Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/30/2017, Opening Line Report
Baseball is probably the furthest thing from the minds of those living in flood-ravaged Houston, but it's a good thing that the Astros have a solid lead for the American League's top seed because it sure appears as if they are going to lose six home games - although it should be noted Houston has a better away record than at Minute Maid Park. Houston's three-game series with the Texas Rangers that started Tuesday has been moved to the mausoleum that is Tampa Bay's Tropicana Field. It's likely that Houston's three-game weekend set vs. the Mets will be held there as well. St. Petersburg, because of its combination of a weather-proof dome and relative proximity, was considered the best alternative and the Rays are out of town all week. I'm sure tickets will be heavily discounted at the Trop, but there's just not going to be many people there with school now back in session too. This means the Astros could end up playing 19 straight games away from Houston, where they last played on Aug. 24. A 10-game road trip begins after the Mets series. That can wear a team down. The Astros were also forced to play a scheduled home series against the Chicago Cubs in 2008 at a neutral site - Milwaukee's Miller Park - because of Hurricane Ike.
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Indians at Yankees ( -120, 9.5 )
New York manager Joe Girardi said Monday that he will give struggling rookie slugger Aaron Judge a few days off, so it remains to be seen if he will play in this 1:05 p.m. ET matchup on the MLB Network. Frankly, that's a little overdue. It's lefty and former Indian CC Sabathia (10-5, 3.82) on the mound for the Yankees. He comes off a one-run effort over seven innings in a no-decision vs. Seattle last time out. Sabathia makes a 12 th career start against the team that drafted him but first in 2017. Edwin Encarnacion has 55 at-bats off him but hasn't homered. Cleveland's Josh Tomlin (7-9, 5.38) will be activated off the disabled list. He last pitched in the majors July 30 at the White Sox. Recently-activated Yankees second baseman Starlin Castro is 1-for-2 off him with a homer.
Key trends: The Indians are 1-5 in Tomlin's past six on the road. The Yankees are 9-3 in Sabathia's past 12 at home. They are 1-4 in his past five at home vs. Cleveland. The "over/under" has gone under in nine of Sabathia's past 13 at home vs. teams with a winning record.
Early lean: Yankees and under.
Cardinals at Brewers (+113, 8.5)
A 2:10 p.m. ET first pitch from Miller Park. St. Louis has placed infielder Jedd Gyorko on the 10-day DL with a right hamstring strain. The Cards are hopeful he'll return before the end of the regular season. Gyorko has been one of the club's most productive hitters with a .272 average, 18 homers and 64 RBIs. Gyorko can play just about everywhere but had been the primary third baseman. Greg Garcia should take that role. The Cards start Carlos Martinez (10-9, 3.48). He has given up three earned runs or fewer in his past five but is 1-2 with a 4.15 ERA in three starts this year against Milwaukee. Eric Thames is 3-for-7 against him with a dinger. The Brewers' Chase Anderson (7-3, 2.87) would be among the NL ERA leaders if he had enough innings to qualify. He hasn't gotten a decision in two starts in 2017 vs. St. Louis with a 3.38 ERA.
Key trends: The Cardinals are 5-2 in Martinez's past seven in Milwaukee. The Brewers are 1-5 in Anderson's past six vs. St. Louis. The under is 6-2-2 in Martinez's previous 10 in this series.
Early lean: Brewers and under.
Marlins at Nationals (-220, 8)
What will Giancarlo Stanton do against Nationals co-ace Stephen Strasburg? Stanton is 15-for-41 (.366) with three homers and 11 RBIs career against the former No. 1 overall pick. Strasburg (10-4, 3.10) comes off six shutout innings in Houston, allowing just three hits. He was pulled after 90 pitches due to calf cramps but says he's fine. Strasburg's season debut was April 3 vs. Miami (7 IP, 2 ER), and he hasn't seen the Marlins since. Miami lefty Adam Conley (6-5, 5.17) was tagged for five runs over 5.1 innings last time out vs. the Padres in a no-decision. He was knocked around on Aug. 9 in Washington in surrendering a season-high 11 hits along with five runs in five innings. Daniel Murphy is 4-for-6 against him with four RBIs. The Nats got back Jayson Werth on Monday from the DL and, in a bit of an early surprise, Trea Turner on Tuesday.
Key trends: The Nats are 5-0 in Strasburg's past five vs. Miami. The over is 4-0 in Conley's past four vs. teams with a winning record. The over is 7-3-1 in Strasburg's past 11 vs. the NL East.
Early lean: Nationals on runline and over.
Pirates at Cubs (-190, TBA)
I'm wondering if Theo Epstein would redo the Jose Quintana trade knowing what he knows now considering it cost the Cubs their two top prospects and Quintana (8-11, 4.49) hasn't been all that great since coming from the White Sox. The lefty was roughed up Friday in Philadelphia, allowing six runs and nine hits over five. He's 4-3 with a 4.50 ERA in eight starts since the deal. Quintana hasn't faced Pittsburgh this year. Pittsburgh's Ivan Nova (11-11, 3.97) largely hasn't been the same pitcher since the All-Star break with a 6.00 ERA and 2-5 record. He's 2-0 with a 3.29 ERA this year in two starts vs. the Cubs. Kris Bryant is 0-for-6 off him. Javier Baez 0-for-5.
Key trends: The Pirates are 0-5 in Nova's past five on the road. The under is 10-4 in his previous 14 overall.
Early lean: Pirates and over (if wind doesn't blow in).
Dodgers at Diamondbacks (+100, 9.5)
Arizona All-Star lefty Robbie Ray (10-5, 3.06) returned from nearly a month on the disabled list after getting hit in the head by a line drive and looked good, allowing one run with nine strikeouts over nine vs. the Mets. Ray is 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA in four starts against the Mets in his career. Over the last 40 years, only four other pitchers have had an ERA that low over their first four starts vs. theMets. Against the Dodgers in 2017, Ray is 1-0 with a 3.63 ERA in three starts. Rookie sensation Cody Bellinger has yet to face him; Bellinger is expected to be activated off the DL on Wednesday. Corey Seager is just 3-for-21 with 11 Ks vs. Ray. Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu (5-6, 3.34) has allowed more than two earned just once in his past nine with a 2.13 ERA in that span. He hasn't seen Arizona this year. Paul Goldschmidt is 8-for-19 off him with a homer.
Key trends: The Diamondbacks are 4-0 in Ray's past four at home vs. L.A. The Dodgers are 0-7 in Ryu's past seven road starts vs. teams with a winning record. The over is 4-0 in Ray's past four at home in the series.
Early lean: Diamondbacks and under.
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