Edges – Rangers: Yu Darvish 14-2 career tem starts during April… Indians: Corey Kluber 4-13 career team starts during April, including 2-8 away. With Darvish having posted a splendid 2.84 ERA this spring, we recommend a 1* play on Texas.
Apr 03 ’17, 2:10 PM in 3h
MLB | Rockies vs Brewers
Play on: Brewers +112 at BMaker
Free Pick on Brewers +
I really like the value here with Milwaukee as an underdog at home in their season opener. The Brewers aren’t getting any respect going into 2017 and that’s a direct result of being in the same division as the Cubs, Cardinals and Pirates. I don’t think Milwaukee is a playoff team, but they are better than people think and shouldn’t be a dog at home to another equally poor team in the Rockies. I also don’t think people are familiar enough with Brewers starter Junior Guerra, who didn’t even make the majors until late last season. He posted a 2.81 ERA in 20 starts with a 2.23 ERA at home.
Colorado counters with Jon Gray, who is a special young talent, but he’s still a work in progress. He had to leave his last spring training start with a toe injury and while he says he’s healthy it’s definitely something that can throw him off his game. The Rockies are also minus three starters in Ian Desmond, David Dahl and Tom Murphy. Take Milwaukee!
Some MLB teams had some rough times in the off-season (KC comes to mine), but none more so than the Colorado Rockies. Their one big free-agent signing – 1B/OF Ian Desmond – had his hand broken by a Spring training pitch and will likely miss at least the first month of the season. And one of their brightest young players – OF David Dahl – has been nursing a stress reaction in his ribs that has been slow to heal and will take him out of consideration for an Opening Day start. And finally, RHP Chad Bettis – who has been one of the Rockies most consistent starters over the past two seasons – has been diagnosed with testicular cancer and does not have a timetable for a return to baseball. With the exception of a few marquee players – Nolan Arenado, Carlos Gonzales, Charlie Blackmon, Trevor Story – this was not a good team before these problems occurred and they’re certainly not looking good right now. Of course, nobody is predicting a Pennant for the Brewers either, but at least this team is healthy and could do some damage with a roster of mostly young talent. RHP Junior Guerra came on the scene last year as a 32-year-old rookie, and if that doesn’t sound promising, consider the fact that Guerra went 9-3 with a 2.81 ERA in 20 starts, earning him this opening day start. Milwaukee won all three home meetings with the Rox last season.
Comp play for Monday is the Phillies and Reds to do what they usually do when they meet, and that is to play Over the total in the opener at Great American Ball Park.
These teams are 12-5 Over the total the last 17 times they have faced one another, and with Jeremy Hellickson and Scott Feldman listed as your Opening Day starters, I expect the bats on both teams to be making some noise this afternoon.
Hellickson sported a 3.71 ERA for the season last year, while Feldman’s ERA was a little closer to 4 at 3.97 for the season.
The weather will be surprisingly nice in the Queen City today, and everyone knows this park is a hitters park, so look for the hitters to do their thing and put up plenty of crooked-digit innings today.
The MLB Com play for Monday is on Boston at 2:05 eastern. Boston has won 10 of the last 12 openers and has Cy Young winner Rick Porcello making the start. The Sox were 15-1 here last season in his starts and he has won 8 of his last 9 home starts in April. G. Cole for the Pirates was limited in Spring training and may not be in here for long. Game 1 American League home favorites are 25-6 in this line range since 2004. The Pirates lost 3 times to Boston in spring training. With the Redsox 14-2 the last 16 at home vs National League teams we will back them today.
NORTH CAROLINA VS GONZAGA
PLAY: NORTH CAROLINA -1.5
With a handful of minutes remaining in the North Carolina-Oregon game, I went on Twitter and Facebook and noted that if UNC held on to win the game, my line for the Monday title game would be North Carolina -1.5. That’s where the line is at most outlets as I’m writing this. Suffice to say I think the line is precisely where I think it should be, and that pretty much leaves me with little more than a guess for this game.
I will side with the chalk side, and I’m really doing so for only one reason. That’s title game experience. All the key Tar Heels are familiar with the unique pressure of this game, and they also have the opportunity to erase the painful memory of last year’s heartbreaker of a loss to Villanova.
That’s not enough for me to go full bore with a strong play, but it’s enough for me to risk a half unit on North Carolina.
2 Unit Play. Take #952 Washington Nationals -1.5 +100 over Miami Marlins (1:05 PM, Monday, April 3)
Washington closed out their 2016 season by going 13-6 in their last nineteen home games where they faced a right-handed starter and they were an excellent 19-7 in Strasburg’s last 26 home starts. The Marlins, on the other hand, have struggled a bit in the spot they are in here today as they closed out last year by losing 1-4 in their last five games versus a righty and they were an awful 5-11 in their last sixteen games away from Marlins Park. Throw in the fact that the Nats are a lights out 8-1 in Strasburg’s last nine home starts against the Marlins and that they have gone 27-11 in their last 38 home games versus them overall and we’ll lay the 1.5 runs here with the Nationals in a game that we have them winning pretty easily in DC on Monday afternoon.
