We are in another golden era of talented young shortstops, and sometimes the Giants' Brandon Crawford gets overlooked in that group because he's not that young. But the 29-year-old is a heck of a player. And he had a heck of a game on Monday night in the Giants' 8-7 14-inning win in Miami. Crawford went an incredible 7-for-8, missing a cycle without a homer. Hit No. 7 was the go-ahead RBI single in the top of the 14th. That game raised Crawford's batting average from .265 to .278 and were more hits than he had in his previous 11 games combined. it also tied the NL record for hits in a game and was the first time someone reached seven since Pittsburgh's Rennie Stennett on Sept. 16, 1975. The major-league record, if you are wondering, and I was, is nine hits by the Indians' Johnny Burnett on July 10, 1932. He was 9-for-11 in an 18-17 18-inning loss to the Philadelphia Athletics. No one has ever had more than seven hits in a nine-inning game.
Phillies at Dodgers (-180, 8)
First pitch of 3:10 p.m. ET and should have live betting with it televised by the MLB Network. I never thought that Jeremy Hellickson (9-7, 3.72) would be starting for the Phillies after last Monday's trade deadline, but he did on Friday in San Diego and pitched well again, allowing three runs and six hits over 6.2 innings as the Phillies won his fourth straight outing. The Dodgers were one of the teams scouting him before the deadline, but they instead got Oakland's Rich Hill. Hellickson hasn't faced L.A. this year. Adrian Gonzalez is just 4-for-24 career off him but does have two homers and eight RBIs. Howie Kendrick is 2-for-14 against him. The Dodgers go with lefty Scott Kazmir (9-5, 4.51). He has dropped two straight and gave up four runs over 5.1 innings last week against Boston. This is Kazmir's first look at the Phillies this year.
Key trends: The Phillies are 4-1 in Hellickson's past five vs. teams with a winning record. The Dodgers are 5-2 in Kazmir's past seven vs. teams with a losing record. The "over/under" has gone under in seven of Hellickson's past nine. The over is 4-1 in Kazmir's past five.
Early lean: Dodgers and under.
Yankees at Red Sox (-168, 9.5)
Naturally, this is ESPN's Wednesday night offering. The Yankees go with Nathan Eovaldi (9-8, 4.80). He took a loss last time out against the Mets, giving up four runs and five hits over seven innings. Eovaldi is 1-for with a 5.02 ERA in two starts this year against the Red Sox. Hanley Ramirez is 8-for-19 off him with a homer and six RBIs. Dustin Pedroia is 5-for-13 with a homer. The Red Sox go with lefty Drew Pomeranz (8-9, 3.09). He has made four starts with Boston since coming over from San Diego but has yet to personally win any of them. He did pitch well Thursday in Seattle, allowing two runs and four hits over six innings. Now there's talk that the Padres might have withheld some medical information on Pomeranz before trading him. His second-to-last start with the Friars was a no-decision vs. the Yankees as he allowed a run and struck out seven over seven innings. I would think if Alex Rodriguez is going to start any game of this series it might be this one against a lefty. Rodriguez has no official career at-bats off him. Jacoby Ellsbury is 3-for-5 with two doubles against Pomeranz.
Key trends: The Yankees are 0-5 in Eovaldi's past five on the road. The over is 5-0 in those five.
Early lean: Red Sox and over.
Rays at Blue Jays (-190, 9)
The Jays have lost excellent defensive center fielder Kevin Pillar to the 15-day DL with a thumb injury suffered on Saturday. It's only a sprain, so he should miss the minimum amount of time. Pillar was hitting .261 with seven homers and 45 RBIs. It's time to start taking the Cy Young candidacy of Toronto left-hander J.A. Happ (15-3, 3.09) seriously. I'm quite sure there were no odds on him back in the spring, and his 15 wins are already a career high. The Jays haven't lost one of his starts since June 6. He won in Houston last Thursday, allowing one run and four hits over six innings. Happ is 0-1, however, with a 7.98 ERA in three starts this year against Tampa Bay, which isn't exactly an offensive powerhouse. Evan Longoria is a career .385 hitter off him in 26 at-bats. Steven Souza is 5-for-11 off him with two doubles and a homer. Tampa goes with rookie lefty Blake Snell (3-4, 2.95). This will be his first start vs. Toronto.
