I was one of those who believed that the Arizona Diamondbacks would be one of the top bounce-back candidates in the National League this season and that they might contend for a wild-card spot - I presumed the Dodgers would win the NL West and still do. Part of my belief in the Snakes was because Shelby Miller would rebound from a horrific first season in the desert. And for the most part Miller has with a 2-2 record and 4.09. Not great by any means, but much better than 2016 and his velocity was up. However, Miller left his start against the Dodgers in the fifth inning Sunday due to elbow discomfort and has landed on the DL for the first time in his career. You could tell something was wrong because Miller was going well Sunday but then suddenly lost control and walked Brandon McCarthy (pitcher) and Joc Pederson on 10 pitches. After serving up a double to Corey Seager, Miller badly missed with the first pitch to Justin Turner, prompting the trainer to come out and that was that. Forearm issues often lead to Tommy John surgery. The Snakes haven't revealed much yet, only that Miller is getting a second opinion. That's not a good sign.
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Royals at White Sox ( -135, 8 )
A 2:10 p.m. ET first pitch on the North Side of Chicago. The Sox need better from lefty ace Jose Quintana (0-4, 6.17) if they want to get a haul of prospects for him in trade this year. He does come off a quality start, allowing three runs and five hits over six innings vs. the Indians. Quintana has lost five consecutive starts dating back to 2016, marking the longest losing streak of his career. The White Sox have totaled just five runs in his four this year. Quintana was 0-3 with a 4.91 ERA in four starts in 2016 vs. the Royals. Eric Hosmer is just a .177 hitter off him in 62 at-bats. Mike Moustakas hits .308 with three homers in 39 at-bats. Kansas City's Nathan Karns (0-1, 6.35) was roughed up for six runs and four homers over 4.2 innings in a loss at Texas last time out. He didn't face the White Sox in 2016 while with Seattle. Avisail Garcia is 2-for-8 career against him with two homers.
Key trends: The White Sox are 1-10 in Quintana's past 11 at home vs. the Royals. The Royals are 2-7 in their past nine on Wednesday. The "over/under" is 5-2 in Quintana's past seven at home.
Early lean: White Sox and over.
Yankees at Red Sox (-173, 7.5)
It's Yankees-Red Sox, so of course it's on ESPN. Good pitching matchup (although if there's a rainout Tuesday these guys could get pushed back). Red Sox lefty Chris Sale gets his first taste of this rivalry up close. Sale (1-1, 0.91) has had three straight starts of at least 10 strikeouts but was robbed of a win last time out despite throwing eight shutout innings in Toronto when closer Craig Kimbrel allowed a game-tying run in the ninth. Sale was at 102 pitches, so the Sox weren't going to let him finish. Sale had a complete-game last year vs. the Yankees in his lone outing against them, allowing one run. Chase Headley is a rare Yankee who hits him, going 5-for-13 with two homers. New York's Masahiro Tanaka (2-1, 6.00) was a bit shaky in his first two outings but dominated the White Sox last Wednesday in allowing one run in seven innings. He was 1-0 with a 1.83 ERA in three 2016 starts vs. Boston. Mookie Betts is just 3-for-18 off him.
Key trends: The Yankees are 7-0 in their past seven vs. a southpaw. The over is 4-1 in Tanaka's past five in Boston.
Early lean: Red Sox and under.
Braves at Mets (-186, 6.5)
I don't know what the record is for the highest difference in velocity between two starting pitchers in one game, but I'd be willing to guess Wednesday's matchup in Queens is right up there. It's ace Noah Syndergaard for the Mets, and he leads all big-league starters in average pitch speed at 97.9 mph. I can't even guess how fast R.A. Dickey can throw a fastball these days at age 42; he generally relies on his knuckleball, and that's probably in the 60 mph range. Syndergaard (1-1, 1.73) comes off his worst start of the season, and it was still quite good, allowing three earned and striking out 10 over seven innings vs. the Phillies. He started Opening Day vs. the Braves and shut them out on five hits over six innings. Freddie Freeman hits him well, going 5-for-9 with a homer and four RBIs. Dickey (1-2, 3.86) has been pretty solid and comes off a quality start vs. the Nats, allowing three earned in seven innings. When Dickey was traded to the Blue Jays in December 2012, one of the prospects the Mets got back was Syndergaard. That trade was highway robbery for New York.
Key trends: The Mets are 5-1 in Syndergaard's past six on Wednesday. The over is 6-1 in his past seven vs. teams with a losing record.
Early lean: Mets and over.
Blue Jays at Cardinals (-182, 8)
Again, no DH for Toronto in this interleague game. The Jays are hard up for starting pitchers right now with Aaron Sanchez and J.A. Happ on the disabled list, so they give a second outing to journeyman right-hander Mat Latos. He signed a minor-league contract this spring and opened the year in Triple-A but was called up last week to pitch Friday in Anaheim. Latos allowed four runs in five innings in a no-decision. The Cardinals go with Carlos Martinez (0-3, 4.76). I thought this guy was ready to have a Cy Young-caliber season, especially after he blanked the Cubs on six hits with 10 strikeouts on Opening Night. However, Martinez hasn't lasted more than 5.1 innings in three starts since, all losses. Just a few Jays have seen him. Kendrys Morales, the usual DH who might not play, is 3-for-3 off him.
Key trends: The Cardinals are 1-6 in Martinez's past seven interleague starts. The under is 7-1-2 in his past 10 overall.
Early lean: Cardinals and over.
Dodgers at Giants (-125, 7)
With Madison Bumgarner out, the Giants need Johnny Cueto to really pick it up because guys like Jeff Samardzija and Matt Moore have disappointed. Cueto (3-1, 5.25) has had two quality starts but also two below-average ones. He comes off allowing six runs and eight hits in five innings in Colorado. Trevor Story hit the first grand slam ever off Cueto. In his career, he owns a 5-6 record and 2.74 ERA against the Dodgers. Turner is 7-for-21 off him with three extra-base hits. Adrian Gonzalez is 7-for-27 with a homer. As expected, L.A. has put Pederson on the 10-day DL. Dodgers lefty Alex Wood (1-0, 3.29) has been shuffled between the rotation and bullpen this season because of injury to Rich Hill. Wood was roughed up for four runs and seven hits Friday in Arizona. He was 0-1 with a 6.43 ERA in three appearances a year ago vs. the Giants. Brandon Crawford is 3-for-6 off him with a homer.
Key trends: The Dodgers are 0-5 in Wood's past five. The Giants are 4-1 in Cueto's past five at home. The under is 4-0 in Cueto's past four vs. the Dodgers.
Early lean : Giants and under.
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