3 Unit Play. Take #953 Atlanta Braves +175 over New York Mets (1:10 PM, Monday, April 3, 2017, ESPN)
The Atlanta Braves will look to open up their 2017 season with a road win when they hit the road to take on the Mets at Citi Field in Queens, NY on Monday afternoon. Julio Teheran (7-10, 3.21 ERA, 1.05 WHIP in 2016) will get the start for the Braves and he will be opposed by Noah Syndergaard (14-9, 2.60 ERA, 1.15 WHIP in 2016), who is scheduled to get the call on the hill for the Mets. The Braves closed out their 2016 season going a perfect 5-0 in their last five games where they faced a right-handed starter and they went an excellent 10-1 in their last eleven games versus a NL East Division rival. The Mets, on the other hand, have struggled a bit in the spot they are in here today as they went just 1-4 in Syndergaard’s last five starts and they lost his last six starts when he got the call in Game #1 of a series. Throw in the fact that the Braves are a perfect 6-0 in their last six trips to Citi Field along with the fact that they won 20 of their last 30 games to close out 2016 and we’ll take them at a nice underdog price to get the road win in New York on Monday afternoon.
4 Unit Play. Take #959/960 Philadelphia Phillies vs Cincinnati Reds Over 8.5 -105 (4:05 PM, Monday, April 3)
Two teams that ended the 2016 season trending to the over will meet when the Philadelphia Phillies hit the road to take on the Reds at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, OH on Monday afternoon. Jeremy Hellickson (12-10, 3.71 ERA, 1.15 WHIP in 2016) will get the start for the Phillies and he will be opposed by Scott Feldman (7-4, 3.97 ERA, 1.38 WHIP in 2016), who is scheduled to get the call on the hill for the Reds. The Phillies ended their 2016 season on a 6-1 run to the over in their last seven road games and they went an excellent 5-2 to the over in Hellickson’s last seven starts. The Reds were an over team as well last year in the spot they are in here today as they went up and over the number in their last six home games versus a right-handed starter and they were 4-1 to the over in their last five Game #1’s of a series. Throw in the fact that these two teams have gone 7-3 to the over in their last ten head to head meetings at GABP in addition to going 12-5 to the over in their last seventeen overall and that’s where we’ll have our play as we expect both starters to get hit around a bit in Cincinnati on Monday afternoon.
2 Unit Play. Take #961 Detroit Tigers -120 over Chicago White Sox (4:05 PM, Monday, April 3)
The Tigers closed out their 2016 season by going 5-1 in their last six road games where they faced a left-handed starter and they were an excellent 7-3 in their last ten games where they went up against an AL Central Division rival. The White Sox, on the other hand, have struggled a bit in the spot they are in here today as they ended their 2016 by going 2-8 in their last ten games where they faced a pitcher with a WHIP of 1.15 or lower and they went an awful 5-11 in Jose Quintana’s last sixteen starts versus a team from the AL Central. Throw in the fact that the Tigers have gone 8-3 in Verlander’s last eleven starts at Guaranteed Rate Field along with the fact that he is 20-6 in his last 26 starts versus the White Sox overall and we’ll lay the small price here with the Tigers to get the Opening Day road win in Chicago on Monday afternoon.
4 Unit Play. Take #964 Houston Astros -140 over Seattle Mariners (8:05 PM, Monday, April 3)
The Houston Astros will look for an Opening Day home win when they take on the Seattle Mariners at Minute Maid Park in Houston, TX on Monday night. Dallas Keuchel (9-12, 4.55 ERA, 1.27 WHIP in 2016) will get the start for the Astros and he will be opposed by Felix Hernandez (11-8, 3.82 ERA, 1.32 WHIP in 2016), who is scheduled to get the call on the hill for the Mariners. The Astros closed out their 2016 season going 4-1 in Keuchel’s last five starts where he faced an AL West Division rival and they are a lights out 26-8 in his last 34 home starts over the last few seasons. The Mariners, on the other hand, have struggled a bit in the spot they are in here tonight as they went just 1-4 in their last five road games when facing a left-handed starter at the end of last season and they are an awful 4-9 in their last thirteen head to head meetings with the Astros. Throw in the fact that Seattle has also struggled against the Astros with King Felix on the hill, going just 2-5 against them in his last seven starts and we’ll lay the small price with the Stros here to get the home win in Houston on Monday night.
