Can you name me five Los Angeles Angels other than Mike Trout and Albert Pujols? Unless you are a fan of theirs, I'm guessing not. The only reason I can is that I do this for a living. The Angels without Trout are basically the San Diego Padres. L.A. might have to live without Trout for a little while after he left Sunday's game against the Marlins after injuring his thumb sliding headfirst into second base. I seriously don't know why guys slide head first because your hands are in such danger. X-rays were negative and the team is calling it a strain for now, but Trout will have an MRI on Monday to see if there's any ligament damage. At a minimum, he seems like to miss a couple of games. Trout is the heavy betting favorite to win a third AL MVP Award and entering Sunday led the American League in average, on-base percentage, slugging, runs, homers, walks OPS, total bases and WAR. If a guy can be underpaid at a little more than $19 million a season, Trout is. Ben Revere should start in center field while Trout is sidelined. He has never been on the disabled list in his career. The Angels host the Braves in interleague action Tuesday.
Free $60 in Member MLB Picks No Obligation Click Here
A's at Indians ( -147, 9 )
Buster Olney had a good column recently about how Oakland's Sonny Gray could become the most coveted starting pitcher available ahead of the July 31 trade deadline, and I tend to agree with that. I know Cubs boss Theo Epstein loves Gray, and he and A's GM Billy Beane have made big trades before. Gray (2-1, 3.34) looks back to his pre-2016 form after getting a late start to the season. He struck out a season-high 11 Marlins last time out and gave up only three hits over seven innings. Cleveland's Michael Brantley is 4-for-11 off him with two doubles. The Tribe go with Trevor Bauer (4-4, 6.30). That ERA is ugly, but he has allowed three earned or fewer in each of his past three. In three career starts against the A's, Bauer is 0-1 with a 2.89 ERA. Yonder Alonso is 2-for-8 against him with a homer.
Key trends: The Indians are 9-4 in Bauer's past 13 at home. The "over/under" is 8-2 in his past 10 there.
Early lean: A's and under.
Dodgers at Cardinals (-109, 8.5)
Fresh off sweeping the Cubs in an NLCS rematch, the Dodgers head out on a seven-game road trip. This one is on ESPN. The team is hopeful of activating third baseman Justin Turner off the DL at some point in this trip, but it won't be here. L.A's Kenta Maeda (4-2, 5.08) faces the Cards for the second straight game. He allowed three runs and seven hits over five innings last Thursday in a victory. Jedd Gyorko is 2-for-5 off Maeda with two RBIs. The Cards' Michael Wacha (2-2, 3.66) pitched opposite Maeda on Thursday and took the loss in allowing a season-high six runs over a season-low four innings. Yasmani Grandal is 3-for-9 against Wacha with a homer and three RBIs. Yasiel Puig is 3-for-5 with two knocked in.
Key trends: The Dodgers are 4-0 in Maeda's past four. The Cards are 1-5 in Wacha's past six on Tuesday. The over is 5-0-1 in Maeda's past six on the road. It's 4-1 in Wacha's past five at home.
Early lean: Cardinals and over.
Red Sox at White Sox (+170, 7.5)
Southpaw Chris Sale returns to the South Side of Chicago for the first time since being traded to Boston this offseason. None of the guys the White Sox got in that deal have played in the majors for Chicago yet. Sale (5-2, 2.34) was trying to set an MLB modern-day record with nine straight games with at least 10 strikeouts last Thursday vs. the Rangers but had to settle for six in 7.1 innings in earning the victory. He has joined a small group of pitchers to strikeout at least 100 batters in their first 10 starts of the season. Only a few White Sox have faced their former teammate. Melky Cabrera is 1-for-11 off him with four strikeouts. Chicago's new ace and likely next guy out of town is lefty Jose Quintana (2-6, 4.82). He was raked for a season-high eight runs in 4.1 innings last time out in Arizona. Quintana entered that one having posted a 2.70 ERA over his previous six starts. Boston's Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts are both 4-for-12 off Quintana. Hanley Ramirez has two homers in 15 at-bats off him.
Key trends: The Red Sox are 5-2 in Sale's past seven following quality start in his last appearance. The under is 7-3 in his 10 starts. The under is 5-1-1 in Chicago's previous seven vs. a lefty.
Early lean: White Sox (Sale might be too amped up) and under.
Yankees at Orioles (-103, 9)
Monitor the status of Baltimore center fielder Adam Jones for this one. He's dealing with hip and ankle injuries for the struggling Birds and hasn't started since Friday. He was listed in the original starting lineup for Monday's series opener but wasn't feeling 100 percent during pre-game warmups. Jones is hitting .258 with eight homers and 21 RBIs. It's Chris Tillman (1-1, 4.43) for the Orioles. He makes his fourth start of the season and has lasted only 15.1 innings in his past three and allowed 10 runs and 22 hits. The Yankees' Didi Gregorius is 8-for-16 off him with four doubles. New York's Luis Severino (3-2, 3.11) has allowed three or fewer runs in each of his past four starts. He comes off eight shutout innings in a win over the Royals. Severino's season debut was April 7 at Camden Yards and he gave up four runs over five innings in a no-decision. Manny Machado is 4-for-11 against him with three homers.
Key trends: The Yankees are 8-1 in their past nine road games vs. teams with a winning record. The under is 18-7-1 in the Orioles' past 26 Tuesday games.
Early lean: Yankees and under.
Nationals at Giants (-109, 7.5)
Second ESPN game as the Nats are out on a nine-game West Coast trip. They go with lefty Gio Gonzalez (3-1, 2.90) here. Washington has lost his past four. He lasted just 5.1 innings Thursday vs. Seattle in allowing two runs and walking four. He leads the NL with 32 walks but his ERA would still be a career-best. The Giants' Brandon Crawford is 3-for-13 off him with a homer. San Francisco's Jeff Samardzija (1-6, 4.50) did something rare last time out: walk a batter in a loss to the Cubs. It ended a streak of 154 straight batters without a free pass. He gave up three solo homers over seven innings in taking the loss. The Nationals' Daniel Murphy is 7-for-15 career against him with a homer and five RBIs. Ryan Zimmerman is 1-for-19 with seven strikeouts.
Key trends: The Giants are 4-12 in Samardzija's past 16 vs. teams with a winning record. The under is 9-1-1 in his previous 11 at home.
The handicappers at Doc's Sports are offering $60 worth of member's baseball picks absolutely free - no obligation, no sales people - Sign up here for free baseball picks . Also, for a limited time only get three MLB handicappers for the price of one. Click here for details . Get free baseball picks today 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: 8/23/2017, Opening Line Report
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/22/2017, Opening Line Report
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/19/2017, Opening Line Report
- MLB Betting Trends: Totals Report for Hot Over and Under Baseball Teams
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/18/2017, Opening Line Report
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/17/2017, Opening Line Report
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/16/2017, Opening Line Report
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/15/2017, Opening Line Report
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/12/2017, Opening Line Report
- Five to Follow Expert MLB Betting Picks: 8/11/2017, Opening Line Report