Los Angeles Dodgers superstar ace lefty Clayton Kershaw is the latest big-name pitcher to end up on the disabled list; he was placed on the 10-day DL Sunday with biceps tendinitis.
Kershaw went six innings last Tuesday, striking out six while allowing a season-high two home runs in a 4-3 loss at Arizona. His previous start before that represented one of the biggest upsets over the past decade in major league baseball, as the Dodgers were a consensus -400 favorite against the visiting Miami Marlins, but Los Angeles lost 8-6, dropping Clayton’s won-loss record to 1-4.
There are plenty of games left this season, so Kershaw can get his arm strength back and return soon, but the defending National League champs have started behind the pace of first-place Arizona, as well as surprise contenders Colorado and San Francisco, thanks to injuries in the early going. LA doesn’t necessarily suffer from lack of arms, but Alex Wood appears to be the No. 1 starter for now.
Meanwhile, the New York Mets finally parted ways with Matt Harvey when they designated him for assignment on Friday. Harvey’s star probably wasn’t as big as the pitcher thought it was despite all the excitement when he burst on the scene in 2012.
But it was more the injuries than the off-the-field distractions that led to his eventual demise in New York. In addition, another of the Mets’ star arms, Jacob deGrom, has also landed on the 10-day DL on Sunday after he hyperextended his pitching elbow during a swing, of all things, last Wednesday.
Red Sox star Mookie Betts has been the best player in baseball so far this season, but left Sunday’s game with a shoulder contusion after being struck by a thrown ball.
But the brightest story of the week may be Yankees 21-year-old rookie Gleyber Torres, who hit a walk-off three-run home run Sunday against the Indians at Yankee Stadium. Torres became the youngest Yankee in franchise history to hit a game-ending home run, topping none other than Mickey Mantle, who was 41 days older when did it against the Red Sox back in 1953.
Torres joined the Yankees two weeks ago and the team has nearly won every game since, winning 15 of 16, the team’s best stretch since 1961. Yankees are 14-5 to the OVER at home so far, the best such ratio in their own ballpark in the majors.
METS (-105, 9.5) at REDS (Wed., 9:35): The Mets’ Zack Wheeler had a 5.79 ERA and got roughed up at home versus Colorado, as the team’s starting pitching continues to thin. The Reds’ Sal Romano has won two of his last three starts and has a 3.74 ERA at home. He’s limited several in this expected Mets lineup to a .208 avg. in a couple of starts last year. CIN, 5-4
ASTROS (-240, 7.5u20) at A’S (Wed., 12:35): Early Cy Young favorite Gerrit Cole struck out 16 at Arizona last out in a complete-game shutout. More impressive than his 1.42 ERA is his 0.69 WHIP overall and 0.39 ERA on the road. Oakland’s Daniel Mengden has allowed this Houston roster a .353 avg. in 81 PAs but has a home ERA of 3.26 this season. HOU, 5-2
RED SOX (+105, 9.5u20) at YANKEES (Wed., 4:05): Yankee Masahiro Tanaka has allowed just five earned runs over his last three starts (18.2 IP). He is 8-4 lifetime against the Red Sox. The expected Yankees lineup here bats around .330 against David Price in nearly 175 PAs, including Gary Sanchez’s five HRs in 14 PAs. Price has lost his last three starts. NYY, 7-4
GIANTS (-109, 8o15) at PHILLIES (Thu., 10:05): Ty Blach has been another of the surprises for suddenly relevant San Francisco as he shut down the hot Braves lineup Saturday for his second-straight win. The Phils’ Vince Velasquez got the win as a +110 ’dog at the Nats on Saturday but has a 6.75 ERA at home this year. SF, 5-4
REDS (+170, 8o25) at DODGERS (Thu., 7:07): Walker Buehler and the Dodgers no-hit the Padres last Friday in Monterrey, Mexico, lowering his ERA to 1.13 over three starts. The Reds’ Tyler Mahle has done a decent job but has just one win over his last six starts, including an ND in the Reds’ loss as a -125 favorite at home against Miami on Saturday. LAD, 5-3
WHITE SOX (+160) at CUBS (Fri., 11:20): The Cubs’ Tyler Chatwood lost on Saturday as a small dog at St. Louis, lasting only four innings and walking five. He is down two units this season. The White Sox go with Carson Fulmer, who had won two-straight starts but lost against Minnesota last Friday as a +150 ’dog, which increased his season ERA to 5.74. CUBS, 6-3
MARINERS (-120, 8.5u20) at TIGERS (Fri., 4:10): The Tigers’ Jordan Zimmermann picked up his second win against no losses in seven starts on Saturday as a +120 ’dog at the Royals to put him up +2.5 units for the season. M’s pitcher Marco Gonzalez is also up over 2.5 units and has allowed one walk or less in all seven of his starts. SEA, 4-3
CARDINALS (-125, 8.5u20) at PADRES (Fri., 7:10): Rookie Eric Lauer is the only pitcher for San Diego to go at least six innings with no runs allowed when he pitched six scoreless frames for his first ML win on Sunday as a +150 ’dog in Mexico. The Cards’ Luke Weaver has struggled over his last four starts, allowing at least four ERs in each. STL, 4-3
ROYALS (+170, 8o15) at INDIANS (Sat., 1:10): Cleveland’s Trevor Bauer has just two wins, but carries a 2.53 ERA overall despite a loss as a short ’dog at the Yankees on Sunday, striking out eight over six innings. The Royals’ Jake Junis is a serious threat every time out, as he’s won four of seven starts and is up +4.5 units for sad Kansas City. CLE, 4-2
BREWERS (+130, 10u20) at ROCKIES (Sat., 5:10): The Rocks’ Kyle Freeland has turned things around, going seven innings in each of his last three starts, including a win Sunday as a +160 ’dog at the Mets. Wade Miley makes his third start for Milwaukee following Tuesday’s home outing against Cleveland. He won his debut in Cincinnati, going six innings. COL, 5-4
BRAVES (-160, 8o20) at MARLINS (Sun., 10:40): Flavor of the week Atlanta goes with impressive lefty Sean Newcomb off his road start at Tampa on Tuesday. He has his best start at the Mets on May 2, striking out eight, allowing no runs in seven innings. The Marlins’ Jose Urena went into Tuesday’s start at the Cubs with an 0-5 record. ATL, 5-3
NATIONALS (+130, 8) at D’BACKS (Sun., 5:05): Washington’s Jeremy Hellickson, coming off a start Tuesday at San Diego, has had success against these Arizona bats, holding them to a .172 average over 62 PAs. Arizona’s Zack Godley, who has a 1.96 ERA at home, was up nearly +2.5 units so far heading into his start on Tuesday at the Dodgers. ARI, 4-3