Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/10/2017, Opening Line Report
The longest playoff drought in baseball belongs to the Seattle Mariners, and because of two recent pitching injuries you can probably stick a fork in their wild-card hopes this season even though they are still in the race. Over the weekend, the team lost former ace Felix Hernandez and trade-deadline pickup reliever David Phelps to the DL. If both were to miss the minimum amount of time, maybe no big deal. But King Felix could miss a month and Phelps nearly that long. Hernandez missed all of May and most of June with bursitis in his shoulder and now has the same problem. It wouldn't surprise anyone if his season is over - as are his days as a Cy Young candidate. Hernandez is 5-4 with a 4.28 ERA this season in 13 starts. He's under contract through 2019 at around $54 million. The six-time All-Star had only been on the DL twice before this year in his career -- in 2007 with an elbow issue and '08 with a sprained ankle. Phelps has an elbow impingement and they Mariners are hoping three weeks or so. They gave up four prospects to get him from Miami, including highly-regarded outfielder Brayan Hernandez. Phelps had a 2.57 ERA in seven games for the Mariners.
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Mets at Phillies ( +140, 8 )
If I'm the Mets, I think about shutting down ace Jacob deGrom (12-5, 3.36) soon simply because I'm afraid to see him get hurt - every other Mets starting pitcher has been this year. DeGrom is only about 37 innings short of his career high, so it might be coming by the end of the month. After an eight-start winning streak, deGrom has lost two in a row and allowed six runs in 11 innings over them. Perhaps he's already tiring. DeGrom is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in two starts this season vs. the Phillies. Odubel Herrera is just 4-for-21 off him with six strikeouts. Philadelphia's Vince Velasquez (2-6, 4.82) hasn't won since May 1, although he missed about six weeks. He was pulled after five innings in Colorado last time out thanks largely to six walks. Velasquez is 0-1 with a 6.55 ERA in two starts this year vs. the Mets. Michael Conforto is 4-for-7 off him with two homers.
Key trends: The Mets are 9-0 in deGrom's past nine vs. the Phillies. The "over/under" has gone under in five straight deGrom starts on five days of rest.
Early lean: Mets and under.
Yankees at Blue Jays (+113, 9)
It's the second start in a Yankee uniform for Sonny Gray (6-6, 3.41). His defense didn't help him last Thursday in Cleveland as Gray allowed four runs, two unearned, over six innings with six strikeouts and three walks in a loss. Gray still has a 1.59 ERA in his past seven starts dating to his Oakland days. His final start in green and gold was in Toronto on July 25 (6 IP, 4 R, 0 ER, 9 Ks). Jose Bautista is 6-for-15 vs. Gray with a homer. Justin Smoak is just 2-for-20 with nine strikeouts. Toronto's Marco Estrada (4-7, 5.12) hasn't won since May 27 but has gone seven innings in his past two. He's 1-1 with an 8.22 ERA this season vs. the Yankees. Didi Gregorius is 7-for-29 with three homers against him. Gary Sanchez is 4-for-11 with four homers and seven RBIs.
Key trends: The Blue Jays are 6-1 in Estrada's past seven vs. the Yankees. The over is 4-1 in his past five against New York.
Early lean: Yankees and over.
Astros at White Sox (+162, 10)
Chicago has gotten back outfielder Avisail Garcia from the DL but put 1B/3B/DH Matt Davidson on it. While Garcia leads the team in average, Davidson is tops on the team with 22 homers. He debuted with Arizona back in 2013 but is technically still a rookie. The Pale Hose start lefty Carlos Rodon (1-4, 4.66), only his eighth start of the year. He comes off arguably his best, surrendering two runs and striking out 11 over a season-high 7.2 innings in Boston but took a no-decision. Houston's Carlos Beltran is 5-for-9 career off Rodon with three doubles. The Astros' Brad Peacock (10-1, 3.20) has largely been great since moving from the bullpen but was torched for seven runs and nine hits over six last time out against the Jays and still won the game. He has never faced the White Sox.
Key trends: The Astros are 7-0 in Peacock's past seven starts. The Sox are 1-5 in Rodon's previous six vs. teams with a winning record. The over is 4-1 in Peacock's past five.
Early lean: Astros and over the highest total on the board.
Dodgers at Diamondbacks (+142, 9)
Conclusion of this series and the second start in a Dodgers uniform for Yu Darvish (7-9, 3.81). His first was even better than L.A. could have hoped for as he shut out the Mets in Queens on three hits over seven innings with 10 strikeouts. He became the second pitcher this season to reach double-digits in strikeouts without allowing a run in his first game for a team following a midseason trade: Jose Quintana struck out 12 over seven scoreless innings in his Cubs debut on July 16.Before that, it had happened just twice in MLB history. Arizona's J.D. Martinez is 1-for-9 off Darvish. Diamondbacks rookie Anthony Banda (1-1, 3.86) has made two big-league starts. The first wasn't great vs. Washington but the second in San Francisco was a quality outing, although he did walk four in six innings. Banda is considered the franchise's No. 4 overall prospect.
Key trends: The Dodgers are 4-1 in their past five on Thursday. Arizona has won eight of its past 10 on the day. The under is 7-2 in L.A.'s past nine.
Early lean: Dodgers and under.
Angels at Mariners (-210, 8)
Hernandez has been replaced as the team's ace, at least this season, by lefty James Paxton - who might earn the honor of best Canadian player in the American League this year (best overall would be Cincinnati's Joey Votto). Not sure if someone gives out an award for that. Paxton (12-3, 2.70) deserves some Cy Young votes as he's third in the AL in wins and first in ERA. He's on a seven-start winning streak and hasn't allowed more than two earned in any of them. Guy was 6-7 with a 3.79 ERA last year in 20 starts. Paxton is 1-0 with a 1.54 ERA in two starts this season vs. the Halos. Mike Trout can't hit him, going 3-for-22 with 11 strikeouts. L.A. lefty Tyler Skaggs (1-2, 4.32) was once a touted prospect. He returned from nearly four months on the DL Saturday vs. Oakland and allowed three runs in four innings. Skaggs hasn't faced Seattle in 2017. Robinson Cano is 6-for-12 off him with three doubles.
Key trends: The Mariners are 7-0 in Paxton's past seven. The under is 4-1 in his previous five. It's 5-2 in Paxton's past seven vs. L.A.
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Read more articles by Alan Matthews
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