As always, terrific MLB match ups abound this weekend. Starting on Thursday, April 13, I preview 2017 MLB Week 2 Weekend games where baseball handicappers could make some dollars. See below for what’s going to happen this weekend in Major League Baseball!
2017 MLB Week 2 Weekend Preview Odds and Picks
Thursday, April 13
Colorado Rockies at San Francisco Giants
Colorado’s listed starter for April 13, Jon Gray, bounced back from a terrible opening day performance versus the Milwaukee Brewers to pitch well against the L.A. Dodgers on April 8. While Gray allowed the Brew Crew to score 5 runs off 6 hits against him in 4 innings on April 3, he held the Dodgers to only 1 run off 4 hits in 5.1 innings of work on April 8. What’s interesting is that the Rockies won both games.
San Francisco has listed ace Madison Bumgarner as their starter this Thursday. MadBum is 0-1 after 2 starts. He has a 3.00 ERA and a .93 WHIP. Versus the San Diego Padres in his last start, Bumgarner was as solid as it gets. He allowed 2 earned runs off 6 hits in 8 innings. Could MadBum pitch another gem on Thursday?
Sure, Bumgarner could pitch well on Thursday. But, here’s the thing, the fact that San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy has felt the need to pitch MadBum over 7 innings in his first start and then 8 innings in his second start, means that Bochy doesn’t feel comfortable with his bullpen or his closer.
San Francisco lost both games that MadBum has started this season. Bumgarner historically hasn’t been great vesus Colorado batters. The Giants are going to be huge favorites on the moneyline. I think I must go the other way given the odds.
My gut tells me the Colorado Rockies are worth a play on the moneyline. If you want the +1.5 run advantage, go for it because the Rockies could be a +1.5 over +100 dog on the run line.
Pick: Colorado Rockies moneyline or run line
Friday, April 14
Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs
The best game this Friday, April 14, figures to be Gerritt Cole and the Pittsburgh Pirates versus Kyle Hendricks and the Chicago Cubs.
Cole lasted only 5 innings versus Boston on April 3. He allowed 5 earned runs from 7 hits. 1 of the hits was a home run. He only struck out 2. But, Cole faced a daunting task. NL pitchers aren’t used to throwing the ball at Fenway Park. How could they be? Fenway is such a hitter’s ball park that unless you have a lot of experience there, more likely than not, you won’t show your best.
Cole could have a decent outing versus the Cubs on Friday. He’s only allowed 1 home run in 118 at-bats. He’s given up 32 hits while he’s struck out 29. Cole should be effective.
Kyle Hendricks has a 6.00 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP in 6 innings pitched. Hendricks threw on the road in his first and only start, against the Milwaukee Brewers, on April 8. It’s difficult to see Hendricks pitching as badly at home versus the Pirates this Friday.
He allows Pitt to bat .234 against him. He’s struck out 27 Pirates in only 111 at-bats. That’s not bad. Hendricks has allowed 2 home runs, though.
Like Bumgarner versus Colorado, Hendricks is going to be a huge favorite versus the Pittsburgh Pirates this Friday. Is Hendricks worth a bet at what’s going to be low odds?
I think so. I believe that Cole does an excellent job up until the sixth inning. But, then, things will change quickly. The advantage that the Chicago Cubs have over every team in the National League is their magical bullpen that follows great starting pitching.
The Cubbies replaced last year’s World Series closer Aroldis Chapman with Kansas City All-Star closer Wade Davis. Davis is almost as unhittable as Chapman. The Cubs are the play on the run line.
Pick: Chicago Cubs run line
Saturday, April 15
Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians
Already, Detroit versus Cleveland is an important series in the AL Central Division. Detroit has improved big time from last season while Cleveland wants to get back to the World Series in 2017. On April 15, both teams send their respective aces to the mound. Detroit is scheduled to start Justin Verlander while the Indians are scheduled to start Corey Kluber.
Verlander has a 1.35 ERA and a .98 WHIP in 2 starts this season. In 353 at-bats versus Verlander, Cleveland batters have 85 hits. 12 of the hits were home runs. Verlander has struck out 77 Cleveland batters.
Corey Kluber has a 5.25 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP in 12 innings pitched this season. Kluber has never had great success versus Detroit. He’s allowed 12 home runs in only 222 at-bats. The Tigers have a .279 batting average versus Kluber.
My gut tells me that it’s going to be difficult for Vegas to make Detroit, even with Verlander starting, the favorites in this match up. I just don’t see Kluber pitching as well against Detroit’s starting line-up as Verlander is going to pitch against Cleveland’s starting line-up.
Kluber has had some control issues already this season. He’s not on point with the devastating cutter. The problem might be that Kluber pitched way more innings last season, because Cleveland got to the World Series with 2 of the 3 best starting pitchers hurt, then he did in any other season during his career.
Verlander should dominate. He looks set to make a run for another Cy Young Award this season. I think Detroit could very well beat Cleveland by at least 2 runs.
But, I’m going to be conservative on Saturday. The Detroit Tigers should beat the Cleveland Indians as either a slight favorite or a slight dog.
Pick: Detroit Tigers moneyline
Sunday, April 16
St. Louis Cardinals at New York Yankees
The St. Louis Cardinals head to the Bronx this 2017 MLB Week 2 Weekend to battle the Yankees in an interleague matchup between two of the most historic teams in MLB History. The New York Yankees have won 27 World Series titles. The St. Louis Cardinals have won 11 World Series titles.
St. Louis starts former ace Adam Wainwright. Wainwright looked good in his first start of the season, a 1 to 2 loss to the Chicago Cubs on April 4. But, then, versus Washington, Wainwright allowed 5 earned runs from 11 hits in 4 innings.
The Yankees start Michael Pineda on Sunday. Pineda was atrocious in his first start this season. Facing the Tampa Bay Rays, Pineda only lasted 3.2 innings. He allowed 4 earned runs from 8 hits. He struck out 6. He gave up a home run. His ERA in the game came out to 9.82.
But, Pineda bounced back in his second start of the year. Facing Tampa Bay at home, Pineda pitched 7.2 innings and allowed only 2 hits. He did allow an earned run. The earned run was a home run.
Pineda is inconsistent. But, I do love how he made the adjustments versus the Rays from his first game against them to his second game against them. What that tells me is that Michael Pineda isn’t afraid to adjust.
I think he comes out guns blazing on Sunday. The Cardinals haven’t seen Pineda that much. The lack of familiarity could lead to Pineda pitching another gem.
That’s not the only reason I like the Yankees in this match up. Adam Wainwright may never return to the form that he had when winning the Cy Young. Since the Cardinals have committed to Wainwright, they must start him and cross their fingers, hoping that he does return to form.
I think New York beats St. Louis rather handily on April 16. Backing the Yankees on the run line as favorites makes sense to me.
Pick: New York Yankees run line