We notched an easy sixth straight MLB winner to start the season with the UNDER on the Cardinals and Reds. How easy was that win? The only run scored the plate in walk-off fashion as the Reds turned the tables on the Cardinals and returned the 1-0 favor to even the pitching-dominated series at one game apiece. An interesting stat from the game: Tony Cingrani now has the most consecutive starts in more than 100 years allowing five or less hits with 19 straight. That stat made my mind rattle a bit. That is more than ANYONE who has played baseball in the last 100 years; Koufax, Seaver, Cy Young, Roger Clemens, etc. Even more impressive? Cingrani has made a grand total of 19 starts in the big leagues. Wow.
Today is a day full of early matinees on our first getaway day of the major league season, so keep an eye on the start time for any games you might be interested in playing today. Also keep an eye on weather, as a nasty patch of rain in the Midwest is threatening to cancel more than a handful of games today including the Chicago and Cincinnati series finales.
Today’s Free Picks:
Kansas City Royals +145 at Detroit Tigers -152 (Total: 7)
Yordano Ventura vs. Anibal Sanchez
The American League’s unheralded reigning ERA champ Anibal Sanchez takes the mound today trying to give the Tigers a huge early season sweep over division hopeful Kansas City. Opposing him will be Kansas City’s 22-year old fireballer. The rookie made eyes pop in Spring Training with fastballs dotting the radar at as high at 102 mph.
Sanchez was scratched from his last scheduled Spring Training start on March 12th and hasn’t faced game action since. It’s possible he will be a little rusty today. It’s even more possible things start to even out a bit and the Royals get a few breaks today. I expect the Tigers to have some difficulty with Ventura’s heat today and I like the value of the underdog Royals at +145.
I’ll take a flyer today on some good value. Give me the Royals to win on a big money line.
Toronto Blue Jays +140 at Tampa Bay Rays -149 (Total: 7.5)
Brandon Morrow vs. Chris Archer
Brandon Morrow and the Jays have high hopes for this season after his injury-shortened 2013 that saw him go just 2-3 with a 5.63 ERA in ten starts. Meanwhile, Chris Archer gets to immediately begin proving he was worthy of a lucrative contract extension as he takes the mound tonight trying to split the four-game series.
Tampa Bay showed off their improved offense on Opening Day tallying nine runs, but in the two games since has mustered just two and zero runs respectively, getting shutout by 8 2/3 scoreless innings from Mark Buehrle yesterday. I think they will bounce back tonight against Morrow and give him a rough welcoming back to the majors.
Tampa is too good to be shut down by middle of the rotation guys. Look for them to even the series tonight at home.