Now that Texas Rangers third baseman and future Hall of Famer Adrian Beltre made his season debut Monday night off a serious calf injury, we can start the countdown for Beltre reaching 3,000 hits. After going 1-for-5 Monday vs. Tampa Bay, Beltre has 2,943 hits to tie for 33rd all-time with another pretty good third sacker, Frank Robinson. After Beltre reaches that magic number of 3,000 and Albert Pujols also does, probably early next season, it's going to be quite a while before another player gets to 3,000. Carlos Beltran is the next-highest active player with just short of 2,600 hits. I'm not sure he'll play long enough to reach 3,000. Miguel Cabrera is down around 2,555 and he may get there in a couple of years. After that, there won't be another player this decade. I'm not sure what the Rangers will do with slugger Joey Gallo as he has been manning third base. Gallo, a former top prospect, has mega-power but strikes out a ton. The team could stick him in left field with an occasional start at first base mixed in. Gallo has not worked out at either first base or in left field since spring training. He played first Monday.
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Brewers at Mets ( -172, 7.5 )
Milwaukee's Junior Guerra (0-0, 3.12) was the team's Opening Day starter but was injured (calf strain) on April 3 and didn't return until Friday vs. Arizona, where he allowed one run and three hits over 5.2 innings. This will be Guerra's first start of the season away from home. New York's Curtis Granderson is 1-for-1 with two walks against him. The Mets' Jacob deGrom (4-1, 3.23) has been terrific in his past two starts in allowing just one run and 10 hits with 19 strikeouts over 15.1 innings. The Mets won both easily. On Thursday vs. the Pirates, he became the first Mets starter to get an out in the eighth inning since last June, pitching 8 1/3 innings and giving up only a solo home run by Gregory Polanco. DeGrom added two hits. The Brewers' Jonathan Villar is 2-for-5 off him with a double.
Key trends: The Brewers are 9-2 in Guerra's past 11 road starts. The Mets are 1-6 in their past seven in Game 3 of a series. The "over/under" has gone under in five of Guerra's past seven on the road.
Early lean: Mets and under.
Dodgers at Cardinals (-131, 8)
ESPN game. The Cards placed second baseman Kolten Wong on the 10-day DL on Sunday and have sent outfielder Randal Grichuk all the down to Class A ball. He had been really scuffling of late and was down to a .222 average. But A ball? GM John Mozeliak said that he didn't want to send Grichuk down to Triple-A Memphis, which would have been the "simple thing" to do, because the team knows Grichuk can hit there. He hit .240 with 24 homers and 68 RBIs in the majors last year. The Dodgers need a fill-in starter for Alex Wood, who has been placed on the DL but might just miss one start. Wood, 26, is 6-0 this season with a 1.69 ERA in 10 appearances (eight starts). Lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu figures to replace him. Ryu (2-5, 4.28) pitched Thursday in relief vs. St. Louis and didn't allow a run over four innings. The Cards' Carlos Martinez (3-4, 3.32) missed the Dodgers last week. He pitched Friday in Colorado and gave up three runs over 7.1 innings. L.A.'s Adrian Gonzalez is 3-for-13 off him with a dinger.
Key trends: The Cardinals are 7-3 in their past 10 during Game 3 of a series. They are 1-4 in their past five at home vs. a lefty. The under is 8-2 in St. Louis' past 10 on Wednesday.
Early lean: Cards and under.
Red Sox at White Sox (+143, 9.5)
Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia won't play here. He left Monday's game against the White Sox with what is being called a sprained wrist for now. Pedroia was involved in a collision at first base with Jose Abreu of the White Sox. Pedroia stayed in the game at the time but was replaced by Josh Rutledge in the second inning. Pedroia flew back to Boston to get an MRI on that wrist. It's the third straight southpaw the White Sox will face in Drew Pomeranz (4-3, 4.70), who follows David Price and Chris Sale in this series. Pomeranz had one of his best starts as a Red Sox last Thursday in beating Texas by allowing two runs over six innings and striking out a season-high 11. This is his first career start at Guaranteed Rate Field. Chicago's Mike Pelfrey (2-4, 4.41) has won back-to-back starts and allowed one run in each spanning 11 innings. Boston's Mookie Betts is 4-for-9 off him with two doubles.
Key trends: The Red Sox are 1-5 In Pomeranz's past six on the road. The under is 8-2 in his past 10 away from home.
Early lean: Red Sox and over.
Rockies at Mariners (-148, 8)
Colorado adds the DH for this interleague matchup. It's probably too late for the Mariners to make any playoff noise this season, at least for sure in the division, but they get back the guy who has been their best pitcher this year in lefty James Paxton (3-0, 1.43). He has been out since early May with a forearm injury. Paxton has an excellent WHIP of 0.98 and opponents are batting just .190 off him in six starts this year. He threw four innings in a rehab outing Friday at Double-A Arkansas. Not many Rockies have faced him. Ian Desmond has the most, going 0-for-7 with three strikeouts. Colorado's Antonio Senzatela (7-1, 3.19) comes off the best start of his rookie season in throwing eight shutout innings at home vs. the Cardinals. He's just 22 and only five other pitchers to debut in the last 50 seasons (since 1968) have had at least 7 wins with 1-or-fewer losses in their first 10 major league starts, all before the age of 23: Mark Fidrych in 1976 (9-1), Marty Bystrom in 1980-1981 (7-1), Fernando Valenzuela in 1981 (8-1), Livan Hernandez in 1997 (7-0), and Dontrelle Willis in 2003 (8-1).Senzatela has never faced Seattle.
Key trends: The Rockies are 4-1 in Senzatela's past 10 vs. teams with a losing record. The over is 6-1 in his past seven.
Early lean: Rockies and under.
Nationals at Giants (+169, 7.5)
I'm assuming Washington's Bryce Harper will play here -- he's going to be suspended, as will Giants pitcher Hunter Strickland, for their fight on Monday, but the process takes a while and both could appeal any suspension. It's a matchup of guys who have thrown a no-hitter in their careers in Washington's Max Scherzer and San Francisco's Matt Cain, who actually had a perfect game in 2012. Scherzer (5-3, 2.77) leads the NL with 89 strikeouts and whiffed a season-high 13 last time out in a win over San Diego. He allowed one run and three hits over 8.2 innings. Scherzer was pulled one out from a complete game because the bases were loaded. The Giants' Brandon Crawford is 2-for-6 off him with a homer. Cain (3-3, 4.45) has been bombed a few times this year but otherwise has been quite good. He has received one run or fewer of support in six of his 10 starts this season. Cain clearly likes pitching at AT&T Park as he's 3-1 with a 1.21 ERA there this year. The Nats' Jayson Werth is 5-for-10 against him with a homer.
Key trends: The Nats are 0-4 in their past four vs. a right-hander. The Giants are 8-3 in Cain's past 11 vs. teams with a winning record. The over is 5-1 in Cain's past six.
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