Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/2/2017, Opening Line Report
It appears there are two clear winners from Monday's trade deadline, and they are the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers as they landed the top starting pitchers on the market and didn't touch the major-league roster to get them. The Bombers, who already might have the majors' deepest bullpen, landed Sonny Gray from the A's for three top prospects, and the good thing about Gray is he's under team control for two more seasons. The Yankees had to do something after losing Michael Pineda to a season-ending injury and Masahiro Tanaka struggling. I might favor the Yankees over the Red Sox now to win the East since Boston didn't do anything major at the deadline (added Mets closer Addison Reed) and has lost David Price back to the DL. New York is +900 to win the World Series at Bovada. The Dodgers could have stood pat and been the NL's top seed, but they are all-in by sending three prospects to Texas for Yu Darvish, who is a free agent after the season. He's a bit of insurance regarding Clayton Kershaw's back injury. If L.A. is healthy, it has a very strong Top 4 rotation of Kershaw, Darvish, Alex Wood and Rich Hill. The Dodgers are +275 Fall Classic favorites. Washington (+700) also had a good day in landing Twins All-Star closer Brandon Kintzler. Houston was a loser in my opinion because it didn't add a starting pitcher, especially with Lance McCullers Jr. going on the DL, instead opting for Toronto's Francisco Liriano as a reliever even though he has been primarily a starter in his career.
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Tigers at Yankees ( -214, 9.5 )
1:05 p.m. ET first pitch on the MLB Network. The Tigers did well in getting two of the Cubs' better prospects for closer Justin Wilson and catcher Al Avila; Manager Brad Ausmus says Shane Greene will be the team's new closer. I'm a bit surprised Detroit didn't trade Justin Verlander but could this offseason. The Tigers go with Jordan Zimmermann (6-8, 5.69), whom they'd give away if they could. He comes off a rare quality start, allowing three runs over seven innings in a no-decision vs. Houston. Zimmermann hasn't faced the Yanks this year. Todd Frazier is 5-for-18 off him with two homers. New York's Masahiro Tanaka (8-9, 5.09) won for the first time in four outings last time out, allowing one run and two hits over eight innings with a career-high 14 strikeouts vs. Tampa Bay. Detroit's Victor Martinez is 2-for-7 off him with a homer and five RBIs.
Key trends: The Tigers are 0-7 in Zimmermann's past seven vs. teams with a winning record. The Yanks are 10-1 in Tanaka's past 11 vs. the AL Central. The "over/under" is 4-0-1 in Zimmermann's past five on the road. It's 4-0 in Tanaka's past four on Wednesday.
Early lean: Yankees on runline and over.
Indians at Red Sox (-124, 10)
ESPN game at 7 p.m. ET. Both clubs boosted their bullpens on Monday with Boston adding the Mets' Reed as a setup man for Craig Kimbrel and the Indians acquiring setup man Joe Smith from Toronto. The Tribe start Trevor Bauer (9-8, 5.25). He comes off perhaps his best start of the year, allowing one run and eight hits over eight innings against the Angels. In three career games against Boston, he has given up 11 runs in 7 2/3 innings. Mookie Betts is 3-fo-5 against him with two doubles and a homer. Boston's Rick Porcello (4-14, 4.55) hasn't won since June 23 and the Sox have scored just four total runs in his past four. Cleveland's Edwin Encarnacion is 13-for-40 career off him with three homers and 10 RBIs.
Key trends: The Indians are 2-6 in Bauer's past eight on Wednesday. The Sox are 0-7 in Porcello's past seven vs. teams with a winning record. The over is 7-2 in Porcello's past nine vs. the AL Central.
Early lean: Indians and over.
Royals at Orioles (-115, 10)
I don't understand what Baltimore is doing at all; it traded for pitcher Jeremy Hellickson instead of dealing from their bullpen. The O's aren't going to be playoff club this year and Zach Britton would have brought back plenty. Baltimore also traded for infielder Tim Beckham from Tampa Bay. The 2008 No. 1 overall pick has never come close to expectations. Finally, Baltimore is expected to place DH Mark Trumbo (17 HRs, 50 RBIs) on the DL with a back issue. The Orioles are scheduled to go with Hellickson in his Baltimore debut. He was 6-5 with a 4.73 ERA in 20 starts this year with the Phillies. New Royal Melky Cabrera is 6-for-16 career off him with three doubles. Struggling Alex Gordon, who might lose some at-bats to Cabrera if things don't turn around, is 9-for-18 vs. Hellickson. Royals lefty Jason Vargas (13-4, 3.00) won in Boston on Friday, surrendering one run over six innings. Vargas is 0-3 but with a 2.76 ERA and a complete game in Camden Yards in his career.
Key trends: The Royals are 12-2 in Vargas' past 14 vs. teams with a losing record. The under is 6-1 in his previous seven against the AL East.
Early lean: Royals and under.
Diamondbacks at Cubs (-180, TBA)
Just a few years ago, the Cubs had the best farm system in baseball. Now it's among the worst after all the trades Theo Epstein has made the past couple of years- but no one in Chicago has any problem with those deals as the team finally won a World Series and should keep contending until at least 2021. Wilson will likely move into an eighth-inning role and occasionally spell Wade Davis in the ninth. Davis is a free agent after this season and then Wilson can take over as closer. Avila will simply spell Willson Contreras behind the plate a couple of days per week. The Cubbies start Jake Arrieta (10-7, 4.03). He has allowed three earned or fewer in five straight starts and will attempt to get his season ERA under 4.00 for the first time since late April. David Peralta is 4-for-12 off him with three doubles. Arizona's Zack Godley (4-4, 3.06) shut out the Cardinals on four hits over seven last time out. Godley began his career in the Cubs' organization, traded to the D-backs in the Miguel Montero deal prior to the 2015 season.
Key trends: The Snakes are 5-2 in Godley's past seven on the road. The Cubs are 8-0 in Arrieta's past eight on six days of rest. The over is 6-1 in Arrieta's past seven at home.
Early lean: Diamondbacks on runline.
Mets at Rockies (-173, 13)
The Mets could afford to trade Reed because they landed Marlins closer A.J. Ramos a few days ago (and Jeurys Familia will return from the DL eventually). Colorado, meanwhile, traded for Rangers catcher Jonathan Lucroy. He was one of the top offensive catchers in baseball last year with Milwaukee and Texas but has really slumped in 2017. He'll still be an upgrade with the Rockies. Colorado starts Tyler Chatwood (6-11, 4.78), who leads the National League with 62 walks. He pitched an inning of relief on July 26 in St. Louis. Before that, he lasted only one-third of an inning at the Mets, surrendering four runs and walking three. Jay Bruce is 3-for-7 off him with a homer. New York rookie Chris Flexen (0-1, 9.00) made his big-league debut on Wednesday in San Diego and allowed four runs with four walks in three innings.
Key trends: The Rockies are 0-4 in Chatwood's past four. The over is 9-4 in Colorado's past 13 vs. right-handed starters.
Early lean: Rockies and over - even though I can't remember seeing a 13 in 2017.
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