MLB Pitching Report: Today's Odds Favor American League Hurlers

Doug Upstone

Monday, April 4, 2016 4:44 PM UTC

Monday, Apr. 4, 2016 4:44 PM UTC

The second day of the season has the other 24 teams in action and those betting on MLB odds are just as excited and in some cases even more so than the players themselves.

Rather amazingly, exactly one-third of the contests on the board have money lines of -180 or higher and all four are in the National League, which will happen a great deal this season, considering the difference between the elite clubs and those whose lone mission is to acquire draft picks hoping to replicate what Houston and the Chicago Cubs have accomplished.

We instead will look elsewhere for more competitive games against the MLB odds with the selected opening day starters looking to do their best. Because the tilts will have various times, to help you for MLB picks, we will help you out with the starting times.


Does Dallas Keuchel Cuff Yankees Again?
Like Houston itself, it all came together for Dallas Keuchel, the reigning AL Cy Young award winner. The lefthander was 20-8 with a 2.48 ERA and WHIP of 1.02. He did not slow down in the postseason either, winning both starts, including one in the Wild Card game at Yankee Stadium, with six scoreless in the Astros 3-0 triumph. In fact, Keuchel ate up New York hitters, not permitting a run in three starts over 22 innings in 2015, striking out 28 and walking only two.

The lefty will face the same mound opponent, Masahiro Tanaka (12-7, 3.51, 0.99).The Yankees right-hander likes to work quickly and has nasty slider and a split-fastball that dives late. Though this fastball is 92-93 MPH, when he's behind in count and his to use this pitch, that is when he gets hurt.

On ESPN, Houston opened as -125 road favorite, as baseball bettors are believing Keuchel's sinking fastball, cutter, curve and changeup will keep Yankees hitters off-balance again and the bullpen will take care of the rest.

Play On: Keuchel and Houston


Felix Hernandez All or Nothing vs. Texas
The other afternoon contest on ESPN is a super pitching matchup between Felix Hernandez (18-9, 3.53, 1.18) and Cole Hamels (13-8, 3.65, 1.19). Unless you are a fan of Seattle or Texas, the information you are about to read might not be familiar to you.

Last year King Felix was 5-0 against the Rangers, never giving up more than two runs in any start. In 2013-14, Hernandez was 0-5 and Seattle won just one of eight starts. In 2012, he made two domineering starts, but in 2011, he and the Mariners were 0-4 when he climbed the hill against Texas.

In fact, if you go back to 2007, the Seattle ace was 2-0, 0-4 in '08 and 4-0 in '09. The only recent year which has not followed the same path was 2010, but he still lost his first three decisions before being victorious in last two. Texas with Hamels is a -125 home favorite and we think Felix might be in for another rough year with the Rangers.

Play Against: Hernandez and Seattle


Buy Chris Sale at Discounted Price
Chicago Chris Sale (13-11, 3.41, 1.08) was not the White Sox opening day pitcher a year because he was still healing from spring foot fracture. The southpaw has made it clear he is excited to take the ball in Chicago's opener and is coming off franchise-best 274 strikeout season.

Sale throws from the side, somewhere between complete sidearm and three-quarters and really hides the ball expertly and since he can overpower batters with 94 to 98 MPH fastball, when he hitting both sides of the plate, game over.

Sonny Gray (14-7, 2.73, 1.08) will be Oakland's starter for home opener. The A's ace has faced the White Sox twice and though he has no-decision, Gray has a 8.10 ERA and his club lost both times.

With Chicago a +110 road underdog, Sale sporting a 2.25 ERA vs. the Athletics (Sox 2-3) and knowing Oakland was 16-32 against lefties last season, good spot for the Pale Hose.

Play On: Sale and Chicago

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