With plenty of options, where have we decided to place our MLB picks tonight?
A pair of games baseball matchups—one each from the
National League and American League—show some solid MLB betting promise on a busy
Miami Marlins (0-2) vs. Cincinnati Reds (1-0)
Mat Latos makes his much anticipated
debut for the Reds when they take on the winless Miami Marlins. Game time is
7:10 PM ET at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati where the MLB odds boards offer the Reds at -151 on
the money line with the total at 8.
The Reds are hoping that Latos can team
with Johnny Cueto to give them the best young pitching duos in the National
League. Cueto looked like a world beater on Thursday limiting the Fish to three
hits in seven innings in a 4-0 victory.
Pitching a priority
After a year in which their starting
staff ranked 13th with an ERA of 4.47, the team decided to roll the
dice on Latos. They sent the Padres Edinson Volquez and former first-round
picks Yonder Alonso and Yasmani Grandal to San Diego to
acquire Latos. It was a salary dump for the cash starved Padres who knew that
eventually the time would come when they couldn’t afford Latos. Two years ago
he tied a major league record by allowing two or fewer runs in 15 consecutive
starts in 2010 but fell off last season going 9-14 with a 3.47 ERA last season.
Arguably, I’m not in the same league as
Reds general manager Walt Jocketty when it comes to evaluating talent. However
I can tell you that Mat Latos is a six-inning pitcher on his best day and he’s
battled arm problems in the past. If Latos rebounds to his 2010 status, then
it’s potentially a good deal for Cincinnati. If not, then it will go down as an
expensive roll of the dice.
The Miami Marlins will be out to avoid their
first 0-3 start since 2001 and Latos might be the guy who helps them get on track.
The Reds righthander is 0-2 in his career against Florida/Miami with a 9.26
ERA. However this version of the Marlins has scored one run in two games and is
One area that has been a plus for Miami
is starting pitching. Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle both worked six innings and
gave up three runs or fewer. If today’s starter Ricky Nolasco can give them a
similar start, then the Marlins could pull off the upset.
Nolasco, who finished 10-12 with a 4.67
ERA, is 2-0 with a 3.65 ERA in four starts in Cincinnati. The Reds have won 15
of 19 at home in this series, but it’s the total I’m looking at for my sports picks tonight, and specifically
the ‘over’. It’s like the bullpens and not the starters will decide the
outcome. That’s why my money is on the ‘over’.
New York Yankees (0-1) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (1-0)
The New York Yankees will try to bounce back from
a stunning opening day loss when they take on the Rays in Tampa. First pitch is
7:10 PM ET from Tropicana Field where the Rays are favored by -125 with the
total at 7.5 David Price and Hiroki Kuroda are the starters with Kuroda making
his American League debut.
Like former Yankee great Yogi Berra used
to say; “It’s Déjà vu all over again”. Such was the case Friday when the
Yankees took a lead into the bottom of the ninth only to see the Rays rally for
two runs off of Mariano Rivera for a 7-6 victory. It brought back memories of
last season when the Rays made it a habit of beating the Yankees and Red Sox in
dramatic style on their way to the playoffs.
Back in the AL
The day belonged to Carlos Pena who hit
a grand slam in the first inning and a walk-off single in the bottom of the
ninth to complete a triumphant return to Tampa Bay. Rivera had converted 60 of
61 career save opportunities against Tampa Bay before Friday, including 27
straight dating to 2005. However he gave up a single, triple, two intentional
walks and the single to Pena to send the Yanks to the stunning loss.
Now the Rays will try to build off their
emotional victory when they send David Price to the hill. The Yankees are hoping
that veteran righthander Hiroki Kuroda can turn things around.
Kuroda, who signed a one-year, $10
million deal with the Yankees in January after four seasons with the Dodgers,
posted a career-best 3.07 ERA last year but went just 13-16 in 32 starts. He
was tied for the third-most losses in the majors.
Price will take the mound for Tampa
Bay, hoping to bounce back from a disappointing 2011 campaign in which he went
12-13 with a 3.49 ERA last season. He was winless in his last seven starts,
including one in the postseason.
Price is 4-2 with a 4.10 ERA in 12
career starts against the Yankees. For me the Price is right. TB is 8-4 SU in
his starts against the Yankees and he gets my backing again today.