I guess the Washington Nationals have nothing to lose in signing Francisco Rodriguez, who was released over the weekend by the Detroit Tigers after starting the season as the club's closer but instead turning into a gas can with a whopping 7.82 ERA and six blown saves. The Nationals are absolutely loaded everywhere this season but the bullpen as they have cycled through closers. Not sure K-Rod will solve their problems as his ratio of home runs to flyballs is nearly double his career average. Rodriguez will likely be forced to participate in a few minor league games before heading to Washington. Now 35, Rodriguez is looking to suit up for his sixth major-league club. He also has played for the Angels, Mets, Brewers and Orioles. I doubt you see the Nats use him in any high-leverage situations for a while, but perhaps he can become a serviceable setup man. Rodriguez was replaced as Detroit's closer by Justin Wilson, who actually is being scouted by Washington for a potential trade. But the team is looking at several guys.
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Phillies at Mariners ( -202, 9 )
A 3:40 p.m. ET first pitch with the Phillies adding the designated hitter. I feel pretty old because I remember former big-league pitcher Mark Leiter, whose MLB career ran from 1990-2001. Nothing special but a serviceable guy. Hard to believe his son is in the Show. Leiter Jr., whose uncle is former pitcher Al Leiter (he was better than Mark), made his first big-league start (he had thrown 12 relief appearances) Friday in Arizona and shut out the high-powered Snakes on three hits over six innings. Leiter became the first Phillies pitcher to pitch at least six shutout innings while allowing three or fewer hits in his first major-league start since Michael Mimbs allowed no runs and one hit in six innings of work on May 6, 1995. Never heard of that guy. Leiter's father and uncle both were victorious in their first big-league starts. Seattle's Felix Hernandez (3-2, 4.68) returned from nearly two months on the DL Friday and beat Houston, giving up three runs over six. Only a couple of Phillies have ever seen him.
Key trends: The Mariners are 5-1 in Hernandez's past six interleague starts. The "over/under" is 7-3 in Hernandez's past 10 at home vs. teams with a losing record.
Early lean: Mariners on runline and under.
Yankees at White Sox (+132, 9.5)
The White Sox could be a bit more inclined to deal Jose Quintana now that their projected No. 2 starter, southpaw Carlos Rodon, is set to make his season debut Wednesday. He has been out with bursitis in his left biceps and made four rehab starts. Rodon has one of the most devastating sliders in the majors, and when he has control he can be an ace. He is 18-16 in two seasons with a 3.90 ERA. New York's Matt Holliday is 2-for-3 off him with a homer. Brett Gardner is 3-for-7. New York's Masahiro Tanaka (5-7, 4.74) perhaps figured something out in his last start as he threw eight shutout innings vs. the Rangers, allowing just three hits and whiffing nine. Alas, he still hasn't personally won since May 8. Tanaka beat the White Sox on April 19 (7 IP, 1 ER). Jose Abreu is 4-for-9 against him with two doubles. Melky Cabrera is 5-for-14 with a homer.
Key trends: The Yankees are 8-1 in Tanaka's past nine vs. teams with a losing record. The Sox are 5-1 in Rodon's past six at home. The Yanks are 4-0 in Tanaka's past four vs. Chicago. The over is 4-0 in those four.
Early lean: Yankees and over.
Rangers at Indians (+100, 9)
Texas is perhaps starting to show signs of life with Cole Hamels back from the DL (although he wasn't good Monday) so it's quite possible the team holds on to free-agent-to-be Yu Darvish past the July 31 trade deadline to make a wild-card push. Darvish (6-5, 3.12) threw seven shutout innings and struck out 10 Yankees last time out but walked away with a no-decision opposite Tanaka. Since 1893, the first season with the current mound distance, only one other major-league game had featured opposing starting pitchers who each allowed no runs and three or fewer hits while registering at least nine strikeouts. That's hard to believe. Darvish's season debut was vs. Cleveland (6.1 IP, 4 ER), another no-decision. Edwin Encarnacion is 6-for-19 off him with two homers. Cleveland's Trevor Bauer (6-6, 5.53) lost to the Twins in his last outing, giving up four earned over 6.2. He hasn't faced Texas this year. Rougned Odor is 1-for-3 with a dinger against him.
Key trends: The Rangers are 1-4 in Darvish's past five vs. Cleveland. The Indians are 1-5 in Bauer's past six on Wednesday. The under is 13-3-2 in Darvish's past 18 on the road.
Early lean: Rangers and over.
Brewers at Reds (+103, 10)
Milwaukee made a smart move over the weekend by claiming catcher Stephen Vogt off waivers from Oakland - not sure why the A's simply gave him away for nothing. Yes, he had struggled this year but was an All-Star the previous two seasons. He'll likely be the Brewers' primary catcher going forward. The Brewers' Chase Anderson (6-2, 2.92) is working on a string of six straight quality starts. It's his first look this year at Cincinnati. Joey Votto is 2-for-6 with two doubles and six walks against him. The Reds' Luis Castillo (0-0, 3.60) made his major-league debut Friday in Washington and gave up two runs and five hits over five. He was a bit wild with five walks. Perhaps he will be calmer in his home debut.
Key trends: The Brewers are 5-1 in Anderson's past six on Wednesday. The under is 10-4 in his previous 14 against teams with a losing record.
Early lean: Brewers and under.
Dodgers at Angels (+130, 9)
The Freeway Series moves down the freeway to Anaheim and the Dodgers will add the DH. With both Yasiel Puig and Corey Seager dealing with tender hamstrings, maybe one plays at DH. It's lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-6, 4.30) on the bump. He has allowed two runs over five innings in each of his past two outings. The Angels' Ben Revere surely will get a start as he's 6-for-7 off Ryu with two doubles. Albert Pujols is 1-for-6. The Halos' Alex Meyer (3-4, 4.20) lasted only 3.1 innings in his last start in Boston, surrendering five runs in a loss. He also had three wild pitches, with runs scoring on two of them. Meyer has never faced the Dodgers. He is 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA at home.
Key trends: The Dodgers are 1-7 in Ryu's past eight on the road. The over is 5-2 in his past seven overall.
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