Daily Expert MLB Picks: Friday, Aug. 3, 2018, Opening Line Report
Not the best Tuesday (or season) to be a Mets fan. First, they were given F grades by just about every expert I read regarding Tuesday's trade deadline because the team essentially stood pat with this garbage bunch (outside of the rotation). Sure, they had previously traded Jeurys Familia and Asdrubal Cabrera but got little for them. On Tuesday night, the Mets went out and suffered the worst loss in franchise history, 25-4, in Washington (it was 19-0 after five). It was the largest loss by any MLB team since 2009. The New York starting pitcher in that game and a guy who could have brought a nice prospect haul in return was lefty Steven Matz. Now his season could be over and he might be looking at eventual Tommy John surgery. Matz experienced tightness in his left forearm during his outing, in which he allowed seven runs on eight hits and a walk while failing to make it through the bottom of the first inning. Forearm strains often end in TJS, although the Mets say Matz has no structural damage. No reason to throw Matz out there again in 2018, right? The Mets need a complete overhaul this offseason, but their cheap ownership (seriously, MLB needs to step in) probably won't let it happen.
Padres at Cubs ( -210, TBA )
Per usual, when the Cubbies are home on a Friday, it's a 2:20 p.m. ET matinee on the MLB Network. San Diego for some reason held on to free-agent-to-be Tyson Ross (6-8, 4.41) ahead of Tuesday's deadline. He could be fading, though, as Ross pitched at least six innings in 13 of his starts before the All-Star break but hasn't gone more than five in his two since. The Cubs' Jason Heyward is 3-for-5 with a double and triple career off him. Chicago left-hander Jose Quintana (9-7, 4.26) looked like he had figured things out with three straight quality starts but regressed on Saturday, lasting just three innings in St. Louis and surrendering six runs. Quintana needed 51 pitches just to get through one inning. The only Padre with much history against him is Eric Hosmer, and he hits only .191 off Quintana with 14 Ks in 68 at-bats.
Key trends: The Padres have won six straight Ross starts on Friday. The Cubs are 1-4 in Quintana's past five on the day. The "over/under" has gone under in nine of Ross' past 12 on the road.
Early lean: Padres on runline.
Yankees at Red Sox (+122, 8.5)
MLB Network prime-time game (shocker). New York's Luis Severino has lost his role as the Cy Young favorite. Severino (14-4, 2.94) has failed to go more than five innings in four straight starts and has been rocked for 12 runs and 19 hits in his past two. His ERA before this stretch was an AL-best 1.98. Now he's barely in the Top 10. Severino is 1-1 with a 3.57 ERA in three starts this year vs. Boston. Andrew Benintendi hits him hard, going 10-for-22 with two homers and 10 RBIs. Xander Bogaerts is only 2-for-21 off him. Boston's Rick Porcello (13-4, 4.03) beat the Twins on Saturday despite allowing four runs in only 5.2 innings. He is 1-0 with a 3.65 ERA in two starts vs. NYY this year. Brett Gardner is a career .308 hitter off him in 52 at-bats.
Key trends: The Yanks are 5-2 in Severino's past seven vs. Boston. The over is 4-1 in his previous five against them. The over is 5-1-1 in Porcello's previous seven at home.
Early lean: Red Sox and over.
Astros at Dodgers (+103, 7.5)
Arguably the series of the year. Of course, the last time Houston played at the Dodgers, it won the franchise's first World Series title with a 5-1 victory in Game 7 last year. Most sportsbooks have the Astros and Dodgers as pennant favorites to meet again. Not quite the same here with Houston missing Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa and L.A. without Corey Seager (done for year). It's Justin Verlander (10-6, 2.24) for the Astros; he lost one start and took a ND in the other vs. L.A. in the World Series. He has cooled off a bit of late and lasted only five Saturday in a loss to Texas. New Dodger Brian Dozier is 6-for-30 off him with eight Ks. L.A. lefty Alex Wood (7-5, 3.68) hasn't personally lost since June 9. No Astros batter has more than four regular-season at-bats against him.
Key trends: The Astros are 5-1 in Verlander's past six on the road. The Dodgers have won 17 of their past 21 series openers. The under is 7-2 in Verlander's past nine vs. teams with a winning record.
Early lean: Dodgers and under.
Tigers at A's (-170, 9)
Absolutely stunned that lefty Francisco Liriano and closer Shane Greene are still with the Tigers - seriously, there's just no logical explanation for keeping either. It benefits Detroit to lose as much as possible, and Liriano is a free agent this winter. Would the Tigers have gotten much of anything? No, but take a flier on some low-level guy and save a few dollars. Liriano was originally scheduled here but has been pushed back (waiver trade in works?), and it's lefty Blaine Hardy (4-3, 3.61). He had been in the bullpen off and on but makes a third straight start and 10 th overall of 2018. He has a 4.10 ERA as a starter. It's oft-injured A's lefty Brett Anderson (2-3, 5.55). He lost in Colorado last time out, allowing four runs over six innings. At least he has completed six innings in back-to-back starts after throwing five or fewer in each of his previous five. Detroit's Victor Martinez is 4-for-8 off him.
Key trends: The Tigers are 1-6 in their past seven after an off day. The A's are 8-1 in Anderson's past nine vs. teams with a losing record. The over is 5-2 in Oakland's previous seven against teams with a losing record.
Early lean: A's and over.
Blue Jays at Mariners (-168, 8.5)
One of the AL's breakout stars this year has been Seattle lefty Marco Gonzales (12-5, 3.37). He won a fifth straight start Sunday, allowing two over six in Anaheim. The 26-year-old hasn't allowed more than two earned in that stretch. If the AL gave out a Most Improved Award, Gonzales would be a favorite. He missed the Jays earlier this year so no active Toronto player has seen him. It's Blue Jays rookie Ryan Borucki (0-2, 2.83). The 24-year-old has been promising with five of his six big-league starts being quality. He went six and allowed two runs Sunday at the White Sox. No Mariners have seen him.
Key trends: The Mariners have won six straight Gonzales starts at home. The under is 11-3 in his previous 14 overall.
Early lean: Mariners and under.
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