Key trends: The Rays are 1-5 in their past six against a lefty. The Jays are 6-0 in Happ's past six vs. teams with a losing record. The under is 10-3-1 in Happ's past 14 vs. teams with a losing record.
Early lean: Jays and under.
Angels at Cubs (-220, TBA)
If I'm a major-league GM and you give me a choice of two players to build my team around right now -- non-pitcher version -- then I'm going with two guys from this game in Angels outfielder Mike Trout and Cubs third baseman/outfielder Kris Bryant (Baltimore's Manny Machado a close third) . Perhaps not coincidentally, those two might be their league's MVP this year. I did pick Bryant to win that award at the All-Star break but liked Houston's Jose Altuve in the AL and still do. The Angels, who lose the DH in this interleague matchup, go with Ricky Nolasco, who was acquired (for some reason) from the Twins at the trade deadline. Nolasco (4-8, 5.23) was typically lousy in his Halos debut, allowing five runs (three homers) over six innings in a no-decision vs. Oakland. Bryant has never seen Nolasco. Jason Heyward is 8-for-23 off him with a homer. Chicago's Jason Hammel (11-5, 3.07) beat the Marlins last Tuesday with six shutout innings. He will come off the bereavement list for this game with a bit of extra rest. Trout is 4-for-13 off him with a homer.
Key trends: The Cubs are 8-2 in Hammel's past 10 at home. The over is 4-1 in his past five on seven or more days of rest.
Early lean: Cubs and over regardless of number (probably 8.5 unless wind blowing in).
Tigers at Mariners (+100, 7.5)
Nice matchup here of former Cy Young winners who were probably the AL's top two pitchers for a few years. It's Detroit's Justin Verlander (12-6, 3.52). He outdueled the Mets' Noah Syndergaard last time out, allowing two runs and four hits over six innings to start August on a good note after being named the AL Pitcher of the Month for July. Verlander beat the Mariners on June 21, giving up two runs and six hits over seven innings. Nelson Cruz is just 5-for-28 off him with seven strikeouts. Kyle Seager is 6-for-12 with two homers and seven RBIs. Seattle's Felix Hernandez (6-4, 3.55) beat the Angels in his last start, giving up four runs and three hits over eight innings. King Felix didn't face the Tigers in the earlier series. Miguel Cabrera is 11-for-26 career off him with two doubles. Ian Kinsler hits .238 off Hernandez with four homers and 13 strikeouts in 80 at-bats.
Key trends: The Tigers are 4-1 in Verlander's past five on the road. The Mariners are 7-1 in Hernandez's past eight on Wednesday. The under is 6-1 in Verlander's past seven on the road.
Early lean: Mariners and under.
Doc's Sports is offering $60 worth of member's picks absolutely free - no obligation, no sales people - you don't even have to enter credit card information. You can use this $60 credit any way you please for any handicapper and any sport on Doc's Sports Advisory Board list of expert sports handicappers. Click here for more details and take advantage of this free $60 picks credit today .
Read more articles by Alan Matthews
Most Recent Baseball Handicapping
- 2021 Miami Marlins Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
- 2021 Philadelphia Phillies Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
- 2021 Atlanta Braves Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
- 2020 World Series Predictions with Expert Analysis
- Free MLB Picks Thursday 10/1/2020 and Opening Line Report
- Free MLB Picks Wednesday 9/30/2020 and Opening Line Report
- Free MLB Picks Tuesday 9/29/2020 and Opening Line Report
- Free MLB Picks Saturday 9/26/2020 and Opening Line Report
- Free MLB Picks Friday 9/25/2020 and Opening Line Report
- Free MLB Picks Thursday 9/24/2020 and Opening Line Report