The Rockies, Reds, Royals and Tigers all remained perfect yesterday, while the Red Sox and Yankees JUST finished up their game. Not literally, but the 19-inning marathon was one of the longest games in the lengthy and storied rivalry. The Sox finally pulled out the 6-5 win in the 19th inning on a Mookie Betts sacrifice fly and then clinched the win with a dramatic 6-4-3 double play. It will be interesting to see how the teams look this afternoon after pulling double-duty at the ballpark until the early morning.
Meanwhile, we came up short on our pick as the Braves also remained perfect, scoring two runs in the eighth inning to edge the Mets 5-3. The Atlanta offense continues to be one of the surprising early story lines to the season. I still think a regression to the mean in inevitable and soon coming, but for now, the Bravos continue on perfect.
Our free pick today centers on one of the best pitching matchup you will see all season, so let’s take a look at a huge early season AL Central clash between World Series hopefuls.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Detroit Tigers -107 at Cleveland Indians -103 (Total: 6.5)
David Price (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Corey Kluber (0-0, 2.45 ERA)
Let’s start with the obvious. Two awesome pitchers are taking the mound today. Price dazzled in the opener, coming just a single out away from a complete game shutout. The reigning Cy Young winner Kluber was good as well, allowing only two runs and striking out seven but came up on the short end against Houston and Dallas Kuechel. I expect Kluber to be even better today at home, despite facing a tough Detroit lineup that is averaging more than seven runs a game in the early season.
However, keep in mind the Tigers were facing the Twins for much of the early season and Minny isn’t throwing anyone the likes of Kluber. But before we write the Tigers off and assume pitching will reign supreme, Kluber might be facing his personal kryptonite today. In eleven career starts against Detroit his ERA is nearing five at 4.87.
Price has been excellent against Cleveland historically, and he gets to face a lineup that is still missing Michael Bradley and is scoring only 2.75 runs so far this season. Price has a 2.64 ERA against Cleveland in nine starts spanning 58 innings. He is almost a guaranteed quality start every time he sees the Tribe.
I’m going to ride the hot team with the starter who has better head-to-head success with his opponent. I think Kluber will do better than allowing 4-5 runs, but I’m not sure his mates will get enough runs to keep him off the hook for a disappointing second straight loss to start the season.