Daily Expert MLB Picks: Tuesday, July 10, 2018, Opening Line Report
You will want to pay close attention to the starting pitchers around baseball on Tuesday. Why? Because on usual four days of rest, they would start again Sunday. And pitchers who start the Sunday before the All-Star Game -- which is next Tuesday in Washington, D.C. - are ineligible to pitch in that game. Thus, Houston's Justin Verlander will not be the American League starter as he might have been (has already been replaced on All-Star roster). Two other potential All-Stars, the Cardinals' Miles Mikolas (it would be a shame if that guy couldn't pitch in the Midsummer Classic with his career turnaround; maybe his game Tuesday in Chicago gets rained out), and Indians' Trevor Bauer, also are scheduled for Tuesday. I think those would be the only three guys affected Tuesday. Maybe Oakland's Sean Manaea. It doesn't matter if someone were to pitch in relief on Sunday as they would still be eligible to pitch in the ASG - although they are allowed to opt out if so.
Reds at Indians ( -230, 9 )
Cincinnati adds the DH for this interleague matchup. It's Sal Romano (5-8, 5.40) for Cincinnati. He beat the White Sox last time out, allowing four runs and six hits over five innings. The Reds have won four of his last five starts by averaging 6.2 runs in them. It's Romano's first career look at Cleveland. Monitor the status of Tribe second baseman Jason Kipnis as he's dealing with some hamstring tightness. The Indians' Bauer (8-6, 2.45) is Top 5 in the AL in innings, strikeouts and ERA and has taken Verlander's AL roster spot. Bauer threw a sixth straight quality start last Wednesday, allowing two runs over 7.2 innings of a win in Kansas City. The Reds' Joey Votto is 3-for-8 off him with a homer. Eugenio Suarez is 1-for-10 with four strikeouts.
Key trends: The Indians are 6-1 in Bauer's past seven at home. The "over/under" has gone under in eight of Romano's past 10 on five days of rest. The under has hit in seven straight Bauer starts.
Early lean: Indians on runline and under.
Cardinals at White Sox (+165, 9.5)
St. Louis adds the DH. The White Sox could be without outfielder Avisail Garcia for a while after he left Sunday's game against Houston with right hamstring tightness. He missed around two months earlier this year with trouble in that same hammy. Garcia had been red hot, batting .414 this month with five homers. The Cards are hoping to get back catcher Yadier Molina on Tuesday. He has missed two straight starts with a sore right shoulder. Mikolas (9-3, 2.63) won in Arizona last Wednesday, surrendering two runs over six - he did walk a season-high four. He hadn't given out more than two free passes all year and no pitcher throws more strikes than he does. He has never faced the White Sox. Chicago's Dylan Covey (3-4, 5.54) has been roughed up for 14 runs over six innings in his past two outings and is probably one more bad outing away from being sent down or released. It's his first look at St. Louis.
Key trends: The Cards are 6-1 in Mikolas' past seven vs. teams with a losing record. The Sox are 1-5 in Covey's past six in a series opener. The over is 14-5 in Chicago's past 19 overall.
Early lean: Cardinals and over.
Brewers at Marlins (+133, 8)
Milwaukee activated Lorenzo Cain off the DL over the weekend but put fellow outfielder Ryan Braun on it. He's dealing with a back strain and missed six games in May with back issues. Braun is hitting .235 with 10 homers and 35 RBIs. The Brewers start Jhoulys Chacin (7-3, 3.63). He beat the Braves last Thursday, allowing two runs and three hits over seven. Chacin beat the Marlins on April 20, shutting them out on four hits over six. Martin Prado is 7-for-19 off him with a double. Miami rookie lefty Pablo Lopez (1-0, 5.73) makes his third career start. His first one was good against the Mets but his last wasn't in Washington - the game the Marlins blew a 9-0 lead and lost. Needless to say, he hasn't faced the Brewers.
Key trends: The Brewers are 5-2 in Chacin's past seven on the road vs. teams with a losing record. The under is 5-2 in his past seven on four days of rest.
Early lean: Brewers and under.
Royals at Twins (-175, 9.5)
Fox Sports 1 game. I bet that if I gave you five guesses as to which player had the longest consecutive games streak in the majors and that he was a member of one of these teams that you still wouldn't get it. Being honest, I wouldn't have, either. That was Kansas City shortstop Alcides Escobar, who sat Sunday to end his consecutive games played streak at 421. The last time he had sat out was Sept. 25, 2015, the night after the Royals had clinched the AL Central title. Escobar perhaps should have been benched sooner as he's hitting below the Mendoza Line. Kansas City starts Ian Kennedy (1-8, 5.11). He missed his last start with an oblique strain. The Royals last won one of his outings on May 4. Kennedy hasn't faced the Twins this year. Minnesota's Aaron Slegers (1-0, 2.38) beat the Orioles in his second outing of the season and first start last time out. He's essentially auditioning for the No. 5 spot in the rotation.
Key trends: The Royals are 2-5 in their past seven road games vs. teams with a losing record. The over is 13-3-2 in the past 18 meetings in Minnesota.
Early lean: Twins and over.
Cubs at Giants (+105, 7.5)
ESPN+ late game. San Francisco has lost second baseman Joe Panik back to the disabled list with a left groin strain. He missed more than a month earlier following surgery on his left thumb. Panik is hitting .240 with for homers in 54 games. The Cubs might activate third baseman Kris Bryant as soon as Monday off the DL; depends on whether the club wants him to get a few more at-bats in the minors to shake off the rust. He last played in the majors May 22. Chicago goes with lefty Jose Quintana (7-6, 4.22). He won for the first time since May 31 last time out, allowing two runs over six against Detroit. Quintana lost to the Giants on May 26 (4.1 IP, 4 ER). Buster Posey is 2-for-6 with a homer off him. San Francisco's Johnny Cueto (3-1, 1.95) returned from about six weeks on the DL Thursday and lost to the Cardinals, giving up five runs and 10 hits over five. He is 9-9 with a 3.35 ERA in 25 lifetime starts against the Cubs. Anthony Rizzo can't hit him much, going 4-for-28 with eight strikeouts.
Key trends: The Cubs are 2-5 in Quintana's past seven vs. the NL West. The Giants are 4-10 in their previous 14 vs. a lefty. The under is 11-4 in the Cubs' past 15.
Early lean: Giants and under.
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