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Two MLB rookie pitchers are scheduled to make the first stars of their careers Wednesday.
Dylan Axelrod gets the call for the Chicago White Sox against the Detroit Tigers after throwing two innings of scoreless relief on Sept. 7. He was 9-3 with a 2.69 ERA while splitting time between Double-A and Triple-A this season.
"I mean, that just adds to the excitement of it," Axelrod told reporters about facing on of the hottest teams in baseball. "It's a great opportunity to go against a team that's hot like that. It makes it that much better."
The White Sox are currently pegged around -110.
Meanwhile, Brad Peacock is expected to start for the Nationals after he gave up a run in 1 1/3 innings of MLB relief work this season. He has a fastball that tops out in the mid-90s to go along with a solid changeup and a curve.
The Nats are set as +120 underdogs at the New York Mets.
MLB: The Toronto Blue Jays have won nine of Ricky Romeo’s last 10 starts.
MLB: The White Sox have won 20 of their last 29 games as a favorite.
MLB: The over is 2-12-2 in Jered Weaver’s last 16 starts against Oakland.
MLB: San Diego has won just three of its last 18.
20-7-4 – While Johnny Cueto is looking to become the first Cincinnati Reds pitcher to lead the NL in ERA since 1944 (his currently sits at 2.38), the over is cashing in on his starts at home, going 20-7-4 in his last 31 outings at Great American Ballpark.
Injury that shouldn’t be overlooked
Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants – Nicks woke up Monday with a swollen knee and his status for Week 2’s matchup with St. Louis is now uncertain. The wideout was able to return to action after hurting the knee in New York’s loss to Washington and X-rays were negative initially.
Game of the day
Arizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles Dodgers (+135, 7.5)
"To be honest with you, I think the intensity and the effort is right there. Everything is just kind of going in a different direction at once. The good thing is we know how to figure that out and put it back together all at once. It seems like everybody is in a funk right now, you know what I'm saying? There's nobody to blame but everybody, so hopefully on Tuesday we come back and play better." – Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz about the club dipping to just three games ahead of the Devil Rays in the AL wild card race before Tuesday’s action. Ortiz sat out Tuesday’s game with back spasms.
Notes and tips
Just about all of the early action for Thursday’s big matchup between LSU and Mississippi State has come in on the Tigers. As of Tuesday evening about 72 percent of Covers.com Consensus bettors were backing LSU, which is currently set as a 3.5-point road favorite. LSU has covered in 11 of its last 14 meetings with Mississippi State.
It didn’t take long for some books to react to the Kansas City Chiefs’ terrible performance in Week 1 against the Buffalo Bills. After taking a 41-7 beating from the Buffalo Bills, some sportsbooks moved the reigning AFC West champs from around 50-1 to win the Super Bowl all the way to around 285-1.
Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel both returned to the Minnesota Twins' lineup for Tuesday's affair against the Kansas City Royals. Cuddyer has been sidelined for five games because of a sore left wrist. Kubel has not started since Friday because of a foot injury. First baseman Justin Morneau was not with the club as he returned to Minnesota for a family matter. He has been out of action since Aug. 28 with concussion-like symptoms. Cuddyer is batting .282 with 18 homers and 64 RBIs while Kubel is hitting .281 with 12 home runs and 57 RBIs.
Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies (17-5, 2.44 ERA)
Halladay is surging down the stretch as he’s in the mix for another Cy Young award as his club gets ready for another postseason run. Even though the Phillies have won just two of his last five starts, his numbers have held strong. He has allowed just nine earned runs over his last six trips to the hill, including last week's 5-3 win over Milwaukee that saw him go eight innings while yielding one run as he struck out nine.
Daniel Hudson, Arizona Diamondbacks (16-9, 3.41 ERA)
Hudson is coming off his third complete game of the season on Friday when he allowed five hits and one earned run to push the Diamondbacks to a 3-2 win over the Padres. He has now yielded only four runs over his last four starts, striking out 26 batters over that span.
John Lackey, Boston Red Sox (12-12, 6.36 ERA)
Lackey took a comebacker off the leg in his last start, but expects to be OK to go Wednesday against the Blue Jays. He has allowed 11 runs over his last eight innings on the mound and is looking to snap a three-game losing skid. Lackey has walked at least three batters in each of his last five starts and owns the worst ERA of his career.
Rich Harden, Oakland Athletics (4-2, 4.74 ERA)
Harden’s strikeout numbers are still pretty impressive with 22 punch-outs in his last three games, but the Athletics have lost each of those contests. That’s partly because Harden has allowed 13 combined runs over that span including five home runs. He gave up three runs to the Royals in the first inning of his last start and was pulled after allowing four runs in five innings even though he struck out 10.