The season kicks off with a battle in the AL East between the Jays and the Rays but after analyzing the MLB odds in this one which team makes sense to start the year off on the winning track?
Swinger’s 2014 MLB Record (0-1, -1.15 units) *Each wager is graded from 1 to 5 units*
We bowed in our first foray into the MLB season with Under the posted total in the Dodgers/Diamondbacks Game 2 tilt Down Under. The final score had the Dodgers winning 7-5 and that was only four runs too much. Just missed (I’m being facetious Haters). I will be keeping a legitimate record and will be assigning each MLB pick a unit size of 1 to 5 units depending upon how strongly I feel about the selection. So crack open a cold one, put your feet up and get ready for a long and hopefully prosperous ride into October.
Toronto Blue Jays (0-0)
R.A. Dickey is taking the hill as the Jays opening day starter. Dickey’s 2013 campaign somewhat reflected Toronto’s stunningly disappointing performance last season. Though Dickey’s record was not nearly as abysmal as his team’s, it was a rather shocking descent from his NL Cy Young Award winning season the year before.
But Dickey did participate in the now quadrennial anathema known as the World Baseball Classic before the start of last season which makes a long, grueling season even longer and more grueling. Known for his dancing and diving knuckleball, he had little velocity and even less movement on a pitch that has delivered wins for his team and millions in his bank account. His performance however did improve as the season wore on when he posted six wins on eight quality starts resulting in a 3.56 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP in 14 second half starts.
Read our MLB Picks of the Day article for more free plays.
Tampa Bay Rays (0-0)
David Price gets the nod in Tampa Bay’s home opener and the club hopes to build upon a 92 win season and their fourth playoff appearance in six years. The Rays have accomplished this despite one of the lowest payrolls in the league but under the leadership of one of the most respected managers in baseball, Joe Maddon. This season they have topped the $80 million mark in order to retain the players who have contributed to the team’s success. Today’s starting pitcher David Price was part of that “spending spree” when he agreed to a one-year $14 million payday to anchor the Rays rotation.
Price notched a 10-8 record with a 3.33 ERA last season after copping the AL Cy Young Award two years ago. He took his first turn on the disabled list last year but came back healthy and refreshed posting a 9-4 record and a 2.53 ERA in 18 starts. In addition to having one of the strongest rotations in baseball, the Rays acquired free agent closer Grant Balfour and reliever Heath Bell to bolster their bullpen.
Free MLB Pick:
There’s no doubt that the Blue Jays have a lineup that can cause major league headaches for opposing pitchers. However, the Rays are 14-5 (+7.2 units) against the Blue Jays when playing in Tampa Bay. The Rays have also won Price’s last three starts against Toronto while the Jays record is 4-5 versus Tampa with Dickey starting.
I’m not sure if Dickey, at 39-years-old, is the go-to-guy you want to have as your ace if you are trying to win the bruising AL East. Conversely Price is a 28-year-old southpaw that, when on, can dominate a game. The Rays also re-signed RBI guy James Loney and have one of the best in the business in third baseman Evan Longoria. Tampa Bay is currently installed as a pretty heavy favorite at -160 in MLB odds but we look for the Rays to chip away at the knuckleballer Dickey and send their fans home happy.In our MLB picks we will be laying it and liking it on Tampa Bay-160 for 2 units.