have looked very mortal of late, especially offensively, in losing six of 10, but they still have the largest division lead in baseball. Chicago will remain without outfielder Jason Heyward for another couple of games most likely. He was hurt making a spectacular diving catch on Saturday. It looked potentially serious, but he just has a contusion near his right rib and hip. The Cubs start Jason Hammel (5-1, 2.31) here. He allowed four runs over six innings in a loss at Milwaukee on Thursday; Hammel had allowed one homer all season entering the game but was tagged for two by the Brew Crew. He won in St. Louis on April 19, allowing one run over six innings. Yadier Molina is 7-for-15 with three doubles off him. It's Michael Wacha (2-4, 4.03) for the Cardinals. He has allowed six runs in each of his past two starts, lasting only four innings in each. He didn't face the Cubs in that April series. Anthony Rizzo is 10-for-22 off him with two homers.
Key trends: The Cubs are 7-1 in Hammel's past eight vs. the NL Central. The Cardinals are 2-9 in Wacha's past 11 vs. teams with a winning record. The "over/under" is 6-0 in his past six vs. the Cubs. The over is 5-2 in Hammel's past seven vs. the Cards.
Early lean: Cubs and over.
Mets at Nationals (-168, 7)
The Mets pondered skipping the start of Matt Harvey (3-6, 5.77) here because he has been struggling so much, but then decided against. it. It sure appears that Harvey is in his own head. Manager Terry Collins believes that Harvey is fighting a crisis of confidence. He lasted only 2.2 innings on Thursday against these Nationals, getting booed off the field at home after allowing nine runs and eight hits. Did all those innings post-Tommy John surgery last season set Harvey back? Harvey's fastball velocity has been down this year at 94 mph compared to 96 mph in 2015. His slider, against which opponents hit .151 last season, has yielded a .385 opponents' batting average in 2016. The Mets will make a decision on the health of first baseman Lucas Duda on Monday as well. He looks ticketed for the disabled list with a back injury. Washington goes with Stephen Strasburg (7-0, 2.80). He was opposite Harvey on Thursday and allowed a run and six hits over six innings, striking out 10. The Nationals have won Strasburg's last 13 starts overall, a franchise record.
Key trends: The Mets are 2-5 in Harvey's past seven vs. teams with a winning record. The Nationals are 11-1 in Strasburg's past 12 at home. The over is 4-0 in his past four against the Mets.
Early lean: Nationals and under.
Diamondbacks at Pirates (-178, 7.5)
The Pirates expect third baseman Jung Ho Kang back for this game. He injured his left hand on Saturday while sliding. Kang will face struggling Arizona starter Shelby Miller (1-5, 6.64). He allowed three runs and 10 hits in 5.2 innings in losing to the Yankees in his last start. That actually was one of his better outings of the season, which should tell you all you need to know. Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen is 7-for-22 off him with a double. Starling Marte is 5-for-15 with two triples. The Pirates go with lefty Francisco Liriano (3-3, 4.63). He lost to the Braves in his last start, allowing two runs and seven hits over seven innings. Liriano took a no-decision on April 24 at Arizona, allowing four runs and five hits over six innings. Welington Castillo is 6-for-17 off him with two homers, five RBIs and six walks. Paul Goldschmidt is 2-for-6 with a homer.
Key trends: The Pirates are 8-1in Liriano's past nine at home vs. teams with a losing record. The over is 10-3 in his past 13 on Tuesday.
Early lean: Pirates and over.
Rockies at Red Sox (-212, 8.5)
One of the big stories in baseball right now is that of Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. as he has a 27-game hitting streak going. That's the longest in the majors this year and is tied for the sixth longest in team history. The Red Sox also have homered in 12 consecutive contests at home and in 22 in a row overall, a franchise record. Bradley and Co. will face Rockies left-hander Jorge De La Rosa (1-3, 10.18) in this interleague matchup, meaning Colorado will add the designated hitter. De La Rosa has been on the disabled list with a left groin injury. He last pitched on April 26. Bradley has never faced him. Hanley Ramirez is 11-for-28 with five doubles and two homers off De La Rosa. The Sox go with fellow lefty David Price (6-1, 5.53). He seems to be rounding into form finally, allowing three earned runs combined in his past two starts. The Rockies' Mark Reynolds is 8-for-34 off him with three homers and 11 strikeouts. Carlos Gonzalez is 2-for-3 with a homer.
Key trends: The Rockies are 2-6 in De La Rosa's past eight series openers. The Red Sox are 4-0 in their past four vs. a lefty. The over is 4-1 in De La Rosa's past five starts.
Early lean: Red Sox and over.
Padres at Giants (-200, 7)
ESPN nightcap and also will feature live betting. San Diego will bring right-hander and potential trade candidate Andrew Cashner (2-3, 4.93) off the 15-day disabled list for this start. He was dealing with a hamstring strain. He last pitched on May 8 and allowed three runs and eight hits over five innings vs. the Mets. Cashner lost in San Francisco on April 27, giving up six runs and walking four in 2.2 innings. He has a 5.26 career ERA in 15 outings vs. San Francisco. Buster Posey is a .440 hitter off him in 25 at-bats with two homers. Brandon Crawford is 6-for-15 with a homer and five RBIs. The Giants go with Jeff Samardzija (6-2, 2.66). He has gone eight innings and allowed one earned run in each of his past two outings. Samardzija is 2-0 with a 3.95 ERA in two starts this year against the Padres. Jon Jay is 10-for-24 off him. Matt Kemp is 2-for-10 with a homer.
Key trends: The Padres are 2-6 in Cashner's past eight vs. teams with a winning record. The under is 4-0 in Samardzija's past four overall. The Padres are 0-6 in Cashner's past six at San Francisco.
Early lean: Giants and under.
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