Swinger’s MLB picks began yesterday with a split but our resident handicapper looks forward to perusing the MLB odds and getting in the plus column in Tuesday’s MLB action.
MLB Season Record (1-1, +0.0 units)
Yesterday we did the splits with the Houston Astros taking a 2-0 decision over the Cleveland Indians as even money underdogs in MLB betting odds but unfortunately the Texas Rangers were dazzled by the pitching heroics of Oakland’s Sonny Gray en route to an 8-0 blanking. Is Texas still as bad as they were last season? I tend to doubt it but it certainly was an ominous start and it did cost us as we backed the visiting Rangers as a +145 underdog. Let’s give it another go and get back on track today.
Total – Padres vs. Dodgers
The Padres looked solid last night until their pen wilted and ultimately dropped a 6-3 opener against the reigning NL West champs. Last night the Padres got most of their offense from former All-Star Matt Kemp. Kemp was dealt in the off-season from Big Blue to the Padres and he looked like a man with something to prove as he went 2-for-4 including a double and responsible for driving in all three of San Diego’s runs. That doesn’t say much for the new look San Diego offense.
The top of the order was the catalyst for LA last night as all six runs were courtesy of batters one through five. LA’s bullpen was solid in relief of ace Clayton Kershaw and they will be up to the task again tonight if called upon. The Dodgers will feature Zack Greinke towing the slab who is 4-0 while registering a 1.84 ERA in seven career starts against the Padres.
Tyson Ross will take the hill for San Diego and while his ERA versus LA is a more than respectable 2.45 in six career starts his record is a disappointing 1-4 which speaks volumes about the lack of run support his mates have provided.
So here we have two top tier pitchers and a history of going under the posted total. In Ross’s starts against the Dodgers the total has gone under in five of six occasions while Greinke’s starts against San Diego have gone under in all six starts. Why buck tradition? What is it that you saw in San Diego’s offense, other than Matt Kemp, that strikes fear into your heart when contemplating betting the ‘under’ in this one? The total is low indeed but there is a damn good reason for it.
MLB Pick: Play Under 6 ½ at Pinnacle
Rangers vs. Athletics
At the risk of chasing my proverbial tail so early in the season I shall go back to what turned out to be a poisoned well yesterday and see if we can score with the Texas Rangers again tonight. Oakland got a sterling effort from Sonny Gray as he beguiled the Texas lineup until Ryan Rua finally cracked the code in the eighth inning with the Rangers’ lone hit of the game.
But Sonny Gray isn’t chuckin’ tonight for the A’s and instead the ball will be handed to 25-year-old Jesse Hahn (no relation to Jessica) who comes equipped with a curveball that confounded major leaguers early last season. However, once the hitters got their share of looks at the 6’5” right-hander they began teeing off which led to a 5.95 ERA in August and September.
Colby Rasmus will be on the mound tonight for Texas and the Rangers are 8-3 in Rasmus’s last 11 starts versus Oakland. Texas is also 10-3 in their last 13 games dating back to last season as an underdog. I believe the bats will wake up tonight after watching the tape of Hahn’s “elusive” curveball that has proven not so elusive any longer.
MLB Pick: Texas Rangers +140 at Bodog