Who is Joe Panik? That is a question that a lot of Dodgers fans are asking themselves right now. The Giants second basemen became the first player in Major League history to supply back to back 1-0 wins via a solo shot home run.
The Giants are 2-0 and Panik has been their sole source of run support as the youngster hit a home run in the ninth inning last night to give the Giants their second straight win over the Dodgers. Panik is a very unlikely candidate to lead the team with his power as the second basemen has never hit more than ten home runs in any of his first four seasons in the bigs.
I backed the Dodgers as I really thought that Alex Wood would dominate. And to be fair, he did. Wood went eight shutout innings and allowed only one hit while striking out five. It was one of the best starts of Wood’s career and was spoiled by the fact that Johnny Cueto matched him pitch for pitch. Cueto had a no-hitter going into the sixth inning and pitched seven scoreless himself, also allowing just one hit.
It is way too early to start overreacting to things but what a statement it would be for the Giants to sweep the Dodgers in L.A. to start the season.
Today I will break down the matchup between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox.
The Boston Red Sox are in Tampa Bay for game three of a four-game series with the Rays. The series is split at one game apiece, with the Rays taking game one, and the Red Sox winning last night.
The Red Sox will send embattled former Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello (0-0 0.00 ERA) to the mound to face the Rays Andrew Kittredge (0-0 0.00 ERA) who will be making his first Major League start.
The Red Sox are -130 money line betting favorites. The game total over-under is set at eight runs. First pitch is scheduled for 3:10 PM PST from Tropicana Field.
We are three days into the Major League season, and this will be my third time betting against the Rays. I am 1-1 betting against Tampa so far this season but should probably be 2-0.
The Rays had a miracle eighth inning on opening day to steal a win they didn’t deserve. The full body of work excluding that fluky eighth inning explosion has been ugly for Tampa. If you exclude that one inning, where Joe Kelley walked four batters before he recorded an out, the Rays have scored exactly zero runs on only five hits in seventeen innings.
This offense was expected to be bad, as they shipped away all of their power and production from a team that led the Majors in home runs last season. And for the most part, they have lived up to that billing.
Rick Porcello is a weird pitcher. Two years ago, he won the Cy Young Award after going 22-4 with an ERA of 3.15. Last year he was an unmitigated disaster.
Porcello lost seventeen games last year and had an ERA approaching five. He was one of the worst starters in the American League. If you look at Porcello’s career, he tends to always follow up his bad years with great ones.
He did this in 2016 when he bounced back from losing fifteen games in 2015, to win the Cy Young and he did this in 2014 when he went from an ERA 4.30 in 2013 to winning fifteen games and an ERA of 3.40 the next year. Recent trends tell us this should be a bounce-back year for Porcello.
If there is any team that can make Rick Porcello look like 2016 Rick Porcello, and not the 2017 version, it is this Tampa Bay team. I guess you can officially call me a Tampa Bay hater at this point. I just don’t see much talent at all on this team and expect them to lose a lot this year.
Getting a chance to back a recent Cy Young Award winner against what might be the worst offense in the Majors this year is too sweet to pass up on.
Throw in the fact that the Rays are starting some guy named Andrew Kittredge that has never started a single game in the majors, and you have a recipe for a blowout. I think these two pitchers add up to what should be a higher scoring game and I expect the Boston bats to finally come awake.
I am very leery of taking a team on the run line, but in a game where I expect there to be a decent amount of scoring it scares me just a little bit less. So that is what I will do today.
Give me the Boston Red Sox on the run line at +105 in this one as I continue my Tampa Bay hate!