Quite a weekend for the Washington Nationals, good and bad. On Friday, outfielder Adam Eaton, the team's big offseason trade addition from the Chicago White Sox, landed awkwardly at first base trying to beat out an infield hit against the Mets. He tore his ACL and meniscus and is done for the season. Eaton cost a ton in pitching prospects and was hitting .297 with two homers and 13 RBIs. His .393 on-base percentage was the second-best among leadoff hitters (minimum 50 plate appearances from that spot). He's also a good defender. Shortstop Trea Turner takes over at leadoff and Michael A. Taylor in center field, although I could see Washington looking to add someone if Taylor doesn't start hitting more. Meanwhile, here's hoping if you play DFS that you had Nats third baseman Anthony Rendon in your lineup on Sunday. He went 6-for-6 with three homers and 10 RBIs in 23-5 destruction of the Mets. He's the first player to go 6-for-6 with at least three home runs and 10 RBIs in a game since RBIs became an official stat in 1920.It was the 13th game in major-league history in which a player had at least 10 RBIs and first since 2007. Rendon had no homers and only five RBIs entering Sunday.
Free $60 in Member MLB Picks No Obligation Click Here
Orioles at Red Sox ( -212, 8 )
MLB Network game. Lefty Chris Sale (1-2, 1.19) is on the bump for Boston. He struck out at least 10 for the fourth game in a row Thursday vs. the Yankees but took the loss in allowing two earned over eight innings. Boston has scored just four runs for Sale during his 37 2/3 innings. He beat the Orioles last year in his lone start against them with the White Sox in allowing one run over 5.1 innings. Adam Jones is 4-for-13 off Sale with a homer and five strikeouts. Manny Machado is 3-for-9. Baltimore's Alec Asher (1-0, 2.16) makes his fourth appearance and second start of the year. His first start was a no-decision vs. Toronto on April 15, giving up a run over 6.1 innings. He has thrown a scoreless inning of relief vs. Boston. Mookie Betts is 2-for-2 against him with two walks.
Key trends: The Orioles are 4-1 in their past five road games vs. a lefty starter. The Red Sox are 7-3 in their past 10 Tuesday games. The "over/under" has gone under in Sale's past five.
Early lean: Red Sox and under.
Indians at Tigers (+118, 8)
Matchup of former Cy Young winners here. It's 2014 winner Corey Kluber (3-1, 4.19) for the Tribe. He has won three straight starts and allowed three earned with a season-high 10 strikeouts Thursday vs. Houston. He beat Detroit on April 15 despite getting knocked around for a season-high six runs in 6.1 innings. Victor Martinez hits .333 off him with three homers in 39 at-bats. Miguel Cabrera is 21-for-50 off Kluber with five homers and 10 RBIs so Kluber is probably thrilled that Miggy is on the DL. Detroit's Justin Verlander (1-2, 4.60), the 2011 Cy Young and MVP winner, hasn't won since Opening Day. He deserved to last time out in allowing no earned over seven innings vs. the Mariners. Verlander was opposite Kluber on April 15 and blasted for nine runs and 11 hits in four innings. There was some talk that Verlander might have been tipping his pitches. Jason Kipnis is just 6-for-50 off him with 15 strikeouts. Francisco Lindor is 9-for-20 with a homer and seven RBIs.
Key trends: The Tigers are 1-8 in Verlander's past nine vs. Cleveland. The Indians are 5-0 in Kluber's past five vs. Detroit. The over is 4-1 in Verlander's past five against the Tribe and in Kluber's past five in Detroit.
Early lean: Indians and over.
