Watching the Golden State Warriors finish off the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games Monday and with the Dubs poised for a dynasty - at least the next two seasons, and they are already -150 favorites for next year - with their four main stars all locked up through 2018-19, is there a player in baseball who would cause such a dramatic power shift like Kevin Durant did going to the Warriors? You would have to start with a very good team because Golden State already was that before Durant arrived. Obviously it's hard for one player to make such a huge difference in baseball over a season, although a starting pitcher can single-handedly win a series as the Giants' Madison Bumgarner proved in the 2014 Fall Classic. I suppose if Clayton Kershaw went to Washington to team up with Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg that would be the rotation equivalent of Durant joining Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. Or Bryce Harper landing with the Cubs to hit in front of Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber (if Schwarber ever gets going). The biggest MLB move in recent years was Alex Rodriguez being traded from Texas to the Yankees in February 2004. The Bombers won just a single World Series with A-Rod, however. A star QB changing hands or one of the best players in the NHL doing so could completely alter the futures odds as in the NBA, but it just doesn't happen in baseball.
Free $60 in Member MLB Picks No Obligation Click Here
Dodgers at Indians ( +104, 9 )
A 12:10 p.m. ET first pitch on the MLB Network. The Dodgers might be less apt to rest guys because the only have to travel to nearby Cincinnati after. They won't have first baseman Adrian Gonzalez after he was placed back on the DL Tuesday with a herniated disc in his back. That could potentially be major. It's lefty Rich Hill (3-2, 3.77) in the series finale. He still hasn't lasted more than five innings this season. That's what he did last time out, allowing one run and two hits vs. the Reds. It's Hill's first look at an AL team in 2017. Edwin Encarnacion has faced him more than any Indian, going 3-for-17 with two homers. Cleveland's Josh Tomlin (3-8, 5.73) went only 2.2 innings in his last outing against the White Sox, allowing four runs and nine hits. It was the ninth time in 12 starts that Tomlin has allowed three or more runs. He has never faced the Dodgers. Logan Forsythe is 1-for-3 against him.
Key trends: The Dodgers are 7-3 in their past 10 in Game 3 of a series. The Indians are 2-6 in Tomlin's past eight at home. The "over/under" is 5-2-1 in his past eight interleague starts.
Early lean: Dodgers and under (due to early start).
Mariners at Twins (-133, 10.5)
Starts at 1:10 p.m. ET. The winning side in the first two games of this series has scored 14 and 20 runs, respectively. Has the league figured out Twins top pitching prospect (5-1,2.84) Jose Berrios? He surrendered just one run and four hits combined over his first two starts but at least two runs in each of his past four. He did win in San Francisco on Saturday (5.1 IP, 2 ER). It's Berrios' first-ever look at Seattle. Jarrod Dyson has faced him, going 2-for-6 with two RBIs. Mariners lefty Ariel Miranda (6-2, 3.67) had a three-start winning streak snapped Saturday against Toronto, allowing two runs and walking five over 6.1 innings. Minnesota's Miguel Sano and Jorge Polanco are each 1-for-2 with a homer off him.
Key trends: The Mariners are 4-1 in Miranda's past five on the road. The Twins are 1-7 in Berrios' past eight at home. The under is 6-2-1 in Miranda's past nine on the road.
Early lean: Mariners and under.
Orioles at White Sox (+106, 10)
Another matinee at 2:10 p.m. ET. Baltimore is putting first baseman/DH Chris Davis on the DL with an oblique injury. Those normally take much longer than a typical 10-day stint. Davis hasn't been very good this season with a .226 average, 14 homers and a whopping 95 strikeouts in 217 at-bats. Still, it's more bad news for a sinking Orioles team. Baltimore's Chris Tillman (1-4, 8.01) comes off the worst start of his career, allowing nine runs and seven hits (three homers) in just 1.1 innings at the Yankees. He also walked three. Tillman's season debut off injury was his only strong start of the year and that came vs. the White Sox on May 7 (5 IP, 0 ER). Melky Cabrera is a career .379 hitter against him in 29 at-bats. Chicago lefty David Holmberg (1-0, 2.74) got his first win in a White Sox uniform Saturday in Cleveland, allowing two runs over five innings. Only a few Orioles have seen him.
Key trends: The Orioles are 0-4 in Tillman's past four. The under is 9-2 in his past 11 on the road.
Early lean: Orioles and over.
Red Sox at Phillies (+201, 8)
Boston will lose the DH for this interleague matchup, which is usually Hanley Ramirez. He reportedly will sit out and not play first base. It's Red Sox lefty Chris Sale (8-2, 2.97), who has looked mortal of late. He has given up at least three earned in four straight starts and not struck out double digits after doing so in an MLB record-tying eight games in a row prior to that stretch. Boston keeps winning his outings, though. Philly's Tommy Joseph is 2-for-2 off Sale with a double and homer. Howie Kendrick is 2-for-11 with five strikeouts. The Phillies' Nick Pivetta (1-3, 5.52) lost in St. Louis on Saturday and allowed at least four earned for the third time in his past five. Pivetta, who has yet to last more than five innings, has never faced Boston.
Key trends: The Sox are 4-1 in Sale's past five on the road. The Phillies are 1-5 in Pivetta's past six. The over is 4-0 in Sale's past five.
Early lean: Red Sox on runline and over.
Nationals at Mets (-118, 8.5)
Also on the MLB Network. First meeting between these rivals since late April. Washington leads the season series 4-2, sweeping three at Citi Field. Washington goes with lefty Gio Gonzalez (5-1, 2.91). He was in line for a win Saturday vs. Texas after allowing one run and three hits over six but his bullpen blew it in the ninth inning, a common theme for the 2017 Nationals. Gonzalez won at the Mets on April 22 (6.1 IP, 1 ER). Curtis Granderson is just 5-for-40 off him with 13 strikeouts. Yoenis Cespedes is 6-for-10 with two homers. Mets southpaw Steven Matz (1-0, 1.29) made his season debut off an elbow injury on Saturday in Atlanta and was great, allowing one run and five hits over seven. Matz was 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA last year in two starts vs. Washington. Daniel Murphy is 2-for-6 against him with a homer. Bryce Harper is 0-for-3.
Key trends: The Nats are 5-2 in the past seven meetings. The under is 5-2 in their past seven series openers. It's 5-0 in New York's previous five against the NL East.
Early lean: Mets and under.
Want to try a baseball handicapper for free? Doc's Sports is offering $60 worth of member's baseball picks absolutely free with no obligation. Sign up for winning baseball picks here. Get free MLB picks daily at Doc's Sports baseball predictions page .
Read more articles by Alan Matthews
Most Recent Baseball Handicapping Articles
- 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
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/22/2017, Opening Line Report
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/19/2017, Opening Line Report
- MLB Betting Trends: Totals Report for Hot Over and Under Baseball Teams
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/18/2017, Opening Line Report
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/17/2017, Opening Line Report
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/16/2017, Opening Line Report
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/15/2017, Opening Line Report
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/12/2017, Opening Line Report