It was common knowledge that the Washington Nationals were going to make a trade to boost the majors' worst bullpen - the Nats had a whopping 14 blown saves this year. On Sunday, they addressed the issue by acquiring Ryan Madson and lefty Sean Doolittle from the A's for former closer Blake Treinen and two prospects. Treinen had a 7.11 ERA in his first eight appearances this year before his demotion from the closer role, and he has a 5.46 ERA since losing the job on April 19. Madson was 2-4 with a 2.06 ERA and a save this year in Oakland. He had 30 saves last year but also blew seven. Doolittle is 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA and three saves. Lefties can't hit the guy at all and Doolittle was an All-Star closer in 2014 before injuries hit. Combined, the two will cost Washington about $12 million next year. White Sox closer David Robertson, who had long been rumored to be a Washington target, makes $13 million next year by himself so perhaps that's why the Nats went this route instead. This probably isn't the last move that Oakland makes as it's in full rebuild mode.
Free $60 in Member MLB Picks No Obligation Click Here
Yankees at Twins ( +114, 11 )
ESPN game. New York got some bad news over the weekend when it learned that Michael Pineda needs Tommy John surgery. He's going to get a second opinion but it seems like it's a done deal. Tough break for Pineda as he's set to hit free agency after the season so he just lost a ton of money. The Yankees already were looking for starting pitching as it was. They were in on Jose Quintana before the White Sox shipped him to the Cubs. Minnesota has lost outfielder Byron Buxton to the DL with a strained left groin. Guy still can't hit much but he's brilliant defensively and has 16 steals.How desperate are the Twins for pitching? They signed the 44-year-old Bartolo Colon even though he was 2-8 with an 8.14 ERA this year before being released by the Braves. He makes his Minnesota debut. The Yanks go with Luis Cessa (0-3, 4.18). He last pitched in the majors on July 7 in relief, throwing two scoreless innings vs. Milwaukee.
Key trends: The Yankees are 0-4 in Cessa's past four on the road. The over is 5-1 in his past six vs. teams with a winning record.
Early learn: Yankees and over.
Dodgers at White Sox (+250, 8)
The Dodgers will add the designated hitter for this interleague matchup. On Saturday, Cody Bellinger became the first Dodgers rookie to ever hit for the cycle. He was the ninth player in the Dodgers' 128-year history to hit for the cycle, and the first since Orlando Hudson did it in 2009. It's time to start talking about Bellinger not just for NL Rookie of the Year but also league MVP. It's Cy Young favorite Clayton Kershaw (14-2, 2.18) on the bump. The Dodgers used the All-Star break to give Kershaw some extra time off. He threw a complete game against the Royals on the Sunday before the break while striking out 13. Only a few White Sox have seen him. Todd Frazier is 3-for-13 with two doubles vs. Kershaw. Chicago's Miguel Gonzalez (4-8, 5.15) will make his first start since mid-June after going on the disabled list with A/C joint inflammation in his right shoulder. Just a few Dodgers have seen him. Logan Forsythe is 4-for-16 with a double.
Key trends: The Dodgers are 7-2 in Kershaw's past nine on eight days of rest or more. The Sox are 2-5 in Gonzalez's past seven vs. teams with a winning record. The over is 4-0 in Kershaw's past four vs. teams with a losing record.
Early learn: Dodgers on runline and over.
Blue Jays at Red Sox (TBA)
If the Jays decide to be sellers ahead of the deadline, which seems likely, lefty starter J.A. Happ (3-6, 3.54) could be had. He's signed through next season. Happ comes off a poor start, though, lasting four innings and allowing six runs against Houston. He had thrown five straight quality outings prior to that. Happ hasn't faced the Red Sox this year. Xander Bogaerts is just 1-for-16 against him. Dustin Pedroia is 6-for-29 with two homers. This was to be the turn of Doug Fister (0-3, 6.75) for Boston but he was needed in relief during Saturday's 16-inning game against the Yankees. With Eduardo Rodriguez activated off the DL to start Monday's series opener, Fister may have lost his spot permanently. The Red Sox will call up either Brian Johnson or Hector Velazquez to start this one.
Key trends: The Blue Jays are 5-2 in Happ's past seven vs. Boston. The under is 5-0 in his previous five against the Sox.
Early learn: Jays and over regardless of Boston pitcher.
Rangers at Orioles (-126, 10)
I have a feeling that Baltimore will start selling after the Orioles were clobbered in a home sweep by the Cubs over the weekend. They reportedly are open to dealing relievers Zach Britton, Brad Brach and Darren O'Day plus outfielder Seth Smith and catcher Welington Castillo. They won't move Manny Machado even though he's likely going to be too expensive for them after next season in free agency. The Birds' Dylan Bundy (8-8, 4.33) won't be going anywhere. He's about to hit a career high in innings already and might be tiring as Bundy has surrendered 24 runs in his past five starts. No Ranger has gone yard against him. Texas' Tyson Ross (2-1, 5.33) beat the Angels last time out (5.2 IP, 1 ER). Lefties are hitting just .156 against the right-hander this year.
Key trends: The Orioles are 1-4 in Bundy's past five at home. The over is 6-0 in his past six.
Early learn: Orioles and over.
Cardinals at Mets (+103, 9.5)
Monitor the status of Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes for a while as he left Saturday's game with hip discomfort and then sat out Sunday. The Mets don't think it's too serious, but with their injury luck this year, well, you never know. The Cards have placed outfielder Stephen Piscotty on the DL with a right groin strain. St. Louis starts Michael Wacha (6-3, 4.10). He hasn't lost since May 30. It's his first look at the Mets in 2017. Jay Bruce is just 1-for-24 off him with 11 strikeouts. New York's Rafael Montero (1-5, 5.77) has been used largely in relief this season and hasn't pitched since July 8 in St. Louis when he allowed a run in two-thirds of an inning. He has control problems, walking 24 batters in 39 innings. Dexter Fowler is 2-for-4 against Montero.
Key trends: The Cards are 8-2 in Wacha's past 10 road starts vs. teams with a losing record. The over is 21-4-1 in his past 29 on the road. The under is 9-2 in Montero's past 11.
Early lean: Cardinals and under.
Doc's Sports is offering $60 worth of member MLB picks absolutely free - no obligation, no sales people, no credit card information. You can use this $60 credit any way you please on any of our top MLB handicappers. Get your free baseball picks now . Also, for a limited time only get three MLB handicappers for the price of one. Click here for details . Get free baseball picks today 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: 8/19/2017, 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
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/11/2017, Opening Line Report
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/10/2017, Opening Line Report
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/9/2017, Opening Line Report