Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays didn’t exactly get off to the best start this season, being held scoreless in a 10 innings stalemate against these same Tigers. Marcus Stroman threw 7 solid innings but really didn’t have the hitting support behind him. With hitters like Teoscar Hernandez and Lourdes Gurriel on the roster, I expect this Toronto offence to improve in a hurry.
The Tigers got off to a very impressive start yesterday, with ace Jordan Zimmerman pitching 7 scoreless innings. They largely struggled offensively, but 2 clutch RBI from Christin Stewart in the 10th inning was enough. As one of the stalwarts of this side, I expect another big season from Venezuelan Miguel Cabrera.
Prediction: Blue Jays $1.75
I think the Blue Jays are the better team in this matchup and they’ll be looking to get back to winning ways here. Matt Shoemaker is a very solid #2 pitcher, especially in his home environment. Assuming a bit more offensive firepower, Toronto takes this one.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays season got off to a predictably disappointing start as they fell 5-1 to Houston yesterday. Left Fielder Tommy Pham was the only bright spot offensively, registering 2 hits in the defeat. Pitcher Jake Snell wasn’t at his best and the remainder of the Rays pitching staff doesn’t inspire too much confidence.
As most predicted, the Astros got their season off to a strong start with a comfortable win against Tampa. Justin Verlander again showed his incredible pitching quality, allowing just 1 earned run in 7 solid innings. George Springer led the way offensively with 3 RBI, whilst Jose Altuve had 2 solid hits.
Prediction: Astros $1.67
I think the Astros are arguably the best team in baseball and have a huge talent edge in this one. Gerrit Cole is another incredibly solid #2 pitcher and I expect a strong debut from him. Couple this with the roaring Astros offence and Houston should leave this match 2-0.
San Diego Padres
The Padres got off to a very solid start in this series yesterday, taking the opener 2-0. 23-year-old pitcher Eric Lauer was en fuego, delivering 6 solid innings and registering the win. Wil Myers and Fernando Tattis both had it going offensively, each leading the way with 2 solid hits.
San Francisco Giants
Whilst the season didn’t get off to a great start for the G-Men, it was good to see a solid return outing from Madison Bumgarner. Evan Longoria also got off to a solid start, registering 2 hits and a .500 average in this one. With a lack of offensive production in this side, it will be up to Longoria and Buster Posey to pick up the slack.
Prediction: Padres $1.62
Whilst these two sides are relatively even, I think the Padres have a huge pitching advantage in this one. Lefty Joey Lucchesi is a competent #2 whereas Derek Holland is inconsistent at this level. I just can’t see the Giants offense firing in what should be a low-scoring affair.