Wednesday’s betting tips: Utley set to return for Phillies?

Weather to watch

Cincinnati Reds at San Francisco Giants – 14 mph winds expected to blow out to centerfield.

Who’s hot


MLB: Over is 25-12-1 in Homer Bailey's last 38 starts for Cincinnati.

MLB: Home team is 36-16 in Tony Randazzo’s last 52 games behind home plate. He's set to work Wednesday's Rays-Royals matchup in K.C.

MLB: Athletics are 10-3 in their last 13 overall.

WNBA: Minnesota Lynx are 17-6 ATS in their last 23 home games.

Who’s not


MLB: Mets are 3-7 in Jon Niese’s last 10 road starts.

MLB: Dodgers are 5-11 in the last 16 meetings in San Francisco.

MLB: Pirates are 6-20 in the last 26 meetings in Philadelphia.

WNBA: Chicago Sky are 1-5 ATS in their last six home games.

Key stat


2,623 - Spain have completed 2623 passes so far at Euro 2012, more than double as many as Portugal (1159). With the club’s patient ball-possession tactics, Spain has won its last six knockout games at major tournaments, outscoring the opposition 7-0.

Injury that shouldn’t be overlooked


Candice Dupree, Phoenix Mercury – Dupree is questionable for Wednesday’s game with a left knee contusion and she may not be the only member of the Mercury on the sideline. Phoenix has had to play its last two games with just eight dressed players thanks to other injuries to backup center Nakia Sanford, All-Star Diana Taurasi and forward Penny Taylor.

Game of the day

Portugal +320 vs. Spain -125, Draw +225

Notable quotable

"You've got to be able to walk and talk winning. Our guys are walking better. They're talking better. They believe in things they can't see, but there has been some increments of tangible evidence. We can play this game." Manager Clint Hurdle on the play of his Pittsburgh Pirates this season. The Pirates went into Tuesday’s action two games off the pace in the NL Central while earning 10.78 units for their supporters.

Notes and tips


Portugal will be without striker Helder Postiga Wednesday after he suffered a hamstring injury in the club’s 1-0 win over Czech Republic. Hugo Almeida came on for him and is expected to be in the starting 11 Wednesday. 

The Texas Rangers placed starting pitcher Colby Lewis on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday because of tendinitis in his right forearm. Lewis is one of four Rangers pitchers on the DL. The others are Derek Holland (elbow fatigue), Neftali Feliz (elbow inflammation), and Alexi Ogando (groin). Lewis is 6-6 with a 3.51 ERA this season. In his most recent start on Saturday, he gave up eight runs on 12 hits, both season-highs, in four innings.

Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley could return to the lineup as early as Wednesday. He has been out of the lineup since the beginning of the season with cartilage degeneration in his left knee and is expected to make his final rehab start for Lehigh Valley Tuesday before possibly joining the Phillies Wednesday. "There are some people who have given up on this team," he told reporters. "I'll be the first one to tell you that I definitely have not given up on myself and our guys have not given up on this year.”

A four-team playoff to determine a national champion in college football will become a reality in the 2014 season after an oversight committee of university presidents on Tuesday approved the conference commissioners proposal in Washington. The plan involves a 12-year deal, so this format will be in place though the 2025 season.

The Houston Rockets made another move designed to ultimately acquire a franchise building block, sending small forward Chase Budinger to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the 18th overall pick in Thursday's draft. The Rockets are loading up on assets with a goal of acquiring Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic.

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