Washington's Stephen Strasburg was a much-hyped No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 MLB Draft and has pitched in the majors since 2010. In 167 regular-season starts, he's 76-42 with a 3.15 ERA and 1,165 strikeouts in 998.2 innings. The Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw was the No. 7 overall pick in the 2006 draft and has pitched in the majors since 2009. In 277 regular-season appearances (275 starts), he's 133-62 with a 2.36 ERA and 2010 strikeouts in 1,843 innings. He might go down as the greatest regular-season pitcher ever when it's all said and done with three Cy Young Awards and probably more to come. Somehow those two have never started against one another in the big leagues. That all changes Wednesday afternoon from Dodger Stadium. They were supposed to face each other last June, but Strasburg would be scratched with an upper-back strain. It would have been just the second matchup in baseball history between pitchers with double-digit victories and fewer than two defeats. In 1900, the Dodgers' Joe McGinnity and the Phillies' Bill Bernhard met when each pitcher had a 12-1 record. Neither has double-digit wins yet in 2017, but it's still must-see TV Wednesday. It better not rain in L.A.!
Free $60 in Member MLB Picks No Obligation Click Here
Nationals at Dodgers ( -160, 7 )
A 3:10 p.m. ET first pitch on the MLB Network (out of market only). Washington hasn't lost a start by Strasburg (7-1, 2.91) since April 29 vs. the Mets. He beat the A's on Friday in allowing two runs and four hits over seven innings with seven strikeouts. Strasburg is 1-0 with a 1.71 ERA in four career starts against the Dodgers, striking out 25 in 26⅓ innings. Adrian Gonzalez is 6-for-12 off him with two doubles and two RBIs. Kershaw (7-2, 2.28) overwhelmed the Brewers in Milwaukee on Friday in allowing one run and two hits over seven with a season-high 14 strikeouts. At one point he retired 20 straight batters before giving up a solo home run to Domingo Santana.Kershaw hit the 2,000-strikeout mark in 277 games, second-fastest to reach that plateau in Major League Baseball history. Hall of Famer Randy Johnson did it in 262 games. It took Nolan Ryan 287. Kershaw was the main reason the Dodgers beat the Nats in last year's NLDS as he won Game 1, took a no-decision in Game 4 and came back to get his first career save in Game 5 - his first relief appearance in seven years.
Key trends: The Dodgers are 6-0 in Kershaw's past six at home vs. the Nats. The "over/under" has gone under in five of those. The Nationals are 1-4 in Strasburg's past five vs. the Dodgers.
Early lean: Nationals and under - Kershaw has to lose once in a while.
Indians at Rockies (-109, 11.5)
Again no DH for the Tribe in this 3:10 p.m. ET matchup as the teams wrap up a quick two-game interleague series. This was to be Corey Kluber's turn in the rotation for Cleveland, but the team doesn't want him hitting and risk injury after he just came off the DL. So the turn will go to Trevor Bauer (5-4, 5.83). He started Sunday in Kansas City but lasted only 1.2 innings before the rains came. Bauer had won three of his last four starts before Sunday, averaging nine strikeouts per start. The Rockies' DJ LeMahieu is 2-for-2 career off him with a double. Colorado's German Marquez (4-3, 4.53) was knocked around for six runs and eight hits over five innings Friday in a loss in San Diego. The Rox had won his previous four. Marquez has never faced a member of the Indians.
Key trends: The Rockies are 4-1 in Marquez's past five. The under is 4-1 in his past five vs. teams with a winning record.
Early lean: Rockies and over.
White Sox at Rays (TBA)
The Pale Hose might have found a trade chip in Mike Pelfrey, who was signed off the scrap heap on the eve of the season after being released by the Tigers. He looked done last year at 4-10 with a 5.07 ERA but is 2-4 with a solid 3.86 ERA this year. He shut out Boston over five innings last time out but took a no-decision. Pelfrey has reached the sixth inning just once. Tampa's Evan Longoria is 4-for-11 off him with a dinger. Colby Rasmus is 4-for-12 with a homer. Tampa's Jake Odorizzi (3-3, 3.53) lasted a season-low 2.1 innings Friday in a loss to Seattle, giving up eight runs (three earned) and walking three. He also allowed a homer (grand slam) for the seventh straight start. Melky Cabrera has faced him more than any White Sox, going 3-for-12 with a double.
Key trends: The Rays are 5-0 in Odorizzi's past five on Wednesday. The under is 5-1 in his past six at home.
Early lean: Tampa hasn't officially announced Odorizzi yet. I like the Rays regardless in this matchup.
New York adds the DH for this one. They were hoping to get back Yoenis Cespedes from the DL for this series, but that's apparently not happening. It's Zack Wheeler (3-3, 3.72) on the bump. He gave up a season-high 10 hits over 6.1 innings as well as two runs in a home loss to the Brewers last Thursday. Since the start of May, Wheeler owns a 2.76 ERA but he has won just two of those five starts because of a lack of run production. The Rangers' Adrian Beltre, Jonathan Lucroy and Rougned Odor are all 0-for-3 against him. Rangers ace Yu Darvish (5-4, 3.13) lost a second straight start Friday vs. Houston in allowing three runs over five innings. Darvish is 0-4 with a 4.47 ERA in his last eight starts against the Astros since late in the 2013 season. This is his second career start against the Mets and first since 2014, but he is 8-2 with a 2.19 ERA in 14 career Interleague starts. Asdrubal Cabrera is 5-for-10 against him with a homer.
Key trends: The Mets are 1-5 in Wheeler's past six following a quality start in his last appearance. The Rangers are 4-1 in Darvish's past five interleague starts. The under is 9-2 in his previous 11 vs. the NL.
Early lean: Rangers and under.
Astros at Royals (+152, 8)
Another great pitching matchup here. Houston lefty Dallas Keuchel (9-0, 1.67) leads the American League in several pitching categories and is the first Astros pitcher to start a season 9-0 since Roger Clemens in 2004. He shut out the Rangers last time out over six innings and gave up only three hits. The only game Houston has lost this year with Keuchel on the mound was April 8 when Keuchel took a no-decision (7 IP, 1 ER) vs. the Royals. Perhaps K.C.'s Chelsor Cuthbert gets a spot start here as he's 5-for-9 off Keuchel with two homers. Salvador Perez is 2-for-18. The Royals' Jason Vargas (7-3, 2.08) probably will be traded by the July 31 deadline if he continues to pitch well. He threw a complete-game seven-hitter last time out vs. the Indians. It was Vargas' first complete game and first shutout since Aug. 13, 2014. He won in Houston on April 7 (6 IP, 1 ER). Carlos Beltran is 6-for-12 off him with a dinger.
Key trends: The Astros are 7-1 in Keuchel's past seven on the road. The Royals are 11-2 in Vargas' past 13 at home. The under is 9-1 in his past 10 there.
Early lean: Royals on runline and under (why is this total 8!?).
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
- 2017 World Series Predictions
- 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