MLB Picks: Top AL/NL Central Division Money Line Plays

David Lawrence

Wednesday, April 8, 2015 11:06 AM UTC

Wednesday, Apr. 8, 2015 11:06 AM UTC

The first week of the 2015 MLB season is underway and  April is the most uncertain month of the season for starting pitchers, so evaluate at your own risk. Here’s our MLB picks for Wednesday.

Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers
Wednesday, 1:08 PM ET
Odds: Tigers -190
The pitching matchup here is Ricky Nolasco for the Twins and Anibal Sanchez for the Tigers. Nolasco finished last season with a 5.38 ERA, while Sanchez checked in at 3.43. Minnesota got shut out in its opener against Detroit, but a lot of teams are going to struggle against David Price. The Twins should be able to hit better in this game, but will they be able to hit well enough to overcome what might be Nolasco’s inconsistent pitching? Nolasco actually posted a healthy 2.33 ERA against the Tigers last season over three starts.

Torii Hunter, a longtime Twin, played the past few seasons for Detroit. Now he’s back in Minnesota, and he’s the cleanup hitter for the Twins. That’s not good. Minnesota’s lineup needs a major upgrade if Hunter is in the prime power spot.

Sanchez missed several starts last year for Detroit. He made only 21 starts compared to 29 in 2013. Injuries slowed him down, and it’s a real question mark as to how effective he’ll be in this game. Minnesota might actually be the better pick since Sanchez is such a wild card at the beginning of the season. It’s simply too much to be laying on him not knowing what we’ll get.

MLB Pick: Minnesota +180 at BetOnline

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St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago Cubs
Wednesday, 2:20 PM ET
Odds: Cubs -109
John Lackey is the starter for the Cardinals, toting a 3.82 ERA from 2014 into his 2015 opener. Jason Hammel is the starter for the Cubs. He’s an interesting case, having posted a 4.26 ERA in American League games last season before going to the National League and turning in a 2.98 ERA. Will Hammel continue to master the National League, or will Lackey’s experience serve him and the Cardinals better in an early-season game? Trust Lackey’s veteran composure here. He was effective in two starts against the Cubs last season, posting a 2.77 ERA while limiting the Cubs lineup to a respectable .269.

MLB Pick: St. Louis +104 at 5Dimes

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Chicago White Sox vs. Kansas City Royals
Wednesday, 8:10 PM ET
Odds: Kansas City -122
Jose Quintana is the starter for Chicago. He had a 3.32 ERA last season. Danny Duffy is the starter for Kansas City. He was excellent last season, carding a 2.53 ERA and being a big reason the back end of the Royals’ starting rotation was able to hold up through the season, doing just enough to get the team into the playoffs. The Royals’ bullpen took things from there. In this matchup, Kansas City has to like its chances. Duffy did get injured late last season but he’s healthy now and should be good for a quality start. And you know if the Royals have the lead going into the sixth, their incredibly good bullpen should be able to take care of the rest.

The concern here is that the Royals batted .350 against Quintana last season in 27.2 innings of work. As a result, he went 0-3 in his four starts. That means the edge here lies with Kansas City, so take them with your MLB picks.

MLB Pick: Kansas City -122 at Pinnacle

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