He won't do it because that would mean forfeiting millions of dollars, but it's time for former AL MVP Josh Hamilton to listen to his body and retire. He was rehabbing a left knee injury but aggravated the problem after just one game in the minors this weekend. Rangers GM Jon Daniels said Sunday that Hamilton was given a cortisone shot -- he got one initially back in January -- after experiencing recurring discomfort in the knee while running the bases Saturday while playing for Double-A Frisco. Hamilton has appeared in just 139 of a possible 349 big-league games since the start of 2014 because of injury. On the bright side for Texas, Yu Darvish made his first rehab start off Tommy John surgery Sunday at Frisco and was clocked as high as 97 mph. He threw 32 pitches, allowing no hits, no runs and one walk while striking out two. You could see him called up in a couple of weeks, although he'll have an innings cap of around 130 this season.
Cubs at Pirates (+182, 6.5)
It's the first series between these teams since last year's wild-card game in Pittsburgh. And the winner of that game in a dominant performance was Cubs ace Jake Arrieta (5-0, 1.00), and he gets the call here. He was unable to follow up his no-hitter on April 21 with another last Thursday. Arrieta allowed one run and three hits over five innings against the Brewers to see his string of 24 consecutive quality starts end. Arrieta was already at 92 pitches through five innings so Manager Joe Maddon pulled him rather than let him pitch one more inning and potentially keep that string going. The modern day record is 26 straight by Bob Gibson. It was the first time in 52.2 innings that Arrieta allowed an earned run at home. The Bucs go with lefty Jon Niese (3-0, 5.08). He allowed five runs and 10 hits over five innings last time out in Colorado. The Pirates have given him plenty of run support as you can see by that record and ERA. The Cubs' Jason Heyward is 9-for-28 career off him with two homers and eight RBIs.
Key trends: The Cubs are 21-5 in Arrieta's past 26 road starts. The "over/under" is 5-0 in his past five. The Cubs are 4-0 in his past four vs. Pittsburgh. The under is 6-0-1 in his past seven vs. the Pirates.
Early lean: Cubs and under.
Yankees at Orioles (-129, 8.5)
Baltimore is awaiting word on shortstop J.J. Hardy. He fouled a ball off his foot Sunday and had to leave after it swelled up. He was to have a CT scan on Monday. The Orioles reportedly are pretty worried about it. Hardy is hitting .244 with two homers and eight RBIs. The team could move Manny Machado to shortstop and put Pedro Alvarez at third if it's a long term thing. Chris Tillman (2-1, 3.24) goes for the Birds. He shut out the Rays on two hits over 6.2 innings last time out, striking out a season-high nine. Didi Gregorious is 4-for-7 off him with three extra-base hits. Alex Rodriguez is 6-for-13 with four homers and nine RBIs. New York's Luis Severino (0-3, 6.86) was excellent in 11 starts last year as a rookie but is struggling in 2016. He was rocked for six runs in three innings last time out in Texas. Machado is 1-for-3 with a solo homer off him.
Key trends: The Yankees are 1-7 in their past eight after an off day. The Orioles are 16-5 in their past 21 vs. teams with a losing record. The Orioles are 6-1 in Tillman's past seven at home vs. New York. The over is 4-1 in his past five Tuesday starts.
Early lean: Orioles and over.
Giants at Reds (+142, 8.5)
San Francisco is likely to be without outfielder Angel Pagan for at least a few games. He left Sunday's game in New York with a strained left hamstring. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Pagan would miss a minimum of two to three games. Pagan is having a nice season, batting .315 with 13 RBIs and 17 runs scored. Gregor Blanco is likely to start in his place. San Francisco goes with Jeff Samardzija (3-1, 3.86) on the mound here. He allowed a season-high five runs over 5.2 innings last time out vs. San Diego. He's 1-4 with a 5.40 ERA career in Cincinnati. Jay Bruce is 9-for-31 off him with five doubles and 11 strikeouts. The Reds' Jon Moscot (0-2, 4.02) has yet to last six innings in his three starts this season. He felt some shoulder soreness after his most recent start but apparently all is well and he's on track to go here. Moscot has never faced the Giants.
Key trends: The Reds are 2-8 in their past 10 Tuesday games. The over is 6-2 in San Francisco's past eight road games.
Early lean: Giants and over.
Dodgers at Rays (-108, 7.5)
Dodgers left-hander Scott Kazmir had some of his best seasons with Tampa Bay as he debuted with the Rays in 2004 and played there through 2008. Kazmir (1-2, 5.76) has been quite inconsistent with L.A., but he does come off a quality start, allowing two runs and seven hits in six innings in a loss to Miami. Kazmir has a career 5.76 ERA against the Rays. Evan Longoria is 4-for-13 off him with a homer and four RBIs. Tampa lefty Matt Moore (1-2, 3.86) lost a second straight start last Wednesday vs. Baltimore, allowing three runs and three hits over seven innings. Nine of the 13 runs he has allowed this season are via the home run. Strangely, lefties are hitting .318 against him, but righties are batting .194. He has never faced the Dodgers. Howie Kendrick is 2-for-9 off him with five strikeouts. Adrian Gonzalez is 1-for-7.
Key trends: The Dodgers are 0-4 in their past four in Game 1 of a series. The Rays are 5-1 in Moore's past six at home. The under is 4-0 in his past four at home.
Early lean: Rays and under.
Red Sox at White Sox (-128, 8)
Chicago is expected to remain without outfielder/DH Avisail Garcia at least through Tuesday after he strained his hamstring on Friday. He's hitting .214 with three homers and nine RBIs. A DL stint is possible. The Sox start lefty Jose Quintana (3-1, 1.47) in this series opener. He hasn't allowed a run in his past two starts, spanning 13 innings against the Rangers and Blue Jays. Quintana struck out a season-high 10 Wednesday vs. Toronto. He was 1-0 with a 3.65 ERA in two starts last year vs. Boston. The Red Sox counter with knuckleballer Steven Wright (2-2, 1.37). He has been the most consistent pitcher on the staff and has allowed two earned runs or fewer in seven straight starts dating to last year. He allowed two runs in six innings in his lone 2015 start vs. Chicago. Jose Abreu is 1-for-3 off him with a homer.
Key trends: The Red Sox are 1-5 in their past six vs. a lefty. The White Sox are 4-1 in Quintana's past five in Game 1 of a series. The under is 8-0 in Boston's past eight vs. a lefty.
Early lean: White Sox and under.
Doc's Sports is offering $60 worth of member MLB picks absolutely free - no obligation, no sales people, no credit card information. You can use this $60 credit any way you please on any of our top MLB handicappers. Get your free baseball 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