After yesterday, every team has now had its Opening Day, this means on Tuesday’s with rare exception; those placing MLB picks at sportsbooks will have more time because there will be night games.
The extra time can beneficial even to MLB baseball handicappers to look more deeply into particular areas for value on sides and totals. When looking over today’s slate of betting odds, here are my Top 3 choices.
Mets Could Run Roughshod over Phillies
It is easy to be excited about the return of Matt Harvey for New York. In his initial start after Tommy John surgery in October 2013, he struck out nine while allowing four hits and one walk over six scoreless innings against Washington in the Mets 6-3 win. Harvey will look to build on that outing and in five prior matchups with the Phillies; the young right-hander is 4-0 with a 1.08 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings.
He will face David Buchanan, who had a rough first start to 2015 against Boston, tagged for six runs in three innings, conceding seven hits and showing no command with four walks.
The MLB odds have the Mets as -235 money line favorites which is too rich, but slide over to the run line, where the Metropolitans are +105. Harvey and the bullpen are capable of limiting a feeble looking Phils attack and New York should have chances to tally runs against Buchanan. With manager Terry Collins squad 28-11 on the RL versus National League teams scoring 3.8 or fewer runs per game, certainly work a hard look.
MLB Pick – Mets -1.5 Run Line
Cubs Keep Winning in Division Showdown
Chicagoans who live on the North Side and west and north suburbs, pardon them if the Cubs 4-2 start is not cause for celebration. For decades, these fans have seen every imaginable start, been a part of various managers who were big winners in other places until they arrived at Wrigley Field (and that was with people in the bleachers).
Though most of the talk about Chicago has been fixated on all its potential young stars, the Cubs front office outside of Jon Lester has quietly assembled a pretty good pitching staff. One of the major components has been Jake Arrieta, who has found a home in Chicago and has won five in a row at Wrigley with a miniscule 0.50 ERA.
Arrieta twice last season took a no-hitter into the seventh inning at home against Cincinnati and while that seems unlikely again, his confidence has to be high pitching in home park against a team he understands to can beat.
After winning four straight, the Reds has lost three consecutive times and hand the ball to Anthony DeSclafani, who is 1-2 with a 6.53 ERA in six career starts. If DeSclafani cannot do the job, the Cincy bullpen other than Aroldis Chapman has been iffy with a 4.95 ERA and is the reason they lost the series opener last night.
Cincinnati is a +140 road underdog and in the last three seasons, they are unsightly 3-17 as +125 to +150 away pooches.
MLB Pick – Chicago -150 at Bovada
A’s and Astros, the Runs Keep Coming
In Game 1 of this AL West series, those placing MLB picks sent the total flying from 7.5 to 8.5. There were many reasons including these combatants usually piling up the runs and with Oakland winning 8-1, these two are now 15-5 OVER when playing in Houston.
Today’s total has not been adjusted, still at the starting number of 8.5. In looking closer, the Athletics are averaging 6.4 runs an outing and take on Brad Peacock, who in four starts in 2014 had a 6.16 ERA against Oakland.
After a phenomenal spring, A’s starter Kendall Graveman stumbled out of the gate was roughed up for seven earned runs in 3 1/3 innings of a 10-1 loss to Texas. Whether it was nerves or whatever, it probably was an unsettling moment for the right-hander and though the Astros young sluggers have yet to get untracked, if Graveman struggles with control again he could give up runs.
With Oakland’s offense and the Astros 17-4 OVER at home versus teams outscoring opposing teams by 0.5 or more runs a game, let’s look for another OVER in H-Town.
MLB Pick – Play Over