It's common some West Coast NFL teams struggle in early East Coast games. Can the same trends be used to handicap MLB games? Our capper analyzes 2 early games & gives his MLB Picks.
Us West Coast guys don’t really understand this, but there is baseball starting at 9:10 AM for us this morning. It’s a Thursday. I’ll be at my day job! I can’t watch baseball! Furthermore, who attends these games? Is the target market for the Miami Marlins the unemployed? Actually I know for a fact that the Baltimore Orioles target market is school children tomorrow (note: also unemployed), because half the city’s school districts will be on a field trip to Camden Yards tomorrow. These early starts will also keep happening this Memorial Day weekend with a plethora of 9 AM starts. Who wants to play baseball that early? I mean, it’s not a tee time and a joyful romp around the links, there is a guy throwing 95 MPH very near your testicles at 9 AM at the morning. This prospect is frightening to me, and it should be to you too.
One might think, “So what, these are professional baseball players, they don’t care when they play!” But you know you are wrong. We’ve all had a situation where we have had to show up a half hour early to something in the morning, you know, where you have to actually change your alarm to get there on time? You might get there, but in your heart of hearts, something is just a little off. For me, I just hope someone doesn’t expect me to talk back at them in a coherent manner. Ok, now think of a high and tight 96 MPH fastball flying by your face. Screw that!
Arizona vs. Miami: 9:10 AM PST
In this game we have a West Coast starter in Arizona’s Archie Bradley who is coming off of the disabled list after getting drilled in the head by a line drive. He got lit up in his first start back and gave up 4 earned runs in just two innings against the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday. Now, he’s up again early in the morning facing the number one starter for the Marlins in Mat Latos. I don’t care if the Marlins are a complete shit show right now; they have the absolute advantage in this game. With the money line sitting at -128 on the MLB odds board, I think the public is overvaluing the recent cold streak of the Marlins. The real mystery is how Marlins starter Mat Latos returns from taking a ball off his left shin, although I think we all know that is a little different than taking a shot off the ol’ noggin.
MLB Pick: Fade the West Coast team against a solid starter in the early start time and take the Marlins -128.
Seattle vs. Baltimore: 9 35 AM PST
J.A. Happ has been pitching great for the Mariners this year, with newfound control and a higher strikeout rate. But the story in this game will be Chris Tillman, the former Mariner prospect who was traded to the Orioles in exchange for Erik Bedard a few years ago. Tillman has won all six games he has started versus the Mariners since joining the Orioles, compiling a 2.05 ERA. With the early start time expect Tillman to overcome his recent back problems and to continue his recent success against the M’s.
MLB Pick: The combination of the recent solid pitching of J.A. Happ and a motivated Chris Tillman against his former team in sleepy time should keep the offenses in check. Take the under of 8 runs in this early start game as your MLB pick.