Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 7/25/2017, Opening Line Report
Apparently the uncertainty over when the Marlins will be sold and to whom will stop the team from conducting a fire sale ahead of the July 31 trade deadline. Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill told the media Sunday that he has no intention of dealing Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Justin Bour, J.T. Realmuto, Marcell Ozuna or Dan Straily at the deadline. Now, obviously the guy isn't going to come out and say he's shopping some of his best players, but Hill added that any major deals be better left in the hands of the Marlins' new ownership. That makes sense. The Fish did already trade reliever David Phelps to Seattle and probably will ship out fellow reliever A.J. Ramos, but those aren't major trades. The sale has been dragging out for weeks. Jorge Mas, a South Florida billionaire businessman, leads one of the three interested groups. Another is highlighted by Derek Jeter with Michael Jordan reportedly part of that as well. Current owner Jeffery Loria is asking approximately $1.2 billion and probably gets it.
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White Sox at Cubs ( -200, TBA )
The lone matinee at 2:20 p.m. ET and on the MLB Network. The Pale Hose lose the DH on the North Side of Chicago and might not have outfielder Melky Cabrera, a guy whom GM Rick Hahn would love to trade by the deadline. Cabrera left Sunday's game against the Royals with a bruised left foot and is considered day-by-day for now. He's hitting .295 with 13 homers and 56 RBIs. Even manager Rick Renteria admits he's surprised Cabrera hasn't been dealt yet. It's lefty Carlos Rodon (1-3, 5.75) for the White Sox, who might be on a 10-game losing streak by Tuesday. He has been roughed up for 11 runs over nine innings in losing his past two. Only a few Cubs have seen him. Kris Bryant is 0-for-2 with a walk. The Cubs' John Lackey (6-9, 5.04) returned from the DL and allowed one run over five innings in Atlanta on Tuesday. Cabrera has faced him by far more than any White Sox batter, going 13-for-39 with a homer.
Key trends: The White Sox are 4-9 in Rodon's past 13 on the road. The Cubs are 6-0 in Lackey's past six on Tuesday. The "over/under" is 5-0 in Rodon's past five on Tuesday. It's 5-1-1 in Lackey's previous seven on Tuesday.
Early lean: White Sox and over (unless wind blowing in).
Rockies at Cardinals (-136, 9)
An MLB Network game at 8:15 p.m. ET. The Cards made an interesting prospect-for-prospect deal over the weekend in sending pitcher Marco Gonzales to Seattle for outfielder Tyler O'Neill. Both those guys were ranked among the Top 50 prospects in MLB at one point. It gives the Cards a glut of outfielders so I expect them to trade one. They start Lance Lynn (8-6, 3.30) here. There's talk he could be traded and Lynn's value might never be higher considering he has allowed just one run over his past 19.1 innings. If he's healthy, you might want to put down some money on a hitting prop on the Rockies' Gerardo Parra in this one as he's 13-for-26 off Lynn with 10 extra-base hits. Colorado's Jon Gray (3-1, 6.19) hasn't been overly sharp in his past two, allowing 12 runs over eight innings. Matt Carpenter is 2-for-3 against Gray with two doubles and three RBIs.
Key trends: The Rockies are 1-6 in Gray's past seven road starts vs. teams with a winning record. The Cards are 1-4 in Lynn's past five against Colorado. The under is 11-4-1 in his previous 16 vs. the NL West.
Early lean: Cardinals and under.
Twins at Dodgers (-185, 8.5)
The Dodgers look like the best team in baseball … but you might want to hold off dropping money on them to win the World Series if you haven't already until we get more information on ace Clayton Kershaw. He left Sunday's start against the Atlanta Braves after only two innings with right lower back tightness. Might be nothing but he missed two and a half months with a herniated disk in his lower back last year. He is expected to land on the DL, although the Dodgers don't think it's a herniated disk issue again. It could cost Kershaw the Cy Young Award, though, because he's likely out 4-6 weeks and also might increase the Dodgers' interest in Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish. L.A. was to go Brandon McCarthy, but he's going back on the DL with a blister. So it will be Kenta Maeda (8-4, 4.23). He has allowed one run in each of his last two starts. Maeda is 3-0 with a 1.06 ERA in three career Interleague starts and has never faced Minnesota. The Twins' Jose Berrios (9-3, 3.50) had three straight subpar starts before beating the Yankees last time out (6.2 IP, 1 ER). The only Dodger to have faced him is Logan Forsythe, who is 1-for-3.
Key trends: The Dodgers are 6-0 in their past six interleague games. The under is 5-1 in the Twins' past six vs. a right-hander. The under is 6-2-1 in L.A.'s past nine interleague games.
Early lean: Twins and over.
Brewers at Nationals (-129, 9.5)
You also might want to hold off dropping money on the Nationals to win the World Series if you haven't already until we get more information on co-ace Stephen Strasburg. He left Sunday's start against Arizona with some sort of arm stiffness problem. The Nats start journeyman Edwin Jackson - yep, he's still a big-league pitcher and on his second stint with Washington (2012). He began this year with Baltimore and was lousy in three relief appearances and released. Jackson (1-0, 4.50) made his Washington 2017 debut in a start at the Angels on July 18 and allowed only two runs and three hits over seven to earn another go. Milwaukee's Zach Davies (11-4, 4.76) comes off one of his best starts of the year, allowing an unearned run over seven innings in Pittsburgh but took a no-decision. Davies hasn't lost in his past five. Washington's Bryce Harper is 2-for-5 with a double off him. Daniel Murphy is 2-for-6 with two RBIs.
Key trends: The Brewers are 5-0 in Davies' past five on five days of rest. The Nats are 13-3 in their past 10 on Tuesday. The over is 10-4-1 in the past 15 meetings.
Early lean: Brewers and over.
A's at Blue Jays (+115, 9.5)
I expect the Jays to be sellers ahead of the deadline now that ace Aaron Sanchez has landed on the DL for the fourth time this season due to blisters. Sanchez doesn't know when he'll throw off a mound again. You would think modern technology could stop a blister, but what do I know? This would have been Sanchez's turn in the rotation, but it will go to Cesar Valdez (0-0, 6.05). He has made four appearances out of the bullpen this year and has three career starts in the majors at age 32, coming with Oakland earlier this year and Arizona way back in 2010. He was out of MLB from then until this year. If I was a betting man, and I am, then I would wager this is the last start Sonny Gray makes in an Oakland uniform. He's almost surely going to be dealt, with the leading contenders being the Astros and Yankees. If Gray (6-4, 3.66) is scratched here, something's going down. He is 4-1 with a 1.62 ERA and 0.72 WHIP over his last five starts. Toronto's Jose Bautista is 5-for-12 career off him with a homer and three RBIs.
Key trends: The A's are 5-16 in Gray's past 21 on the road. The Jays are 1-7 in their past eight vs. teams with a losing record. Oakland is 4-0 in Gray's past four vs. Toronto. The over is 5-1-1 in his past seven on the road.
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