Logically, it wouldn't seem that injuries would carry over for an entire baseball team from one year to the next. Sure, there are injury-prone players on every team in the majors but not statistical reasons why a certain team(s) has to deal with big problems over multiple years unless they keep all those same injury-prone guys. Yet that sure seems to be the case for the New York Mets. That third baseman David Wright hasn't played yet in 2017 is no shock. He's always hurt. Now, however, the Mets' two most important players are ailing: ace Noah Syndergaard was scratched from Thursday's start with biceps tendinitis. And in Thursday's game, outfielder Yoenis Cespedes pulled up lame after legging out a double. He had to be helped down the dugout steps with a hamstring injury, so he's surely DL-bound and probably out longer than 10 days. Cespedes, who is to have an MRI, missed some time earlier with a hammy an was limited to 132 games a year ago with a similar issue. The Mets are last in the NL East and not likely to leave the cellar soon. Could Terry Collins be the first manager fired?
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Reds at Cardinals ( -178, 8.5 )
A 2:15 p.m. ET start time. Do you remember Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco? In 2014, he blew up with a .273 average, 25 homers and 80 RBIs in just 114 games and was named an All-Star. Alas, injuries wrecked the guy; he played a total of 49 games the previous two years and hit under .200 in both. For what it's worth, he was activated off the DL on Thursday, where he began this season. Was that 2014 season a fluke? We may find out if he can stay on the field. Cincinnati goes with 40-year-old Bronson Arroyo (2-2, 6.86), who might have saved his job with a quality start last time out vs. the Cubs, allowing two runs and three hits with seven strikeouts in six innings. Arroyo lost in St. Louis on April 8, giving up six runs in four innings. Aledmys Diaz is 2-for-3 off him with two homers. The Cardinals' Mike Leake (3-1, 1.32) has been the team's best pitcher thus far. The former Red hasn't allowed more than two earned in four starts and was a tough-luck loser to Cincinnati on April 1 in allowing one run over eight innings. Adam Duvall is 5-for-16 off him with two homers and eight RBIs.
Key trends: The Reds are 2-6 in Arroyo's past eight vs. the NL Central. They are 0-7 in his past seven vs. St. Louis. The Cards are 0-5 in Leake's past five vs. the Reds. The "over/under" is 4-0 in Arroyo's past four against St. Louis.
Early lean: Cardinals and over.
Cubs at Red Sox (-101, 9)
A 4:05 p.m. ET first pitch on Fox Sports 1 for Game 2 of the Theo Epstein Bowl. That guy will never have to buy a drink or meal at a restaurant or bar in the cities of Boston or Chicago for the rest of his life after ending two World Series curses. One of three Cubs who played on the Red Sox's last title team in 2013 is John Lackey (1-0, 4.88), who gets the call here. Lackey has gone exactly six innings in all four starts but hasn't been good the past two, allowing 11 runs and 13 hits combined in losses. This will be the first time he faces Boston as an opponent since Sept. 15, 2008. Dustin Pedroia is 6-for-16 off him. Hanley Ramirez is 1-for-3 with a dinger. Boston knuckleballer Steven Wright (1-2, 8.66) just hasn't been the same since a great first half last year. He's in serious danger of losing his job as Wright has lasted less than four innings in two of four starts. No Cubs have faced him.
Key trends: The Cubs are 0-5 in Lackey's past five Saturday starts. The Sox are 1-4 in Wright's past five vs. teams with a winning record. The over is 8-1-1 in Lackey's past 10 overall.
Early lean: Like over more than side (Red Sox).
A's at Astros (-155, 9)
Monitor the status of Astros All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve as he was in a pretty big collision with Teoscar Hernandez on Tuesday night and hadn't played through Thursday. Altuve has been cleared of a concussion but has some shoulder soreness. Oakland goes with another of its promising younger pitchers in Andrew Triggs (3-1, 2.42). He didn't allow an earned run over 17.2 innings in his first three starts but was roughed up for six runs over 4.2 innings last time out by Seattle. Triggs didn't get a decision in two starts last year vs. Houston as a rookie despite a 9.00 ERA. Altuve is 1-for-3 off him. Evan Gattis is 2-for-2 with a homer. The Astros' Joe Musgrove (1-1, 5.91) started the season with two solid outings but has allowed nine runs over 11 innings in his previous two. Last year as a rookie, Musgrove had a 0.84 ERA in 10.2 innings against Oakland. Matt Joyce is 1-for-2 off him with a double.
Key trends: The Astros are 5-2 in Musgrove's past seven. The under is 5-1-1 in his past seven at home.
Early lean: A's and under.
Angels at Rangers (-175, 9)
Second game on Fox Sports 1. Jesse Chavez (2-3, 4.13) has the lowest ERA of any Angels starter, which pretty much tells you all you need to know. He comes off a strong start and win over the Blue Jays, allowing one run and four hits over six innings. He did walk four. Chavez's worst outing was April 12 vs. Texas when he was tagged for five runs, two homers, in 4.1 innings in a loss. Mike Napoli is 4-for-12 off him with two homers. Rougned Odor is 4-for-8 with two doubles and a homer. Texas' Yu Darvish (2-2, 3.03) pitched a season-high eight innings last time out and allowed two runs in a win over the Royals. He threw seven shutout innings at the Angels on April 13 and is 8-2 with a 3.48 ERA in 14 career starts against them. Mike Trout is a career .308 hitter against him with four homers in 39 at-bats.
Key trends: The Rangers are 7-1 in Darvish's past nine vs. the Angels. The over is 5-0 in his past five at home against them.
Early lean: Rangers and over.
Rockies at Diamondbacks (-160, 9.5)
It's the two top teams in the NL West - who saw that coming? Both clubs can rake, but I'm not sure the pitching holds up for either. Lefty Tyler Anderson (1-3, 7.11) is on the bump for the Rox. He was arguably the team's best starter last year and its worst so far in 2017. Anderson has yet to go six full innings or allow fewer than four earned. The Snakes' Yasmany Tomas is 4-for-6 career against him with two doubles. Arizona's Zack Greinke (2-2, 2.93) is starting to give a return on the franchise's mammoth investment. He has allowed exactly one earned run in three of his five starts, including last time out when he struck out a season-high 11 in six innings in beating San Diego. He was 0-1 with a 6.48 ERA in three starts last year vs. Colorado. Carlos Gonzalez hits .382 off him with four homers in 34 at-bats.
Key trends: The Rockies are 1-6 in Anderson's past seven on the road. The Snakes are 8-0 in their past eight at home vs. lefties. The over is 4-1 in Anderson's past five.
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