It's not often you would say a team is likely better off with someone making $17 million a year being lost for the season, but I'm guessing the Boston Red Sox aren't all that upset that fat man and distraction Pablo Sandoval will need season-ending shoulder surgery. What an utter bust he has been, and Boston doesn't have insurance on the five-year, $95 million free-agent deal it gave Sandoval in November 2014. Sandoval lost the third-base job this spring to Travis Shaw and hilariously snapped his belt on a big swing in his only start of the season April 9 in Toronto. The Sox were somehow hoping to trade him and eat another bad contract coming back, but no one would touch Sandoval now. How do I get one of those guaranteed contracts?
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Giants at Reds (+121, 9)
A 12:35 p.m. ET start here. Cincinnati has lost catcher Devin Mesoraco to a torn labrum in his left shoulder. He's on the 15-day DL but hasn't decided whether to undergo season-ending surgery or try to play through it. Last year, Mesoraco tried to play through a hip injury that ultimately required surgery. Mesoraco had a huge 2014 season, but injuries have wrecked him since and he hasn't been very good when healthy. The Reds start Dan Straily (0-1 3.38) on the mound. He had a quality start last time out against the Pirates, allowing two runs over six innings but took the loss. Not many Giants have faced him. Hunter Pence and Buster Posey are each 0-for-3. It's Jake Peavy (1-2, 8.61) for the Reds, and as you can see he has been terrible. Peavy was shelled for six runs in two innings last time out at the Mets, walking five. He is 3-0 with a 3.16 ERA in five career starts in Cincinnati. The Reds' Brandon Phillips is 5-for-24 with three doubles off him. Joey Votto is 2-for-7 with a double.
Key trends: The Giants are 12-3 in Peavy's past 15 vs. teams with a losing record. They are 1-6 in his past seven on the road. The "over/under" is 4-1 in Peavy's past five road starts.
Early lean: Reds and over.
Cubs at Pirates (+124, 7.5)
Game on the MLB Network (out-of-market only). I'm thinking you won't see Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward here plus maybe a regular or two on each side with the 12:35 p.m. ET start. But I mention Heyward in particular because he's not just slumping but also dealing with a sore right wrist that had him on the bench Monday. That Cubs also lost outfielder Matt Szczur to a hamstring injury in Monday's game. The Cubbies go with lefty Jon Lester (2-1, 1.83) here, and that means the Pirates will be attempting as many steals as possible with Lester's shaky pickoff move. Lester has allowed exactly one earned run in four of five starts this year. He was 2-1 with a 1.57 ERA in three starts last year vs. Pittsburgh. Andrew McCutchen is 1-for-13 off him. Matt Joyce is 4-for-11 with two homers and six RBIs. Pittsburgh's Juan Nicasio (3-2, 3.33) threw seven shutout innings against Cincinnati in his last start, allowing three hits and striking out eight. The Pirates seem to always find these reclamation projects and turn them into good pitchers. Heyward, if he plays, is 6-for-16 off him with two doubles. Javier Baez is 1-for-1 with a homer and two RBIs.
Key trends: The Cubs are 11-5 in Lester's past 16 vs. the NL Central. The Bucs are 0-4 in their past four home games vs. a lefty. The under is 8-2-2 in Lester's past 12 on the road.
Early lean: Cubs and under.
Mariners at A's (+131, 7)
A 3:35 p.m. ET start here. Potentially good pitching matchup, too. It's Felix Hernandez (2-2, 1.38) for Seattle. He was dominant Friday against Kansas City, shutting out the Royals on five hits over 7.2 innings. Seattle once again gave him practically no run support, but the Mariners' one run and one hit was good enough that night. King Felix faced Oakland on April 10 and threw seven shutout innings, striking out season-high 10. Opposing batters are 1-for-31 with runners in scoring position (.032) against Hernandez this season. Oakland's Stephen Vogt is 11-for-24 career off him with three-extra base hits. Josh Reddick is 7-for-52 with 12 strikeouts. A's lefty and top pitching prospect Sean Manaea made his big-league debut on Friday vs. Houston and allowed four runs and five hits in five innings. He walked four and struck out three.
Key trends: The Mariners are 0-4 in Hernandez's past four vs. the AL West. The A's are 4-10 in their past 14 Wednesday games. The under is 10-4 in Hernandez's past 14 road starts vs. teams with a losing record.
Early lean: Mariners and under.
Yankees at Orioles (-120, 8.5)
I told you on Monday that Baltimore was concerned about the foot of shortstop J.J. Hardy after he fouled a ball of it Sunday. Those fears were justified later Monday when a hairline fracture was revealed and Hardy will likely miss six weeks. The Orioles have infield depth, so they won't make a trade to replace him. The O's face Yankees lefty CC Sabathia (1-2, 5.06). He's consistent at least, having allowed exactly three earned runs in all four starts. It's just that none have gone more than six innings and two just 4.2 innings. Sabathia was 0-1 with a 4.86 ERA in three 2015 starts vs. Baltimore. Adam Jones is a career .311 hitter off him in 61 at-bats with four homers and 14 RBIs. Chris Davis is 6-for-25 with 15 strikeouts. Baltimore's Tyler Wilson (1-0, 3.06) was limited to 4.2 innings in his last start, allowing two runs vs. the White Sox. He threw 3.1 scoreless innings last year vs. the Yankees.
Key trends: The Yankees are 1-5 in their past six Wednesday games. The Orioles are 8-1 in their past nine in Game 2 of a series. The under is 4-0 in Baltimore's past four on Wednesday.
Early lean: Orioles and over.
Red Sox at White Sox (+103, 8.5)
ESPN game so it should have live betting at sportsbooks. I'm assuming the White Sox will honor David Ortiz at some point in this series as it's Boston's only visit of the season. The Red Sox start Clay Buchholz (0-3, 6.51). He has been pretty terrible, allowing exactly five earned runs in four of his five starts. In his career at U.S. Cellular Field, Buchholz is 2-2 with a 3.38 ERA. Melky Cabrera is 7-for-31 off him with a homer. Brett Lawrie is 3-for-28. The Pale Hose go with lefty John Danks (0-4, 7.25). The White Sox's top four pitchers have been great, so they really need to do something with Danks. He was shelled for six runs and nine hits in Baltimore in his last start. Danks can't even hit 90 mph these days. Ortiz is 7-for-25 off him with three homers and seven RBIs. Xander Bogaerts is 4-for-9 with three RBIs.
Key trends: The Red Sox are 0-6 in Buchholz's past six starts. The White Sox are 0-7 in Danks' past seven. The over is 6-2-1 in Danks' past nine. It is 5-0-1 in his past six vs. Boston.
Early lean: Red Sox and over.
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