If you were pondering a bet on the Detroit Tigers to win their home series with the Boston Red Sox this weekend, this might cinch your decision on the Motor City Kitties: Stellar Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts will miss the series as he has been placed on the on the bereavement list. Bogaerts will rejoin the team on Monday. He was 2-for-9 in two games after hitting .294 with 21 homers and 89 RBIs last year. Brock Holt figures to start at short while Bogaerts is out. The Red Sox also put reliever Matt Barnes on the bereavement list. He'll be back Sunday.
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Red Sox at Tigers ( -137, 9 )
A 1:10 p.m. ET first pitch on the MLB Network. Also monitor the status of 2016 MVP runner-up Mookie Betts of the Red Sox. He's apparently dealing with nasty case of the flu and didn't play Wednesday or Friday. One would think he'd be fine by Saturday, but keep it in mind. Hanley Ramirez also sat Friday with the bug. The Sox go with young lefty Eduardo Rodriguez. He was terrific as a rookie in 2015 but began last year injured and never seemed to recover, going 3-7 with a 4.71 ERA. Rodriguez was originally to pitch Thursday, but that game was rained out. He allowed three runs and nine hits over 5.1 innings in one start last year vs. Detroit. Victor Martinez is 3-for-5 off him with two RBIs. Detroit's Jordan Zimmermann was pushed back to Saturday after originally being scheduled for Thursday as the Tigers had two games postponed in Chicago. Zimmermann struggled to a 9.42 ERA and 1.67 WHIP in spring training. He didn't face Boston last ye ar. Betts is 2-for-2 off him with a homer and four RBIs.
Key trends: The Red Sox are 0-4 in Rodriguez's past four vs. the AL Central. The Tigers are 0-4 in Zimmermann's past four at home. The under is 8-0 in Rodriguez's past eight on the road. The over is 6-0-1 in Zimmermann's past seven at home.
Early lean: Tigers and over.
Yankees at Orioles (-130, 8)
Starts at 4:05 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1. The Yankees aren't sniffing .500 if ace Masahiro Tanaka doesn't pitch like an ace this season, and he sure didn't Sunday at Tampa Bay. He was tagged for seven runs and eight hits over 2.2 innings, one of the worst outings of his career. Tanaka generally doesn't have back-to-back poor outings. He is 1-1 with a 2.39 ERA in five career starts against the Orioles. Jonathan Schoop is 3-for-15 off Tanaka with two homers and five RBIs. Chris Davis is 3-for-14 with five strikeouts. Baltimore's Kevin Gausman got the opening day start with Chris Tillman hurting and allowed two runs and five hits over 5.1 innings in a no-decision against Toronto. He walked four and threw only 55 of 103 pitches for strikes. Gausman was 3-1 with a 1.10 ERA in six starts vs. New York in 2016. Brett Gardner is a career .310 hitter off him in 29 at-bats.
Key trends: The Yankees are 1-4 in Tanaka's past five vs. the Orioles. Baltimore is 5-0 in Gausman's past five at home vs. New York. The under is 5-0 in those five.
Early lean: Orioles and under.
Cubs at Brewers (+178, 8.5)
Can't say I've ever seen a prop on which pitcher will lead the league in ERA in a season, but kudos to you if found such a bet and put your money down on what would have been a huge long shot in the Cubs' Kyle Hendricks in 2016. He was a very solid pitcher in 2015 but was brilliant last year in going 16-8 with an NL-best 2.13 ERA, finishing third in the Cy Young voting. There's no chance that he pitches that well again. Right? He has been compared to Greg Maddux in some respects. Both are control guys with not much on the fastball. Hendricks was 1-2 with a 3.22 ERA in four starts vs. the Brewers. Jonathan Villar is 0-for-10 against him. It's new Brewer Tommy Milone. He broke camp as a reliever but is taking the spot of injured Opening Day starter Junior Guerra. Milone did pitch in relief on Monday, allowing two runs in two innings vs. Colorado. He was 3-5 with a 5.71 ERA last year with the Twins. Jason Heyward is 2-for-2 career against him.
Key trends: The Cubs are 6-0 in Hendricks' past six on the road. The under is 9-1 in his past 10 vs. Milwaukee.
Early lean: Cubs and over (the latter largely because of Milone).
Dodgers at Rockies (+188, 9)
What's more intriguing than the best pitcher on the planet throwing in the most hitter-friendly park in the majors? Of course I mean Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw and the thin air of Denver's Coors Field. Kershaw predictably dominated the Padres on Opening Day, allowing two hits and one earned with eight strikeouts over seven innings. Store this in your memory banks for 2018 Opening Day: Kershaw has a career 0.99 ERA on the first day of the season and 0.66 WHIP. Kershaw faced the Rockies just once last year, not at Coors Field, and won in allowing no runs on three hits over seven innings. Carlos Gonzalez can't hit him, going 7-for-36 with 17 strikeouts. It's young Rockies ace Jon Gray. He took a no-decision in Milwaukee on Monday, allowing five runs in four innings. Gray was 2-2 with a 4.15 ERA in five starts in 2016 vs. L.A. Corey Seager is 5-for-10 off him with a dinger.
Key trends: The Dodgers are 7-0 in Kershaw's past seven in Colorado. The over is 6-1-1 in his past eight overall vs. the Rockies. The under is 4-0 in Gray's past four vs. L.A.
Early lean: Dodgers and under.
Indians at Diamondbacks (+109, 9.5)
Again, no DH for Cleveland. The Tribe go with Trevor Bauer, who became a bit of a household name during last year's ALCS when he cut his finger on a drone during an off day. Bauer's start was pushed back and when he did get on the mound it didn't last long as that cut opened up and was gushing blood. It made Curt Schilling's bloody sock look tame in comparison. Bauer was easily the Indians' worst starter last postseason but was a decent 12-8 with a 4.26 ERA in the regular season. He made his major-league debut in 2012 with Arizona and was traded after that season to the Indians in a deal that also included the Reds. A few current Diamondbacks have seen Bauer. Jake Lamb is 0-for-2. Arizona's Zack Greinke had that hugely disappointing 2016 season after signing a mammoth free-agent deal and was just OK in his 2017 debut, allowing two runs in five innings in a no-decision vs. the Giants. Cleveland's Michael Brantley is 4-for-13 off him with a homer and three RBIs.
Key trends: The Diamondbacks are 13-6 in Greinke's past 19 overall. The under is 10-2 in Bauer's past 12 interleague starts. The under is 5-2 in Greinke's past seven at home.
Early lean: Diamondbacks and under.
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