Opening Day is finally here, and ESPN is obliging with a full twelve hours of baseball starting at 1pm EST with the Yankees and Red Sox. However, it will be an odd feeling when the Yankee lineup is announced and doesn’t include Derek Jeter, who along with seemingly the whole team, will begin the season on the shelf with an injury. The Yanks may not have their customary bats in the lineup, but they do have CC Sabathia on the hill, so they certainly still have a chance.
In other parts of the country, Opening Day may have a cooler feel, as places like Cincinnati, Chicago and Milwaukee will all be beginning their season in borederline freezing temperatures. That could mean a nice edge for the pitchers for run total bettors today…
Before we get to today’s picks – a quick note about wagering on baseball. First, every sportsbook is going to have slightly different moneylines on the games. It is important in baseball to shop around for the best line. The difference between -105 and -103 may not seem like much, but over the course of a 162 game season, it can mean hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Also, odds and wagers are calculated a little differently than in basketball or football, so be sure to read up on the sportsgeek.com’s “sports betting strategy” guides for some helpful hints.
Ok, let’s PLAY BALL!
Los Angeles Angels +104 at Cincinnati Reds -105 (Total: 7.5)
Jered Weaver vs. Jonny Cueto
Two of baseball’s best pitchers and two of baseball’s best teams meet in the first ever interleague Opening Day matchup. Today would likely be a tough day for hitters, facing Cy Young caliber pitchers they have likely never seen before (being an interleague game), but the fact that it was spitting snow a few hours ago in Cincinnati and gametime temperatures could be in the 30’s make it even more difficult.
Anaheim might have the best lineup in baseball with the addition of Josh Hamilton to the powerful core of Mike Trout, Albert Puljols, Mark Trumbo and Howie Kendrick. The Reds have a good lineup themselves and the addition of leadoff man Shin-Soo Choo should have Reds fans excited.
These two teams are going to score a ton of run this season. But probably not today. Give me a good pitcher’s duel and a 3-1 type game.
Free Pick: Run Total UNDER 7.5
Kansas City Royals +114 at Chicago White Sox -123 (Total: 7)
James Shields vs. Chris Sale
I love the Royals as a deep sleeper this season. They have a ton of young talent that started to click a bit last year, and they actually went out and signed a big-time free agent (they are usually the ones letting them GO) in James Shields. Big Game James gets the ball today in Chicago in a matchup against one of the most pleasant pitching surprises in the AL last year, Chris Sale.
The Royals played well against Chicago last season, going 12-6 against their AL Central rival. Their talented young shortstop Alcides Escobar has seemed to figure out Sale as well, hitting a robust .435 off him last season.
This is another one of those games with two big-time pitchers pitching in a freezing cold environment. That tends to favor low scoring affairs.
I like Kansas City to win the game with Shields on the hill, but I like this game to be a low scoring contest. SO two official picks for today’s debut in Chicago.
Free Pick: Kansas City Royals to WIN +114 & Run TOTAL UNDER 7