A new week gets started with 11 games on the schedule, including Clayton Kershaw taking on a Mets franchise that he has dominated his entire career. Get analysis on all of today's games as well as tips on weather, umpires, and other betting trends with our daily MLB Line Drive.
New York Mets at Los Angeles Dodgers (-300, 7)
The New York Mets are headed west and will open a tough four-game series in Los Angeles against the Dodgers on Monday night. The Mets are coming off losing three-of-four to the Washington Nationals while the Dodgers are fresh off a three-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds and have won nine of their last 10 games overall.
The Mets will send Zack Wheeler to the mound and he hasn't been great this season. In his last start, at home against the Chicago Cubs, Wheeler was lit up by a struggling Cubs' offense to the tune of eight earned runs over 1.2 innings of work. I'm sure the Dodgers have seen the tape of that start and will be looking to do similar things at the plate tonight.
The Dodgers will counter with Clayton Kershaw...he's pretty good. Kershaw is doing his usual dominant things in 2017 with a team win/loss record of 12-2, ERA of 2.23, and a WHIP of 0.92.
Kershaw gets the ball tonight against the National League team that he has dominated more than any other in his career. He has made 11 career starts against the Mets and he has held them to a team batting average of .181 and a team OPS of a ridiculous .477 - both numbers are Kershaw's lowest career stats against any other National League opponent.
The team win/loss results are the numbers that we are most interested in for the purpose of picking this game. In Kershaw's 11 career starts against the Mets he is 7-0 and the Dodgers own a team win/loss of 9-2 in those games. In those nine wins by the Dodgers they covered -1.5 each and every time.
Obviously, -300 is a ridiculous moneyline and we would never suggest you lay that sort of chalk - but if ever a game screams runline, this is the one.
Pick: Dodgers -1.5 (-140)
Detroit Tigers at Seattle Mariners (-135, 9.5)
Just like the Mets, the Detroit Tigers are headed west for a four-game series against a tough opponent. The Tigers' west coast trip will start a little further north in Seattle against the Mariners. Detroit is struggling as losers of the final two games at home against the Tampa Bay Rays and losers of seven of their last 10 games overall. The Mariners return home to Safeco Field after a tough seven-game road trip and it must be nice to be back in Seattle where they own a tidy 20-13 record this season.
Rookie starter Sam Gaviglio gets the ball for the Mariners and he's off to a great start to his career. The M's own a team win/loss of 5-1 in his six career starts, including 3-0 at home with a very impressive 1.12 ERA.
The real factor in this game that left us giddy with excitement is the return to the starting pitcher ranks of the Tigers' Anibal Sanchez. One of our favorite fades from last season has lost 18 of his last 24 starting assignments (most as favorites or slim underdogs) and will be making his 2017 starting pitching debut tonight in Seattle.
To be given this opportunity, Sanchez must be throwing really well out of the bullpen for the Tigers...wrong! In 11 relief appearances this season, Sanchez owns an ERA of 10.71, an opponent's on base percentage of .415, and a WHIP of 2.10. And his splits on the road are even worse at 13.94 ERA, .474 OBP, 2.61 WHIP.
We can't believe Sanchez is back!
Pick: Mariners -135
Yesterday's Picks: 1-1
Season To Date: 66-56-7
For more FREE picks and analysis head over to our Free Picks page on Covers Experts.
Streaking and Slumping Starting Pitchers
Streaking: Jason Hammel, Kansas City Royals (3-6, 5.05 ERA, $-584)
It's difficult to believe that Jason Hammel would make it into our Streaking Starter section of the article, but here we are. The pickings are slim today and we don't like to use starting pitchers who are involved in our picks (above).
Over his last three starts, Hammel is 2-0 with a very tidy 2.21 ERA and he has only surrendered one walk to go along with 15 strikeouts. This is the pitcher the Royals were expecting to get when they signed him in the offseason.
Hammel and the Royals are -110 at home against the Boston Red Sox.
Slumping: Marco Estrada, Toronto Blue Jays (4-5, 4.54, $-258)
Blue Jays' starter Marco Estrada throws more change-ups than any other pitcher in Major League Baseball and opposing hitters have finally started to notice. Hitters are sitting on his change-up and if he misses his spot it is being clubbed a very long way.
It's been a problem for most of this season, but over his last three outings Estrada has been particularly bad at 0-3 with an ERA of 12.08. Over those three starts he's only lasted a total of 12.2 innings but has allowed 28 hits, including four home runs.
Estrada and the Jays are -125 favorites on the road against the Texas Rangers today.
Monday's Top Trends
* Over is 12-2 in the Baltimore Orioles' last 14 games vs. a right-handed starter. Indians/Orioles Total: 9.
* The Miami Marlins are 1-11 in Justin Nicolino's last 12 starts vs. a team with a winning record. +100 today vs. Nationals.
* The San Francisco Giants are 18-5 in Johnny Cueto's last 23 starts vs. a team with a losing record. -135 today @ Braves.
* The Chicago Cubs are 21-5 in Jon Lester's last 26 home starts. -230 today vs. Padres.
Weather To Keep An Eye On
Rain and thunderstorms will likely be an issue today in Baltimore where the Orioles will welcome the Cleveland Indians. There is a 90-100 percent chance of rain this evening but will taper off after the t-storms move out late in the evening. Officials may just decide to push this one until Tuesday.
There is also a chance of thunderstorms developing in Atlanta for tonight's game between the Braves and the San Francisco Giants. It's looking like only a 45-50 percent chance of rain at SunTrust Park but the threat will remain all evening.
There isn't much in the way of wind across Major League Baseball on Monday, so we'll just take our daily look at Wrigley Field on the North Side of Chicago. Good news for the Rizzos and Schwarbers of the world as there will be a 7-10 mile per hour wind blowing out to right field tonight. The total for this evening's game against the visiting Padres has been set at 8.5.
Monday's Top Consensus
Here are the top side and total plays according to the public in our Covers Consensus.