Phillies at Cubs (-220, TBA)
Jeremy Hellickson for NL Cy Young? Never thought I'd type that sentence, but Hellickson has been outstanding with a 4-0 record, 1.80 ERA and 0.80 WHIP. He has struck out just 11 batters over 30 innings in his five starts this season. The last pitcher before Hellickson to win at least four of his first five starts of a season with fewer than a dozen strikeouts over that span was Derek Lowe, who went 4-1 in April 2012 for the Indians with just nine strikeouts in five starts. Hellickson hasn't faced the Cubs since 2015. Kris Bryant is 0-for-3 off him. Anthony Rizzo is 0-for-2. Cubs lefty Jon Lester (0-1, 3.68) might be suffering a bit of a World Series hangover as he has given up five earned runs in each of his past two starts. But at Wrigley Field this year, he has given up one run over 13 innings for a 0.69 ERA. He was 2-0 with a 0.63 ERA in two starts vs. the Phils in 2016. Michael Saunders is 3-for-7 with a homer vs. Lester.
Key trends: The Phillies are 1-5 in their past six vs. lefties. The Cubs are 22-6 in Lester's past 28 at home. The under is 6-0 in Hellickson's past six.
Early lean: Phillies on runline (and under regardless unless wind blowing out).
A's at Twins (-135, 8)
A's ace Sonny Gray makes his season debut here. Gray, who has been on the DL due to a strained right lat, looked good in Thursday's rehab outing for Triple-A Nashville, issuing no walks with seven strikeouts over six scoreless innings. The A's would love for Gray to return to pre-2016 form so they could potentially trade him. His value is very low right now after an injury-plagued and ugly 2016 season. Minnesota's Brian Dozier is 3-for-8 with a homer vs. Gray. The Twins' Ervin Santana (4-0, 0.77) leads the AL in ERA and WHIP (0.66). Santana hasn't given up more than one earned run in any of his five starts. No other Twins pitcher had an ERA below 1.00 through five starts of a season since the club began playing in Minnesota in 1961. Prior to Santana, the lowest ERA produced by a Twins pitcher through five starts during their time in Minnesota was 1.07 by Jim Perry in 1965.Oakland's Rajai Davis is just 5-for-28 against him with 10 strikeouts.
Key trends: The A's are 1-6 in Gray's past seven on the road. The Twins are 5-0 in Santana's past five vs. teams with a losing record. The under is 16-5-1 in Santana's past 22.
Early lean: Twins and under.
White Sox at Royals (-130, 8)
Monitor the status of White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia here. He left Sunday's game with left groin tightness. The Pale Hose are overachieving in part because of Garcia, who leads the American League with a .368 average. It's ace lefty Jose Quintana (1-4, 5.22) on the mound. He comes off his first win of the season last Wednesday against these Royals, allowing one earned and striking out 10 over six innings in easily his best start of the year. Eric Hosmer hits just .185 against him with 14 strikeouts in 65 at-bats. Salvador Perez is a .317 hitter against him with two homers. Royals lefty Danny Duffy (2-1, 2.81) is off his worst start of the year, allowing a season-high six runs over 4.2 innings in a loss at the White Sox. Jose Abreu is 12-for-34 off him with a homer. Garcia is 7-for-25.
Key trends: The Royals are 6-1 in Duffy's past seven at home vs. the White Sox. Chicago is 1-5 in Quintana's past six in K.C. The under is 4-1 in his previous five against the Royals.
Early lean: Royals and under.
Doc's Sports MLB handicapping team is offering $60 worth of member's baseball picks absolutely free - no obligation, no sales people - Claim your free MLB picks here now. Also, for a limited time only get three MLB handicappers for the price of one. Click here for details . Get free MLB picks daily at Doc's Sports baseball predictions page .
Read more articles by Alan Matthews
Most Recent Baseball Handicapping Articles
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 9/2/2017, Opening Line Report
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 9/1/2017, Opening Line Report
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/31/2017, Opening Line Report
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/30/2017, Opening Line Report
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/29/2017, Opening Line Report
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/26/2017, Opening Line Report
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/25/2017, Opening Line Report
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/24/2017, Opening Line Report
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/23/2017, Opening Line Report
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/22/2017, Opening Line Report