Three series that took an early day off on Tuesday get back to business with a Wednesday evening MLB betting card that leads off with the Red Sox and Phillies on national TV.
Porcello, BoSox Look To Pound On Phillies
The Boston Red Sox looked every bit like the contenders to win the American League title that they are in Monday's season opener at the Philadelphia Phillies, who also very much resembled the long shots they are on the MLB futures odds. Boston popped five homers, four off Cole Hamels, and got shutout pitching from Clay Buchholz and the bullpen to get their worst-to-first run in the AL East off to a winning start with the 8-0 victory.
John Farrell now sends Rick Porcello out for the Red Sox in Philadelphia on Wednesday, ESPN 2 beginning its broadcast at 7 PM (ET). Boston went out around -140 on the MLB odds, and will now cost backers $1.50; Aaron Harang counters for the Phillies with an 8 run total (U -120) for the only interleague game on the baseball betting docket.
It was about as perfect a night as possible on Monday for Boston, newcomer Hanley Ramirez capping his Red Sox debut with a grand slam for his second homer of the game in the ninth. Dustin Pedroia also poked two out, Mookie Betts going deep as well off Hamels who didn't exactly make a great opening impression for any teams courting the southpaw.
Porcello is not only making his Sox debut on Wednesday, but also taking the mound for the first time since signing a nice $80 million extension on Opening Day. The former Tiger is pitching at Citizens Bank Park for the first time, his only previous experience against the Phillies in July 2013 at Comerica Park (6 IP, 3 ER).
Harang is also making his Phillies debut, the 7th team the big righty has pitched for since the start of the 2010 season. He has won his last two starts at CBP with some impressive numbers for the (13.2 IP, 4 ER), and faced the Red Sox last May in Atlanta with a no decision in a Braves loss, the only appearance vs. Boston in Harang's 13-year career.
The hump day weather forecast is not looking so good for Philly, so keep that in mind before going to the MLB odds window.We're looking at the mid-40s with a 30%-40% threat of showers, not to mention 10-15 mph winds from the ENE (in from right-center). I like the 'under' to get my trio of free MLB picks started.
MLB pick: Red Sox-Phillies Under 7.5 at BetOnline
Bucs Aim To Even Set In Cincinnati
There's an even greater threat of rain Wednesday night in Cincinnati where the Reds host the Pittsburgh Pirates. The 7:10 PM (ET) first pitch will be delivered by Mike Leake of the Reds, Gerrit Cole opposing him on the Pittsburgh side and favored with a price around -120. A 7 run total leans 'over' a wee bit.
Cincinnati got off to a 1-0 start on the season thanks to Todd Frazier's 3-run tater in the bottom of the eighth. Leake follows a dominant performance by Johnny Cueto (7 IP, 0 R, 10 K) and is coming off a fine spring to earn the No. 2 slot. Cole had a good enough exhibition showing as well, and is still looking for his first career victory over the Reds.
There's a 50% chance of rain with a first pitch temp in the low-70s, and a 100% probability that I'm following the Buccos in this one.
MLB pick: Pirates -120 at Bet365
Tribe Bats Hope For Better Results Against Astros' Feldman
It was a glorious night in Houston on Monday when the Astros blanked the Cleveland Indians, 2-0. Dallas Keuchel and the bullpen helped secure AJ Hinch's first win at the helm of the Astros, all in front of a sellout crowd.
There won't be near as many there Wednesday night when the clubs collide for Game 2 in the set (8:10 PM ET). Carlos Carrasco has been charged with helping the Tribe back to level on the season, Scott Feldman toiling on the mound for Houston. Early action on the Indians has driven the moneyline to -140, an 8 run total also available for baseball bettors.
I'm here to tell you that Monday was a great atmosphere in Houston. The Astros aren't going to cash any 100/1 tickets for the AL Championship, but are legitimate 80-win candidates this year, meaning they can screw up someone else's season along the way.
Carrasco owned Houston hitters last year in a couple of starts, his first career appearances vs. the Astros. That included a 2-hit complete game shutout in September, striking out 12 along the way. Like I said, about .500 for the Astros this year and that's the way I'll play this series with a free pick on Cleveland.
MLB pick: Indians -140 at Sports Interaction