Baseball season gets in full swing today after a nice appetizer on ESPN’s Sunday Night (and Day) Opening Day specials. The Pirates, Jays and the Royals held off three runs in the eighth to notch a 4-3 victory in the rematch of the World Series. There are plenty more fantastic opening series matchups beginning today including the Dodgers and Padres and Cubbies and Angels.
Betting on baseball is always interesting the first few weeks as a lot more relies on intuition and previous season performance but no data has been collected yet for the 2016 campaign. There are tons of new lineups, players in new positions, young players setting into big-league settings and so many yet-to-be evaluated variables. It’s a long season, and it’s always wise to come out of the shoot with a conservative bankroll. Keep in mind, we have about 200 days of this yet to go…
That said, it’s also nice to pad the bankroll early as well with a few winners. We came up short with the underdog Cardinals yesterday, but will look to even the record on the young season this afternoon.
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Today’s Free National League Pick:
Colorado Rockies +183 at Arizona Diamondbacks -200 (Total: 7.5)
Jorge De La Rosa vs. Zack Greinke
A matchup between the two highest scoring teams in the National League in 2015 would figure to feature a lot of offense. But two things work against that theory tonight. First, the Rockies aren’t in Coors Field. Secondly, they are facing Zack Greinke.
Will Greinke have some nerves in his debut with his new team after signing a staggering contract in the offseason to pry him away from the Dodgers? Perhaps, but it isn’t his first time switching uniforms and having expectations of becoming the rotation savior. I think he will handle things just fine, which is bad news for the Rox.
Colorado is back in rebuild mode after finally letting Tulowitski go late last season to Toronto. However, they still have Nolan Arenado, who led the majors in hitting this Spring at a ridiculous .542 and they have CarGo healthy (for now), so it is still a fierce lineup. But Greinke was 19-3 with a 1.66 ERA last year, one of the most dominant seasons in the modern era of baseball. Betting on him giving up more than a run or two is pretty daring.
And that would mean, in order for this total to get OVER, the Diamondbacks would need to tally six or more runs on Opening Day. That is also a tall order. I’ll take pitching and defense and the pitchers being just a step ahead of the batters these first few days and take the UNDER 7.5.