No major American sport seems to have more of a love affair with statistics. Just about every day, you hear some random stat that has never happened before in MLB. That was the case on Monday night when the Colorado Rockies won 5-3 in Miami. All eight runs in the game were from solo homers. That's an MLB record for most runs in a game via a solo dinger. The previous mark was five, completed seven times. I did not know that. It also tied an NL record for most solo homers in a game. But the MLB record is a whopping 10 set by the Tigers and White Sox on May 28, 1995. Finally, the eight homers were the most ever hit in a game at Marlins Park, which has been around since 2012. So there you go!
Braves at Marlins (-163, 8.5)
First pitch of the day at 12:10 p.m. ET. About the last thing the offensively-challenged Braves could afford was an injury to an every-day player, not that they really care about winning this season, but outfielder Mallex Smith is expected to miss at least six weeks with a broken thumb. He was hit by a pitch Sunday. Smith, one of the Braves' top position player prospects, is hitting .241 with three homers, 21 RBIs and 14 steals. Atlanta starts Matt Wisler (3-7, 4.23) on the mound for this game. He ended a four-start losing streak last Thursday against Cincinnati, allowing two runs in 6.2 innings. Wisler has thrown one scoreless inning this year against the Marlins. Christian Yelich is 3-for-4 career off him with a double and RBI. The Marlins counter with lefty Adam Conley (3-4, 3.94), who is looking for his first win since May 16. He took a no-decision in Atlanta on May 27, allowing two runs and eight hits in 4.1 innings.
Key trends: The Braves are 0-7 in Wisler's past seven starts on five days of rest. The Marlins are 4-1 in Conley's past five at home vs. teams with a losing record. The "over/under" is 8-3 in Wisler's past 11 on the road.
Early lean: Marlins and over.
Cardinals at Cubs (-270, TBA)
First pitch at 2:20 p.m. ET from Wrigley. Chicago has placed center fielder and leadoff hitter Dexter Fowler on the 15-day disabled list. He's dealing with a hamstring injury. Fowler is having a good year, hitting .290 with seven homers, 28 RBIs and a .398 on-base percentage. He also might be voted a starter for the All-Star Game. The Cardinals start Michael Wacha (2-7, 4.56). It seems like he's finally on the right track with back-to-back quality outings. Wacha gave up a run and six hits over 7.2 innings last time out vs. Texas but took the loss. He hasn't won since April 23. Wacha lost to the Cubs on May 24, allowing a season-high eight runs in just four innings. Anthony Rizzo is 11-for-25 career off Wacha with two homers. It's Cubs ace Jake Arrieta (11-1, 1.74). He improved to 11-0 with a 1.20 ERA in his past 13 starts vs. NL Central teams by throwing six shutout innings against the Pirates on Friday. Arrieta's worst start of the year was May 25 in St. Louis, allowing four runs in five innings. He still won. Matt Adams is 6-for-18 off him with four RBIs. Matt Holliday is only 1-for-18.
Key trends: The Cardinals are 1-7 in Wacha's past eight road starts vs. teams with a winning record. The Cubs are 4-0 in Arrieta's past four at home in the series. The under is 4-1 in his past five at home overall.
Early lean: Cubs and under regardless of number unless there's a major wind blowing out.
Giants at Pirates (+107, 8)
San Francisco had to put third baseman Matt Duffy on the DL Monday after an MRI showed an Achilles strain. So a day after he inherited the longest consecutive games played streak in the majors, Duffy passed that title along to someone else. Duffy is hitting .253 with 21 RBIs, not close to the level he played as a rookie in 2015. The Giants go with Jeff Samardzija (8-4, 3.14). He comes off one of his best starts as a Giant, throwing a complete game against Tampa Bay and giving up one run. The former Cub has a 2.25 ERA in 21 career games (10 starts) against Pittsburgh. Andrew McCutchen is a .406 hitter off him in 32 at-bats. It's lefty Francisco Liriano (4-7, 5.03) for the Bucs. He has lost four straight outings and allowed at least four runs in each of them. Liriano leads the majors with 46 walks. Buster Posey is 5-for-12 career off him. Brandon Crawford is 0-for-10.
Key trends: The Giants are 4-1 in Samardzija's past five vs. teams with a losing record. The Pirates are 0-4 in Liriano's past four against teams with a winning record. The over is 9-4-1 in his past 14 at home.
Early lean: Giants and over.
Rays at Indians (-124, 8)
Monday wasn't a good day for the Rays as outfielder Mikie Mahtook was hit by a pitch on his left hand and diagnosed with a fracture. First baseman/second baseman Steve Pearce, the team's leading hitter, might go to the DL with a hamstring injury suffered Monday. You hear talk the decimated Rays might bring Carl Crawford back to Tampa now that he's cleared waivers. The Rays start Chris Archer (4-9, 4.60) here. He has allowed three earned runs in each of his past three starts, going 1-2 in them. Archer lost at home to Cleveland on April 14, giving up three runs in 5.1 innings. Mike Napoli can't hit the guy, going 1-for-16 with 10 strikeouts. The Tribe go with Trevor Bauer (4-2, 3.46). He took a no-decision in his last start, allowing a run in seven innings vs. the White Sox. Bauer threw a scoreless inning of relief vs. Tampa on April 14.
Key trends: The Rays are 1-10 in Archer's past 11 on Wednesday. The Indians are 5-2 in Bauer's past seven on the day. The under is 8-2 in Bauer's past 10 on four days of rest.
Early lean: Indians and under.
Nationals at Dodgers (-128, 7.5)
ESPN game and will have live betting at sportsbooks. What a bummer that Stephen Strasburg was scratched from his scheduled mega-start against fellow Cy Young contender Clayton Kershaw on Monday. Strasburg (back) thinks he will be able to make his next scheduled outing, which would be Sunday. The Nats start Joe Ross (6-4, 3.13) in this one. He hasn't lost since May 21. Only a few Dodgers have seen him. Yasiel Puig, activated off the DL on Tuesday, is 2-for-3 with a homer and five RBIs off Ross. L.A. goes with lefty Julio Urias (0-2, 4.50), the franchise's top pitching prospect and by some accounts the best in MLB. His last start was his fifth career and his best, shutting out the Brewers on five hits over five innings. This could be his final start of the year in the majors as the team wants to limit his innings.
Key trends: The Nats are 6-2 in Ross' past eight on the road. The under is 5-1-1 in his past seven vs. teams with a winning record.
Early lean: Nationals and under.
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