Arizona Favored to Stop Cleveland in a Game that Will Go 'Over'

Jason Lake

Saturday, April 8, 2017 7:33 PM UTC

Saturday, Apr. 8, 2017 7:33 PM UTC

Cleveland swept the Texas Rangers to start the 2017 campaign. But it’ll be the Arizona Diamondbacks this Saturday, and the Snakes are favored on the MLB odds board.

Cleveland Indians vs Arizona Diamondbacks

When the Arizona Diamondbacks signed Zack Greinke to a six-year, $206-million contract in late 2015, they signed one of the best pitchers of in baseball history: a three-time All-Star and former Cy Young winner who finished second to Jake Arrieta in last year’s balloting. They also dealt a blow to their NL West rivals and Greinke’s former employers, the Los Angeles Dodgers. Big things were expected.

Big things did not happen. Greinke was erratic in his Snakes debut, posting a merely mortal 4.12 FIP – his worst since overcoming the anxiety and depression that plagued his early career. But even that was good enough to finish the year in the black at +3.96 betting units on a team record of 16-10. Greinke gets the nod for Arizona this Saturday (8:10 p.m. ET) when they host Cleveland in the second of a three-game set; it’s a close one, but the Diamondbacks are slim –115 favorites on the MLB odds board as we go to press.

Get a Grip

Hate to say it, but it might be time to sell on Greinke. He’s already had one start this year, and it wasn’t epic: just five innings against the San Francisco Giants (+133 away), giving up two runs in an eventual 6-5 win. Greinke has lost some of the zip on his fastball in recent years, and pitching at the sweaty BOB hasn’t helped him in that department – they’re talking about putting a humidor in there, like the one the Colorado Rockies have at Coors Field.

Cleveland responds with Trevor Bauer (3.99 FIP), who’ll be making his first start of the 2017 campaign after playing a key role in last year’s playoff rotation. The analytics are firmly on Greinke’s side, but FiveThirtyEight still likes the big-hitting Tribe to win this game 51 percent of the time. That makes Cleveland a simple enough MLB pick as a slight underdog. But there’s not much profit margin in there, and we’re dealing with two high-variance pitchers at this stage of their respective careers. Let’s roll with the OVER instead on the 9-run total; it’s 4-0-1 for the Snakes as they start the year in Phoenix, where it’s in the high 80s right now. Kiss my grits, Mel.

Free MLB Pick: OVER 9 (–120)Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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