Daily Expert MLB Picks: Tuesday, June 19, 2018, Opening Line Report
Want to see the face of Giants manager Bruce Bochy get bright red with anger? Not sure why you would, but if so just say the following: "fractured fifth metacarpal." That was the injury suffered by ace Madison Bumgarner in his final spring training start, and MadBum didn't return to action in the majors until June 5. Now, the same injury has hit third baseman and offseason trade acquisition Evan Longoria. He was hit by a pitch on the left hand (Bumgarner was hit by a line drive on the left hand) Thursday by the Marlins' Dan Straily. Needless to say, Longoria will miss a while, although reports are the X-rays showed it wasn't as bad as Bumgarner's. Still, it's likely to cost Longoria 6-8 weeks because he has opted to have surgery this Tuesday. Longoria isn't quite the player he was in his heyday with Tampa Bay but was hitting .246 with 10 homers and 34 RBIs. The good news is that first baseman Brandon Belt returned from an emergency appendectomy over the weekend. Pablo Sandoval had been playing first, so Kung Fu Panda now slides back to his normal position of third. Alec Hanson also could get some time there.
Mariners at Yankees ( -150, 9 )
One of the series of the week as Seattle leads the majors in wins since May 8 and the Yankees lead MLB in home victories and have dropped just one of their past 18 series there dating to last season. It's the start of a tough 10-game trip for the M's as they then go to Boston and Baltimore. They catch a break here because New York was supposed to also be off Monday but instead had to resume a suspended game in Washington and then play another full makeup game. So, that could leave the Yankees' bullpen really thin Tuesday. It's lefty Marco Gonzales (7-3, 3.42) for Seattle, and he's finally showing whey he was once a touted prospect with the Cardinals; Seattle acquired him last year and has won his past six trips to the mound. He has a 1.41 ERA over that stretch but has never faced the Yankees. New York rookie Domingo German (1-4, 5.23) probably loses his rotation spot whenever the Yankees trade for a starting pitcher, and that's going to happen. German beat the Rays last time out for his first big-league win and struck out a career-high 10. He hasn't faced Seattle.
Key trends: The Mariners are 7-1 in their past eight series openers. The Yanks are 14-3 in their past 17 at home vs. a lefty. The "over/under" is 6-1 in Gonzales' past seven vs. teams with a winning record.
Early lean: Mariners and over.
Red Sox at Twins (+151, 7.5)
It's the Fort Myers Bowl! Both these teams train in that city on the Gulf Coast of the Sunshine State. The Twins stunningly sent 2017 All-Star third baseman Miguel Sano all the way down to Class A late last week because he was struggling so badly. Sano, who looks pretty out of shape, hit .264 with 28 homers and 77 RBIs last year but just .203 with seven homers in 2018. It's Boston ace lefty Chris Sale (6-4, 2.75). He ended a rare three-game losing streak by allowing one run and two hits in Baltimore on Wednesday. Sale was actually ejected while leaving the game. Eddie Rosario, likely the Twins' All-Star this year, is 5-for-10 off Sale. Minnesota's Jose Berrios (7-5, 3.51) comes off a no-decision in Detroit (6 IP, 1 ER) and has a 2.47 ERA over his past six starts. Boston's Mitch Moreland is 2-for-3 off him with a homer.
Key trends: The Sox are 10-1 in Sale's past 11 road starts vs teams with a losing record. The Twins are 14-2 in Berrios' past 16 at home. The under is 8-1 in Minnesota's past nine vs. a lefty.
Early lean: Twins on runline and under.
A's at Padres (-109, 8)
Oakland has lost third baseman Matt Chapman to the 10-day DL with right hand soreness. An MRI showed no structural damage, but he was to undergo further evaluation on Monday. He claims to have been playing through the pain since the spring, so that's worrisome. Chapman is hitting .250 with 10 homers and 26 RBIs. One less worry for San Diego's Eric Lauer (3-4, 6.20). The lefty beat the Cardinals in his most recent start, surrendering two runs over 5.2 innings. It's the rookie's first look at Oakland, which loses the DH. Oakland's Paul Blackburn (1-1, 11.05) makes his third start of the year. His first was very good in a win over the Royals and his last was terrible (1.1 IP, 8 ER) in a loss to Houston. He hasn't seen the Padres.
Key trends: The A's are 2-6 in their past eight series openers. The Padres are 6-1 in their past seven following a loss. The over is 6-1 in San Diego's previous seven at home.
Early lean: Padres and over.
Dodgers at Cubs (-129, TBA)
L.A. is starting to get healthy in its rotation and welcomes back lefty Rich Hill (1-2, 6.20) from the disabled list for this one. He had yet another recurrence of a blister problem and last pitched in the majors on May 19. Hill (finger) threw 4.2 innings for Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Thursday, striking out 10 batters while allowing two unearned runs on four hits. At this point, it would be an upset if Hill didn't land back on the disabled list at some point this summer. He faced the Cubs in Game 2 of last year's NLCS and allowed one run over five with eight Ks in a no-decision. Cubs lefty Mike Montgomery (2-2, 3.31) continues to make a case to stay in the rotation. He allowed a run over six innings last time out in Milwaukee but was a tough-luck loser. Montgomery has allowed one run over six in three straight starts.
Key trends: The Dodgers are 5-1 in Hill's past six road starts vs. teams with a winning record. The Cubs have won five straight vs. a lefty. The over is 6-0 in Hill's previous six.
Early lean: Cubs on runline.
Marlins at Giants (-150, 7.5)
I never played organized baseball above the high school level, so I'm not sure of the "unwritten" rules of the game in the majors. Do the Giants feel the need to plunk Straily (2-2, 4.23) here even though he clearly wasn't headhunting Longoria or anything? The fact Longoria was hurt seriously might be enough for Straily to expect a pitch on his rear end or something. He took a no-decision in last Thursday's game vs. San Francisco, allowing three runs over five. Miami has lost his past four trips to the mound. Just like Thursday, rookie Dereck Rodriguez (1-1, 4.34), son of Hall of Famer Pudge Rodriguez, will be opposite Straily. Dereck Rodriguez allowed two runs over 6.2 innings, the longest outing of his brief career, but also took a no-decision Thursday. The Marlins won the game 6-3 in 16 innings.
Key trends: The Marlins are 0-4 in Straily's past four. The Giants have won six straight at home vs. right-handers. The over is 16-6-2 in Straily's past 24.
Early lean: Giants and over.
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