If you are looking for a brief summary of what you need to know today to make informed betting choices, you’ve come to the right place!
1. Gobert out for Game 2, but hopeful
Having already stolen home-court advantage in their first-round series with the Clippers, the Jazz enter tonight’s Game 2 with no pressure. After losing defensive centerpiece Rudy Gobert early in Game 1, Utah still managed to limit the Clippers’ offense in their 97-95 win, and guaranteed they’ll at least return home with a series split. There’s no concrete answer on when Gobert (hyperextended knee) will return, but he did attempt a shootaround and is hopeful he’ll be back soon.
Winning this series was already going to be difficult; increase that challenge threefold if the potential Defensive Player of the Year can’t go. But there was reason for optimism in the way Derrick Favors stepped up in Game 1. Favors has battled his own injuries, and isn’t used to playing a ton of minutes, but he handled his own against DeAndre Jordan. I wouldn’t back the Jazz tonight as a motivated L.A. team looks to even the series, but they’ll be worth a look again in Game 3.
2. Sam Dyson to 10-day DL
If you read that header and thought this was bad news, you haven’t watched the Rangers’ closer this season. Dyson heads to the disabled list with a right-hand bruise, but the injury report might as well say bruised ego: he’s blown three saves in just six appearances this year, compiling an 0-3 record and a 27 ERA. (That number is not missing any decimal points, I promise.)
Thanks to Dyson’s struggles, Texas sits last in the AL West, but hope is on the horizon, as Matt Bush will assume the closer role for now. The hard-throwing righty should fare better in the ninth inning (it’d be hard not to), and the Rangers should be able to bounce back with a fairly easy schedule coming up. After all, they’ve had a late lead in most games this year, so they must be doing something right.
3. Josh Donaldson out 2-4 weeks
Now for some actually bad injury news. The Blue Jays are already the league’s worst team, off to a 2-10 start, and just lost their MVP for a lengthy stretch. Toronto was supposed to be able to survive an attenuated batting order this season thanks to strong starting pitching, but the lineup has been far worse than forecast. So with starters Aaron Sanchez and J.A. Happ also headed for short DL stints, how is this team going to win?
Some of the Jays’ hitting woes are a result of bad luck: they’ve put nearly the same number of balls in play as last season, but are seeing significantly fewer results. And when they do get someone in scoring position, they can’t get them home. The Jays aren’t a deep team, selling off most non-essential assets in order to make postseason runs the past two years, so the un-clutch hitting of Chris Coghlan and Darwin Barney will replace Donaldson at third.
In the coming weeks, the Jays are still worth a bet when Marcus Stroman or Marco Estrada are on the mound, as the team’s hitting luck should improve slightly. But overall, if you bet the Jays in any futures, it’s not looking great. They need to at least tread water until Donaldson returns, and that will prove difficult with two starting pitchers out.
Photo Credit: Keith Allison on Flickr (Originally posted to Flickr as “Josh Donaldson”) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.