Another day, another trade. The San Diego Padres' fire sale continued as they traded outfielder Melvin Upton Jr., who used to have one of the worst contracts in baseball but is having a solid bounce-back season, to the Toronto Blue Jays for a prospect. It's just a salary dump for San Diego, while Toronto should use Upton (.256, 16 HRs, 45 RBIs, 20 SBs) on a mostly every-day basis and could allow Jose Bautista, who just came off the disabled list, to move to DH and Edwin Encarnacion to first base -- which means Justin Smoak is out of luck. Or the Jays could try Upton in center in place of Kevin Pillar, but that would weaken the defense. Not a bad trade, but I'm surprised the Jays also didn't get one of San Diego's arms in the deal as they do need pitching. Meanwhile, the Indians and Orioles will have to continue looking for outfield help as they were also in on Upton.
Free $60 in Member MLB Picks No Obligation Click Here
Nationals at Indians (+101, 7.5)
A 12:10 p.m. ET first pitch. Washington adds the DH for this one. Potential World Series preview? Could be as both clubs have solid leads in their respective divisions. Good pitching matchup here. Washington's Stephen Strasburg apparently won't go undefeated this year and will be a no-brainer choice for the NL Cy Young Award. Strasburg (13-1, 2.83) lost to the Dodgers on Thursday in his worst start of the season, allowing six runs and seven hits (two homers) over six innings. He did strike out 10, his eighth double-digit Ks game of the year, behind only Clayton Kershaw's nine. It was the first time Strasburg allowed six-plus runs in a game since May 12, 2015. Cleveland's Juan Uribe is 2-for-10 career off him with three strikeouts. Mike Napoli is 1-for-3. The Tribe go with Carlos Carrasco (7-3, 2.31). He comes off one of his best starts of the year, shutting out the Royals on one hit over six innings. Carrasco a 1.56 ERA in his last eight starts. He has never faced Washington.
Key trends: The Nationals are 9-1 in Strasburg's past 10 on the road. The Indians are 5-1 in Carrasco's past six at home. The "over/under" is 4-1 in Strasburg's past five on the road. The over is 16-4-1 in Carrasco's past 21 at home.
Early lean: Nationals and under.
Tigers at Red Sox (-112, 10.5)
MLB Network televising this matinee (1:35 p.m. ET) from Fenway and should have live betting at sportsbooks. The Tigers start one of the AL Rookie of the Year favorites in Michael Fulmer (9-2, 2.41). Could he be hitting that rookie wall? Fulmer comes off a rare non-quality start, allowing five runs and six hits over five innings at the White Sox in a no-decision. This will be his first career look at Boston. The Red Sox go with second-year lefty Eduardo Rodriguez (2-4, 6.70). He lost to the Twins on Friday, allowing two runs and six hits over 5.1 innings but with a season-high eight strikeouts. In two starts since returning from his brief demotion to Triple-A, he has given up three runs and 10 hits in 12 1/3 innings. Rodriguez won his only start against the Tigers last season, holding them to a run over seven innings. Nick Castellanos is 1-for-3 off him with a solo homer.
Key trends: The Tigers are 8-1 in Fulmer's past nine on the road. The Red Sox are 0-4 in Rodriguez's past four at home. The over is 4-0 in Fulmer's past four on the road.
Early lean: Tigers and over.
Reds at Giants (-225, 7)
A 3:45 p.m. ET first pitch and probably the final game in a Reds uniform for starting pitcher Dan Straily (5-6, 4.01). He's as good as gone by the Aug. 1 deadline but won't bring a whole lot back. Still, Straily is working on a string of four straight quality starts. Last time out, he beat the Diamondbacks, allowing two runs and five hits in six innings. His first win of the year was May 4 vs. the Giants, allowing three runs and six hits over 6.1 innings. Buster Posey is 0-for-3 off him. Brandon Belt is 1-for-4 with a homer. It's ace lefty Madison Bumgarner (10-5, 2.14) for the Giants. He took a no-decision in his last start at the Yankees, allowing two runs in seven innings. Bumgarner has now pitched at least six innings in 18 consecutive starts. He hasn't faced the Reds this year. Joey Votto is 5-for-14 off him with a homer. Jay Bruce is 2-for-15 with three RBIs.
Key trends: The Reds are 2-5 in Straily's past seven vs. teams with a winning record. The Giants are 7-2 in Bumgarner's past nine at home. The under is 6-2 in his past eight vs. teams with a losing record.
Early lean : Giants and under.
White Sox at Cubs (-220, TBA)
This game is nationally televised on ESPN as this four-game interleague series shifts for the final two games to Wrigley Field, meaning the White Sox lose the designated hitter. The White Sox were to start former Cub Jacob Turner (0-1, 14.73), but he has been terrible in his two big-league starts. So the team will call up Anthony Ranaudo (1-0, 17.18). He made two starts in early May for Texas, and ironically his last one was against the White Sox when he allowed five runs and walked five with no hits allowed in 1.1 innings on May 10. Two days later, he was traded to Chicago and sent to Triple-A. Ranaudo hasn't faced the Cubs before. Ben Zobrist has seen him, going 1-for-7. It's Jason Hammel (9-5, 3.35) for the Cubs. He beat the Brewers last time out, allowing two runs and four hits over five innings. He has not faced the White Sox since 2013, and is 1-2 with a 4.01 ERA against them in nine games (four of them starts). Justin Morneau is 7-for-14 off him with five doubles and three RBIs. Melky Cabrera is 5-for-16 with two homers and five RBIs.
Key trends: The White Sox are 1-5 in their past six on the road. The Cubs are 2-6 in Hammel's past eight. The over is 4-1 in his past five on Wednesday.
Early lean: Cubs and over whatever number unless wind is blowing in.
Diamondbacks at Brewers (-141, 9)
Monitor the status of Arizona third baseman Jake Lamb as he is dealing with a bruised hand and could miss a few days. Lamb's having a great year, batting .284 with 21 homers and 65 RBIs. The Snakes start Archie Bradley (3-6, 4.44) on the mound. He hasn't won since June 19. Last time out, Bradley allowed three runs over five innings with five walks against the Reds. Bradley has never faced the Brewers. They go with Jimmy Nelson (6-8, 3.40). There's been some trade talk around him, but he looks like a pretty good pitcher and is only 27 so I'm sure that Milwaukee would have to be bowled over in any deal. Nelson lost to the Cubs last time out, allowing four runs in five innings. Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt is 2-for-4 off him with two doubles. Welington Castillo is 2-for-3 with a homer.
Key trends: The Diamondbacks are 1-4 in Bradley's past five. The Brewers are 2-7 in Nelson's past nine. The over is 14-5-1 in Bradley's past 20 overall.
Early lean: Brewers and over.
Doc's Sports MLB handicapping team is offering $60 worth of member's baseball picks absolutely free - no obligation, no sales people - Claim your free MLB picks here 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 Articles
- 2017 World Series Predictions
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 9/2/2017, Opening Line Report
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 9/1/2017, Opening Line Report
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/31/2017, Opening Line Report
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/30/2017, Opening Line Report
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/29/2017, Opening Line Report
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/26/2017, Opening Line Report
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/25/2017, Opening Line Report
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/24/2017, Opening Line Report
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/23/2017, Opening Line Report