Well, last night certainly wasn’t the start to the season I wanted, and I imagine the sentiment would be echoed whole-heartedly by Zack Greinke and the Arizona Diamondbacks. The veteran hurler joined Arizona as one of the highest priced acquisitions in MLB history; pegged as the savior to anchor a rotation for a team that already boasted plenty of offense.
It’s just one game, but for one day, the experiment didn’t live up to the hype. Greinke darn near evaporated the game OVER by himself in a disastrous six-run third inning and ended up leaving having allowed seven runs in just four innings. We took the loss, but have 200 days to bounce back, starting with today. I imagine Greinke will bounce back just fine as well, but it certainly was an auspicious beginning.
Things were much better for his former mates and the teammate whose shadow he could never escape, Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw was masterful, fanning nine and allowing just a single hit en route to the largest blowout shutout win in MLB Opening Day history with a 15-0 win over the poor Padres.
It was definitely a day of extremes on Opening Day in the NL West. Let’s see if we can be on the right side of those extremes today…
Let’s get the season starting right today with a bounce-back winner.
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Today’s Free MLB Pick:
San Francisco Giants -127 at Milwaukee Brewers +120 (Total: 8)
Johnny Cueto vs. Jimmy Nelson
Cueto makes his anticipated Giants debut today, and if he gets anything approaching yesterday’s offensive support, it should be a happy one. The Giants were one of three NL West teams to tally 10+ runs in their season opener yesterday as they lit up the scoreboard in Miller Park. I expect more good offense today from their talented lineup.
I expect Cueto to have a big year back in the Senior Circuit. He struggled a big in Kansas City after the mid season trade (though he settled in enough to help them win a World Series). However, in 2014, pitching in hitter-friendly Great American Small Park, he posted a blistering 2.25 ERA with a NL-leading 224 strikeouts. He has electric stuff and the possibilities in the more pitcher-friendly AT&T Park are tantalizing.
The line is also attractive as well. The Giants are the far better team and have a pitching edge tonight, which makes -127 a pretty decent buy. Milwaukee’s best hitters struggle against Cueto historically; Braun is hitting just .205 and Lucroy batting just .217. Look for Cueto to stake his mates to a lead and for the bullpen to hold on for the win.