Daily Expert MLB Picks: Wednesday, July 11, 2018, Opening Line Report
I'm not going to go too much into which players were obvious snubs on the All-Star rosters announced on Sunday - although it's criminal that Tampa Bay's Blake Snell isn't on the AL team as of now. I say this because guys are going to pull out injured or because they pitched on Sunday, etc. There's usually a handful each year. The Final Vote contest ends Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET where fans can vote for the final player on both the AL & NL rosters. For the AL, the candidates are the Red Sox's Andrew Benintendi, Twins' Eddie Rosario, Mariners' Jean Segura, Angels' Andrelton Simmons and Yankees' Giancarlo Stanton. Segura probably deserves it the most, although Rosario is quietly having a huge season. In the NL, the options are the Brewers' Jesus Aguilar, Giants' Brandon Belt, Cardinals' Matt Carpenter, Dodgers' Max Munch and Nationals' Trea Turner. Aguilar absolutely deserves to go. I haven't seen a Doc's-affiliated sportsbook have a prop on the winner in each league but it wouldn't surprise me if one is posted. I'd imagine the winners are Stanton and Muncy simply because they play for such popular teams.
Royals at Twins ( -214, 9.5 )
ESPN+ game at 1 p.m. ET. Not sure why it took this long, but Royals manager Ned Yost has finally put awful Jason Hammel out of his mercy by demoting him to the bullpen. Hammel is 2-11 with a 6.16 ERA and leads all starters in losses, hits allowed (134), and earned runs allowed (70). And he's making $8 million this year. Ridiculous. Wednesday was Hammel's turn but it will be Burch Smith (0-0, 5.40), who was acquired from the Mets over the winter. He has made 24 appearances this year, all in relief. The 28-year-old's only other season in the majors was 2013 with San Diego, and he was a gas can then. Minnesota's Lance Lynn (6-7, 5.21) had a rare good start last time out, allowing one run over six in beating Baltimore. He won in Kansas City on May 28 (6 IP, 2 ER). Mike Moustakas is 4-for-13 off him with two homers.
Key trends: The Twins are 4-1 in Lynn's past five at home. The "over/under" is 5-2 in his past seven on four days of rest.
Early lean: Twins on runline and over.
Rangers at Red Sox (-318, 8.5)
ESPN prime-time game. Red Sox lefty Chris Sale is an All-Star for the seventh straight season, tying Mike Trout for the longest run in the American League. Sale (9-4, 2.36) won in Kansas City on Friday, allowing one run over six and striking out 12 - his fourth straight game with at least 11. Sale has a 3.12 career ERA against the Rangers in 13 appearances (nine starts). He won in Arlington on May 6 (7 IP, 1 ER). Shin-Soo Choo can't hit him at all, going 2-for-26 with 12 Ks. Ageless Rangers right-hander Bartolo Colon (5-6, 4.65) went a season-high eight Friday in Detroit but took the loss in allowing three runs. He remains a win shy of becoming the winningest pitcher in big-league history from Latin America. Colon lost to Boston on May 4 (7 IP, 4 ER). JD Martinez is 4-for-14 off him with two homers.
Key trends: The Rangers are 1-4 in Colon's past five on the road. The Sox are 13-5 in Sale's past 18 vs. teams with a losing record. The under is 7-3 in Sale's previous 10 vs. teams with a losing record.
Early lean: Red Sox on runline and under.
Phillies at Mets (-149, 7)
Could this be the final start in a Mets uniform for Jacob deGrom? I rather doubt it, but it's possible the former NL Rookie of the Year could be dealt during the All-Star break. The Yankees covet him, but good luck getting the Mets to trade with the Bombers. DeGrom (5-4, 1.79) allowed one run and four hits over eight Friday vs. Tampa Bay but had to settle for a no-decision. He has just one victory in his past nine. DeGrom has thrown one scoreless inning this year vs. the Phillies. That inning was 45 pitches and he was just off the DL so the Mets exercised caution. Philly's Vince Velasquez (5-8, 4.69) is expected to be activated off the DL. He suffered a right forearm contusion on a comebacker vs. Washington on June 30. Velasquez hasn't faced the Mets this year. Michael Conforto is 4-for-7 off him with two homers.
Key trends: The Mets are 10-2 in deGrom's past 12 vs. the Phillies. The Phils are 1-4 in Velasquez's previous vs. vs. New York. The under is 6-0-1 in deGrom's past seven vs. the NL East.
Early lean: Mets and under.
Diamondbacks at Rockies (-140, 12)
So much for Arizona's Shelby Miller potentially returning to his 2012-15 form off Tommy John surgery. Miller (0-3, 9.00) has made three starts since his return from that and has allowed at least five earned in each of them and not lasted six innings yet. It's his first look this year at Colorado. DJ LeMahieu hits .421 off him in 19 at-bats. Carlos Gonzalez is 7-for-18 with three doubles and a homer. Colorado's German Marquez (7-8, 4.92) dominated the Mariners on Friday, allowing one run with 11 strikeouts over six innings. He's 0-1 with a 5.00 ERA in two starts this year against Arizona. Paul Goldschmidt is 8-for-15 off him with three homers and six RBIs.
Key trends: The Diamondbacks are 2-10 in Miller's past 12 vs. teams with a winning record. The over is 3-0-1 in his past four vs. Colorado. The Rockies are 1-4 in Marquez's past five against Arizona.
Early lean: Rockies and over.
Dodgers at Padres (+147, 8)
The Dodgers have placed outfielder Yasiel Puig on the disabled list with a right oblique strain. Puig was hurt Sunday and those types of injuries almost always require at least a couple of weeks on the sideline. Puig is having a solid season, batting .265 with 11 homers, 35 RBIs and seven steals. L.A. is deep in outfielders, though. They start Kenta Maeda (5-5, 3.24). He took a no-decision on Friday at the Angels, allowing one run over 5.2 innings with nine strikeouts. Maeda is 1-0 with a 5.91 ERA in two starts this year against the Friars. San Diego rookie lefty Joey Lucchesi (4-4, 3.27) has allowed just two earned runs over his past three starts combined. He lost at home to the Dodgers on May 4 (5 IP, 3 ER). Enrique Hernandez is 2-for-3 with a homer against him.
Key trends: The Dodgers are 3-7 in Maeda's past 10 vs. the NL West. The Friars are 2-5 in Lucchesi's past seven vs. teams with a winning record. The over is 4-0-3 in Maeda's past seven in San Diego.
Early lean: Padres and under.
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