Free MLB Picks: Minnesota Twins (150)
Mon Apr 7 ’08 4:05p
Young Nick Blackburn pitched very well in his Major League debut for the Minnesota Twins, while Javier Vazquez of the Chicago White Sox is maddeningly inconsistent, giving the Twins value at this price.
Blackburn allowed only one run on five hits while posting six strikeouts vs. just one walk in seven innings of a tough-luck 1-0 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. Blackburn looks like the type of pitcher that will be tough his first time through the league, and he has the support of a Minnesota bullpen that is probably the best part of the whole team. We even think the Twins will scrape together some runs vs. Vazquez this afternoon.
Vazquez’s seasonal debut certainly left a lot to be desired, as he allowed four earned runs and an unacceptable nine baserunners in just five innings of work in a 7-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians. He also did not exactly fool the Minnesota batters the last time he faced the Twins here in Chicago last September, as he was touched up for four runs on 11 hits in six innings of a wild 11-10 White So victory.
We look for both starters to come close to their first performances, which should lead to a Twins upset at nice odds.
MLB Free Pick: Twins +150
Free MLB Picks: Cleveland Indians @ Los Angeles Angels u8.5 (100)
Mon Apr 7 ’08 10:05p
The Under is now 8-1 in the last nine head-to-head meetings between the Cleveland Indians and the Los Angeles Angels, and given the performances of tonight’s starters last week, we expect more of the same tonight.
Cleveland’s Fausto Carmona received a couple of Cy Young Award votes with good reason last year, and he has picked up right where he left off. Carmona allowed just one run and four hits in his seasonal debut, a 7-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox. This will also be the first time that the Angels have ever faced Carmona, which should make him doubly tough.
Believer it or not, Joe Saunders of the Angels was actually even better in his first start, tossing eight scoreless innings while allowing four hits at Minnesota. Saunders has shown some flashes during his brief career, and he had an excellent spring, so it looks like he may be on edge for a break-out year. He is also a perfect two for two in Quality Starts vs. the Indians the last two years, allowing a total of two earned runs and just eight hits in 13.2 innings.
This looks like a good old-fashioned pitchers’ duel and a rather safe Under.
MLB Free Pick: Indians, Angels Under 8.5 (+100)
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