I used to be a newspaper guy, so I have an affinity for newspapers even though I barely read them any longer. I always wanted to work at one of those New York tabloids just for a week or something so I could have fun with some of those crazy headlines they write. You might think it's easy to come up with that stuff, but it's really not. I bring this up because the tabloids are already in full panic mode over the early struggles of the New York Mets. As Aaron Rodgers would say, "R-E-L-A-X!" They aren't going to hit below the Mendoza Line all season, and that pitching will start to even out. The Mets will be fine.
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Marlins at Mets (-128, 8)
It's a getaway day matinee (1:10 p.m. ET) in the series finale and televised by the MLB Network. Mets ace Jacob deGrom has left the team for Florida to be with his wife for the birth of the couple's first child. He was going to miss his scheduled start Wednesday regardless with some right lat tightness suffered on Friday. So it's Logan Verrett here for New York. He has pitched one inning of relief this season, allowing a run against the Phillies. He made four spot starts last year and pitched 47.2 innings overall, going 1-2 with a 3.59 ERA. He threw five scoreless innings in his lone appearance against Miami. It's lefty Adam Conley for Miami. He pitched just one inning in a start last week in Washington and allowed three runs. He didn't go any longer because of a long rain delay. Because this is the first lefty of the season the Mets have faced, you will see Juan Lagares and Wilmer Flores in the starting lineup. Lagares' presence likely will shift Yoenis Cespedes from center to left field and relegate Michael Conforto to the bench. Flores will either play short or second.
Key trends: The Marlins are 5-1 in Conley's past six vs. the NL East. The "over/under" has gone under in seven of Miami's past nine in Game 3 of a series. The under is 18-7-3 in New York's past 28 at home vs. a lefty.
Early lean: Mets and under.
Orioles at Red Sox (-136, 9)
ESPN2 game. I presume the Birds will have All-Star center fielder Adam Jones back here if not on Tuesday. Entering Monday, he hadn't played since April 6 due to soreness in his ribcage but did play in the ninth inning Monday as a defensive replacement. Not sure if that means he can swing a bat, however. Ubaldo Jimenez takes the mound for Baltimore. He looked great in his first start, albeit against the punchless Twins. Jimenez allowed one earned run over seven innings, striking out nine and walking none. But in 11 career starts against the Red Sox, he has a 7.26 ERA. You may see Pablo Sandoval get a start as he's 14-for-39 with two homers and seven RBIs off Jimenez. It's Joe Kelly for Boston. He was shelled in Toronto on Friday, allowing seven runs and seven hits in just three innings. In 17 career starts at Fenway, Kelly is 7-5 with a 4.90 ERA. Chris Davis is 4-for-8 off him with a double.
Key trends: The Orioles are 6-1 in Jimenez's past seven starts. The Sox are 9-1 in Kelly's past 10. The over is 8-0 in his past eight at home.
Early lean: Red Sox and over.
Tigers at Pirates (-151, 7.5)
This is your lone interleague matchup and these two finished a two-game set in Detroit on Tuesday. So the Tigers will lose DH Victor Martinez here, but he hit pinch-hit homers in both games in Miami last week when there was no DH. Shane Greene is on the mound for the Tigers, who have lost catcher James McCann for 2-4 weeks with an ankle injury. Greene, the team's No. 5 starter, has pitched one inning of scoreless relief this season. He pitched in Pittsburgh almost exactly a year to the day last year and was great, shutting out the Pirates on three hits over eight innings. Pittsburgh goes with lefty Francisco Liriano. He dominated the Cardinals on Opening Day but wasn't quite as sharp Friday in Cincinnati, allowing three runs over five innings. Miguel Cabrera is 9-for-36 off him with two homers and 10 walks.
Key trends: The Tigers are 0-7 in Greene's past seven starts. They are 2-6 in their past eight road starts vs. a lefty. The Pirates are 13-3 in Liriano's past 16 at home. The over is 5-1 in Greene's past six. The over is 7-1-1 in Liriano's past nine.
Early lean: Pirates and over.
Reds at Cubs (-210, TBA)
These teams come off a rare Tuesday off day. Chicago improved to 6-1 with a 5-3 comeback win in its home opener vs. the Reds on Monday. The Cubs were no-hit for 6.2 innings. Addison Russell hit the game-winning three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth. Reds shortstop Zack Cosart left the game with tightness in his quad so he might miss some time. Cosart is hitting .412 on the young season. This will be the Wrigley Field Cubs debut of John Lackey. He struggled in his first start, allowing six runs and eight hits, two homers, in Arizona but his offense bailed him out. Lackey was 1-2 with a 2.91 ERA in five starts last year vs. the Reds while with St. Louis. Joey Votto is 3-for-12 with two homers off him. Cincinnati goes with Alfredo Simon. He allowed two runs and five hits over five innings in his first start vs. Pittsburgh. He didn't face the Cubs in 2015. Anthony Rizzo is 5-for-15 with two homers off him. Jason Heyward is 1-for-8.
Key trends: The Reds are 1-6 in Simon's past seven on the road. The over is 6-1 in those seven. The under is 5-0 in Simon's past five vs. the Cubs.
Early lean: Cubs. Total of course depends on the wind.
White Sox at Twins (-105, 8)
These two are also off an unusual Tuesday off. Minnesota is the only winless team in the American League at 0-7 (the previous 10 teams in the majors to start 0-7 all finished with losing records), which is surprising because this team has some impressive young talent. One of those guys, Byron Buxton, is hitting just .182 with 11 strikeouts in 22 at-bats. The other potential future star, Miguel Sano, is hitting .136 with 13 strikeouts and no extra-base hits. The Twins are easily last in baseball with just 13 runs scored. They face White Sox lefty Carlos Rodon here. He was good in his debut despite losing, allowing two runs and seven hits over seven innings in Oakland. Rodon was 0-1 with a 2.00 ERA in two starts vs. Minnesota in 2015. Sano is 1-for-2 with a homer off him. Minnesota's Phil Hughes lost in Baltimore in his debut, allowing three runs and six hits over six. Hughes was 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA in three starts against the Pale Hose last year. Jose Abreu is 7-for-21 with three doubles off him. Austin Jackson is 10-for-30 with two homers.
Key trends: The Sox are 5-2 in Rodon's past seven. The Twins are 7-1 in Hughes' past eight at home. The under is 3-1-1 in Hughes' past five vs. Chicago.
Early lean: Twins and under.
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