4 Unit Play. Take #969 Cleveland Indians -115 over Texas Rangers (7:05 PM, Monday, April 3, ESPN)
The Cleveland Indians will look to open their 2017 season with a road win when they travel to take on the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington, TX on Monday night. Corey Kluber (18-9, 3.14 ERA, 1.06 WHIP in 2016) will get the start for the Indians and he will be opposed by Yu Darvish (7-5, 3.41 ERA, 1.12 WHIP in 2016), who is scheduled to get the call on the hill for the Rangers. Cleveland closed out their 2016 season going 8-1 in their last nine games where they faced a right-handed starter and they are an excellent 20-7 in Kluber’s last 27 starts. The Rangers, on the other hand, have struggled a bit in the spot they are in here tonight as they went 0-4 at home to end last season and they lost their last five games overall to bring a close to their year. Throw in the fact that the Indians went 20-8 in their last 28 games when facing a righty and we’ll take them at the pickem or so price here as they look for their first win in their AL Championship defending season in Texas on Monday night.
4 Unit Play. Take #971 Los Angeles Angels -115 over Oakland A’s (10:05 PM, Monday, April 3, ESPN)
The Los Angeles Angles will look to open their 2017 season with a road when they head north to take on the A’s at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, CA on Monday night. Ricky Nolasco (8-14, 4.42 ERA, 1.25 WHIP in 2016) will get the start for the Angels and he will be opposed by Kendall Graveman (10-11, 4.11 ERA, 1.31 WHIP in 2016), who is scheduled to get the call on the hill for the A’s. The Angels closed out their 2016 season by going 4-1 in their last five road games and they won five of their last six games versus an AL West Division rival. The A’s, on the hand, struggled last year in the spot they are in here tonight as they lost 23 of their last 30 games when facing a team from the AL West and they were an awful 1-8 in their last nine home games. Throw in the fact that Los Angeles has gone 8-3 in their last eleven trips to Oakland and we’ll take them at the pickem or so price to get the road win in the Bay Area on Monday night.
1-Unit Play. Take #959 Philadelphia (+100) over Cincinnati (4 p.m., Monday, April 3)
I know that Jeremy Hellickson is nothing to get excited about. But I think it is ridiculous that Scott Feldman is an Opening Day starter for the Reds. That just goes to show how bad this Cincinnati pitching staff is. I think the Reds are going to be one of the worst teams in baseball this year and we aren’t going to get many chances to bet against them when they are in the favorite’s role. We’ll take what we can get.
5-Unit Play. Take #961 Detroit (-120) over Chicago White Sox (4 p.m., Monday, April 3)
Everything in this game points to the Tigers. I think that Chicago is going to be horrific this season. They traded away two of their best players, Chris Sale and Adam Eaton, this offseason, and this White Sox team is full bore into its rebuilding phases. With the Cubs winning World Series across the city there can’t be any excitement around this squad or their home opener. The Tigers are going with Justin Verlander, who probably could’ve won the Cy Young last year and dominated in the second half of the season. Verlander has owned the White Sox, going 20-6 in his last 26 starts against them, and he is 8-3 in his last 11 starts in Chicago. Detroit’s lineup is healthy right now and they are ready to get this season going. This team feasts on left-handed pitching and they have had some success against Jose Quintana, who didn’t get a lot of work this spring. I just think the Tigers are the must better team here, with the better lineup, and I will take Verlander to continue his success over the Sox at this price.
2-Unit Play. Take #955 Colorado (-105) over Milwaukee (2 p.m., Monday, April 3)
Junior Guerra has been pretty bad this spring, giving up 18 runs and 23 hits in just 17 innings of work. He had just nine strikeouts to seven walks as well. This is a guy that only has 20 career starts in his career. So yes, he had a great season in 2016 while posting a 2.81 ERA. But is this guy for real? We will find out against an absolutely stacked Rockies lineup. Jon Gray has been sharp this preseason, posting 19 strikeouts to just four walks while giving up just seven runs in 15 innings. Milwaukee won five of six in this series last year. But I don’t see that holding up this year. The Rockies are a team with a lot of buzz this year and I think that they will be ready for a fast start. That should mean a win here.
1-Unit Play. Take #967 Kansas City (+100) over Minnesota (4 p.m., Monday, April 3)
The Royals are 36-15 in their last 51 games against the Twins and 25-10 in their last 35 games in Minnesota. Danny Duffy has had a lot success against Minnesota, going 9-2 in his last 11 starts against the Twins and 4-1 in his last five road starts against them. Ervin Santana is 0-7 in his last seven starts against the Royals. Add all that up and we will take this price on the better team.
1-Unit Play. Take #972 Oakland (+100) over L.A. Angels (10 p.m., Monday, April 3)
It is laughable that Ricky Nolasco is getting an Opening Day start. I know that he improved by leaps and bounds last year when he got to LA. But this is still a guy that has posted 5.38, 6.75 and 4.42 ERAS over the last three seasons. I have no idea why he is favored on the road here. I think that the A’s are a little better than they are being credit for. And I think that they are undervalued here as a home dog against Nolasco.