Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/9/2017, Opening Line Report
Monday was the 26th birthday of Angels superstar outfielder Mike Trout, who somehow lasted until the 25th pick of the 2009 draft. The No. 1 pick that year was Stephen Strasburg by Washington, and you can't really argue with that as Strasburg was one of the best college pitchers ever. If you are wondering, the Angels also picked 24th that year and took a high school outfielder named Randal Grichuk, who of course is now with St. Louis. At No. 26 overall, Milwaukee took some pitcher named Eric Arnett. Trout is one of just five players to reach his 26th birthday with 190 homers and 500 walks. The others are Hall of Famers Jimmie Foxx, Mel Ott, Mickey Mantle and Eddie Mathews. Trout's the only guy with at least 190 homers and 150 steals. Only Foxx and Ott reached their 26th birthday with better numbers than Trout in all of these categories: home runs, hits, extra-base hits, total bases, walks and runs scored. Trout's career WAR through his age-25 season is second-best all-time behind Ty Cobb. The guy is just ridiculous, he got career hit No. 1,000 on his birthday and he still might win another MVP Award this year despite missing six weeks.
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Rockies at Indians ( -165, 9.5 )
A 12:10 p.m. ET first pitch on the MLB Network and Colorado has the DH. Rockies rookie Antonio Senzatela (10-4, 4.78) had his last turn skipped through the rotation to help deal with his innings limit. He has pitched twice out of the bullpen since his last start, giving up two runs over five innings. Senzatela beat Cleveland on June 6, allowing three runs over 6.1 innings. Michael Brantley and Francisco Lindor are both 0-for-3 off him. Cleveland's Trevor Bauer (10-8, 5.00) has surrendered just two runs and 14 hits over 15 innings in his past two outings, both wins. He lost at Coors Field on June 7 (3.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 BB). Charlie Blackmon is 2-for-5 against Bauer with a double and three RBIs. Mark Reynolds and DJ LeMahieu are each 2-for-4.
Key trends: The Rockies are 0-4 in Senzatela's past four on the road. The Indians are 0-7 in Bauer's past seven interleague starts. The "over/under" is 12-2 in Senzatela's past 14.
Early lean: Rockies and over.
Cubs at Giants (-115, 8)
Also an MLB Network game at 3:45 p.m. ET. Last meeting of the season between these teams. It's Madison Bumgarner (1-5, 2.88) for the Giants. The lefty has just the one win because he's getting no run support in his nine starts. He hasn't given up more than two earned in his past three. Bumgarner took a no-decision in Game 3 of last year's NLDS against the Cubs. Fellow pitcher Jake Arrieta hit a memorable three-run homer off him. Ben Zobrist is 6-for-12 career off Bumgarner. Chicago's Kyle Hendricks (4-4, 3.81) was a tough-luck loser to Washington on Friday, allowing three runs and five hits over seven. He beat the Giants on May 24 (7 IP, 2 ER). Brandon Crawford is 2-for-7 off him with two doubles. Hunter Pence is 2-for-2.
Key trends: The Cubs are 7-1 in Hendricks' past eight on Wednesday. The Giants are 13-4 in Bumgarner's past 17 at home vs. teams with a winning record. The under is 5-0 in Bumgarner's past five on Wednesday.
Early lean: Giants and under.
Red Sox at Rays (+109, 9)
ESPN game.The Rays get a boost to their wild-card hopes with the return of pitcher Jake Odorizzi from the disabled list. He has been on it with a lower back strain since July 26. He started Friday night for Class A Charlotte and allowed two runs on three hits and no walks while striking out six in three innings vs. Dunedin. Odorizzi (6-4, 4.47) has made two starts in 2017 vs. Boston and is 0-1 with an 11.81 ERA. Xander Bogaerts is 9-for-24 off him with five doubles. Hanley Ramirez is 5-for-15 with a homer. Boston's Rick Porcello (5-14, 4.70) ended a four-start losing streak last time out against the White Sox but wasn't all that sharp in allowing five runs and seven hits over 5.1 innings. He's 0-3 with a 5.89 ERA in three starts this year against the Rays. Logan Morrison is 10-for-31 off him with a homer. Steven Souza is 8-for-27 with a homer but 10 Ks.
Key trends: The Sox are 0-9 in Porcello's past nine vs. the AL East. The Rays are 0-4 in Odorizzi's past four at home. The over is 4-1 in Porcello's previous five against Tampa.
Early lean: Rays and over.
Pirates at Tigers (-137, 9)
You are still hearing rumblings that the Tigers are at least taking Houston's calls on Justin Verlander as he has cleared waivers. But Verlander would have to approve any trade. We'll assume that Verlander will be pitching Wednesday night at Comerica Park in this interleague matchup. Verlander (7-7, 4.20) is working on four straight quality starts. He didn't walk anyone last time out vs. Baltimore for the first time all season; Verlander ranks eighth in the AL with 136 strikeouts but second in walks (60). Pittsburgh's Josh Harrison is 4-for-12 career against him. Andrew McCutchen is 3-for-18. The Pirates' Ivan Nova (10-8, 3.66) hasn't won in his past three, surrendering 15 runs over 16 innings. The former Yankee owns an 8.25 ERA in three career appearances in Detroit. Miguel Cabrera is 3-for-12 off him with a homer.
Key trends: The Pirates are 1-5 in Nova's past six on the road. The Tigers are 18-8 in Verlander's past 26 at home. The under is 8-2 in Nova's past 10.
Early lean: Tigers and under.
The marquee pitching matchup of the night. Dodgers lefty Alex Wood (13-1, 2.33) had a two-start hiccup but was back to excellent last time out in Atlanta, allowing one run over six innings against his former club. Wood has allowed one or fewer runs while pitching at least six innings in each of his last six road starts, the longest such streak in a single season in Dodgers history. Only two other major-league pitchers over the last 20 seasons have pitched six or more innings while allowing one or fewer runs in at least six consecutive road starts in one season: Johan Santana (seven in a row in 2004) and Ubaldo Jimenez (seven straight in 2010). Wood is 2-0 with a 2.40 ERA in three appearances vs. Arizona in 2017. AJ Pollock is 6-for-13 vs. Wood with two homers. Former Dodger Zack Greinke (13-4, 3.10) was roughed up at Wrigley Field on Thursday (6 IP, 6 ER) but got away with a no-decision. Greinke allowed five runs over five innings in L.A. on April 14. Corey Seager is 6-for-9 off him with two homers.
Key trends: The Dodgers are 5-0 in Wood's past five on the road. The Snakes are 16-5 in Greinke's past 21 at home. The under is 4-1 in Greinke's past five vs. teams with a winning record.
Early lean: Diamondbacks and under.
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