We've had our first notable trade of the 2017 season as the St. Louis Cardinals over the weekend sent first baseman/outfielder Matt Adams to Atlanta for a prospect and cash considerations. The Braves were in need of a power bat at first base with Freddie Freeman out 10 weeks or more with a fractured wrist. Adams lost his first base job with the Cardinals to Matt Carpenter. The team tried him a bit in the outfield, but Adams is a disaster defensively out there. I'm not sure what the Braves will do with him when Freeman returns. I don't believe the Braves make this trade last year when they were still playing at Turner Field. This is a move to show the fans the team is trying to compete this year and that helps put fannies in the seats at the new SunTrust Park. For his career, Adams is hitting about 10 percent above league average per weighted runs created plus. Adams, who was 0-for-4 in his Atlanta debut Sunday with three strikeouts, isn't eligible for free agency until after 2018 so the team could just keep him around as a big bat off the bench or flip him to another team. Adams probably belongs in the American League so he can DH.
Free $60 in Member MLB Picks No Obligation Click Here
Giants at Cubs ( -177, TBA )
First of an ESPN doubleheader. Of course the last time the Giants were at Wrigley Field they lost the first two games of last year's NLDS. Had the Giants not blown a 5-2 lead at home in the top of the ninth in Game 4 of that series, there would have been a Game 5 back at Wrigley and Johnny Cueto would have been on the mound. Cueto (4-3, 4.50) was fantastic in Game 1 at Wrigley but took the loss in allowing just one run -- a Javy Baez homer -- and three hits with 10 strikeouts in eight innings. He is 5-5 with a 3.07 ERA in 15 career regular-season starts at Wrigley Field. Cubs ace Jon Lester (2-2, 3.57) was offered more money a couple of years ago as a free agent by the Giants than the Cubs. He was opposite Cueto in Game 1 of the NLDS and shut out the Giants on five hits over eight innings. Since Sept. 25, 2015, he's given up three or fewer earned runs in all 21 of regular-season starts at Wrigley as well.
Key trends: The Giants are 3-7 in their past 10 in Game 2 of a series. They are 1-9 in their past 10 at the Cubs entering Monday. The "over/under" has gone under in six of Chicago's past seven vs. the NL West.
Early lean: Giants on runline and under regardless unless wind is blowing out.
Twins at Orioles (-128, 8.5)
Another good pitching matchup here. Twins ace Ervin Santana (6-2, 2.07) is third in the American League in ERA. He has come back to earth a bit, however, in allowing at least five runs in two of his past three outings. But otherwise he hasn't given up more than one earned in any other start. Baltimore's Adam Jones is 5-for-22 off him with three RBIs. Jones entered Monday's series opener -- which might get rained out -- tied for the most homers hit at Camden Yards. He reached No. 124 career on Sunday, tying him with Rafael Palmeiro. Baltimore's Dylan Bundy (5-2, 2.97) comes off his worst start of the year by far, getting tagged for six runs and two homers over six in a loss in Detroit. Bundy hadn't allowed more than 3 ER in a start this year.
Key trends: The Twins are 6-1 in their past seven road games. The Orioles are 18-4 in their past 22 at home. The under is 10-3 in the Twins' past 13 road games vs. teams with a winning record.
Early lean: Orioles and under.
Indians at Reds (+136, 9)
Cleveland loses the DH -- usually Edwin Encarnacion -- for this battle of Ohio interleague game. He could play first base, but that would mean benching Carlos Santana. Neither guy is hitting much thus far. The Tribe go with Carlos Carrasco (4-2, 2.60). He left last Monday's start vs. the Rays due to pectoral tightness after giving up a season-high five runs in a season-low 3.2 innings. The Indians would win the game. Just a few Reds have seen him. Joey Votto is 4-for-9 with a double and homer. Cincinnati rookie lefty Amir Garrett (3-3, 5.18) was excellent in his first three starts but then the league caught on and he was sent down to Triple-A for a bit. He returned Thursday at the Cubs and gave up six runs over four innings. No Indians have faced him in the majors.
Key trends: The Indians are 0-6 in their past six interleague games. The Reds are 6-14 in their past 20 road interleague games. The over is 4-1 in the Reds' past five at home.
Early lean: Indians and over.
Tigers at Astros (-195, 8.5)
Houston has placed catcher Brian McCann on the seven-day concussion list. The team isn't even sure when he was injured. McCann is hitting .265 with six homers and 25 RBIs in 30 games this season. Evan Gattis should be behind the plate until McCann returns, although the team also called up catcher Juan Centeno from Triple-A and he was raking down there. Detroit's Jordan Zimmermann (4-2, 6.25) has given up at least four runs in six of eight starts, but as you can see by that record generally gets good run support. He's 2-0 with a 0.47 ERA in his past three starts against Houston. Gattis is 2-for-8 off him with a homer. Houston's Lance McCullers Jr. (4-1, 2.65) hasn't allowed an earned run over his past three starts -- all on the road. The opponents have only nine hits in 19 innings in that stretch. Detroit's Jose Iglesias is 2-for-2 off him.
Key trends: The Tigers are 7-2 in their past nine on Tuesday. The Astros are 4-0 in their past four on the day. The under is 4-1 in Houston's past five in Game 2 of a series.
Early lean: Astros and over.
Cardinals at Dodgers (-270, 6.5)
Second ESPN game. Monitor the status of Cards second baseman Kolten Wong for a bit as he tweaked his non-throwing elbow on Saturday and was out Sunday. He's hitting .282 on the season with a solid .375 on-base percentage. The Cards go with Lance Lynn (4-2, 2.78) here. He has allowed four runs in each of his past two, also serving up two gopher balls in each. Lynn has given up eight homers already, just two fewer than he allowed in 31 starts two years ago (missed all of last year). L.A.'s Yasiel Puig is 4-for-6 off him. If he starts, that is. Puig has been dealing with a back issue. It's Dodgers ace lefty Clayton Kershaw (7-2, 2.15). He shut out the Giants on three hits over seven innings in his last start with no walks. Kershaw now has 20 career wins against the Giants, equaling his highest total against any franchise (20 wins vs. Colorado). The Cards' Dexter Fowler has had success off him in going 18-for-44 (.409) with four three extra-base hits.
Key trends: The Cards are 5-1 in Lynn's past vs. the Dodgers. The under is 5-1 in his past six in L.A. The under is 6-1 in the Dodgers' past seven vs. the NL Central.
Early lean: Dodgers and under.
Doc's is offering $60 worth of member baseball picks absolutely free -- no obligation, no sales people -- you don't even have to enter credit card information. You can use this $60 credit for any of our top MLB handicappers. Click here for free MLB picks 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
- Daily Expert MLB Picks: Wednesday, June 20, 2018, Opening Line Report
- Daily Expert MLB Picks: Tuesday, June 19, 2018, Opening Line Report
- Expert MLB Handicapping: Can Los Angeles Dodgers Turn it Around?
- Expert Baseball Betting Advice: Are Seattle Mariners for Real?
- Daily Expert MLB Picks: Saturday, June 16, 2018, Opening Line Report
- Baseball Betting Expert Advice: MLB Underrated Pitchers
- Daily Expert MLB Picks: Friday, June 15, 2018, Opening Line Report
- Expert MLB Betting Advice: Disappointing Marquee Pitchers
- Daily Expert MLB Picks: Thursday, June 14, 2018, Opening Line Report
- MLB Betting Trends: Totals Report for Hot Over and Under Teams