Games to Watch, April 2-5
Baseball kicks it up a notch with the first full week in the 2019 MLB regular season. Check out a list of games that we should keep an eye on. Keep reading for an analysis of each of this week’s top matchups based on likely starting pitchers.
[Tuesday, April 2]
Boston Red Sox at Oakland A’s
Boston ace Chris Sale missed most of last season with a shoulder problem. Supposedly, he was 100 percent heading into this season. He didn’t look 100 percent on Opening Day.
Sale gave up 7 earned runs, including 3 home runs, off 6 hits in only 3 innings pitched in Boston’s ridiculous 4-12 loss to Seattle. He had no control over the slider. It looked as if he hadn’t thrown a single inning during spring training.
Oakland counters Sale with Mike Fiers. He allowed only one hit in his first start against the Angels. Fiers should have all his pitches working, which makes the A’s the play because we have no idea which Chris Sale we’re going to get on Tuesday.
MLB Free Pick: Oakland A’s
San Francisco Giants at L.A. Dodgers
Madison Bumgarner pitched 7 innings, allowed 5 hits, only 2 earned runs, and struck out 9 in his first start this year. So, why wasn’t he smiling afterwards? The Giants lost 0-2 to the San Diego Padres.
This is an easy one to analyze. One team can hit. The other team can’t. MadBum will provide another great performance on April 2, but, again, it won’t matter. Dodgers win.
MLB Free Pick: L.A. Dodgers
[Wednesday, April 3]
Chicago Cubs at Atlanta Braves
The Braves and Cubs are supposed to be a couple of NL contenders this season. Chicago’s listed starter Jon Lester was magnificent in his first start. He dominated the Texas Rangers with a 6-inning 4-hit, 2-earned-run master performance.
The new-look Philadelphia Phillies got ahead of Atlanta starter Julio Teheran in his first foray to the mound. Teheran lasted 5 innings and allowed 3 earned runs off 4 hits. He didn’t pitch too horribly because the Phillies lineup this season might be the best in MLB. Not only that, the Cubs only bat .184 against Teheran. Julio bounces back, and the Braves take down the Cubbies.
MLB Free Pick: Atlanta Braves
[Thursday, April 4]
Chicago Cubs at Atlanta Braves
Cubs-Braves on Thursday might provide as much drama as Cubs-Braves on Wednesday. Chicago’s counting on listed starter Yu Darvish to rediscover that consistent 93-95 mile per hour fastball. If Yu can top it out at 99 like he used to, Chicago could have a solid starting four.
Darvish must pick it up. He failed in his first start on March 30, only lasting 2.2 innings after giving up 3 runs. It’s hard to give Yu the benefit of the doubt, but the Braves only bat .197 against him. Maybe he has a couple of bullpen sessions from now until Thursday that get him back on track. Giving Darvish the benefit of the doubt in this matchup.
MLB Free Pick: Chicago Cubs
[Friday, April 5]
L.A. Dodgers at Colorado Rockies
The Dodgers blasted the Arizona Diamondbacks 18-5 on March 30. The D-Backs had no answer for the Dodgers. The beneficiary of the run explosion was Kenta Maeda, whom the Dodgers list to start on Friday.
Maeda threw a pretty good game, giving up 3 earned runs off 5 in 6.2 innings pitched. His form could go south on Friday, though, because it’s always difficult to throw at Coors Field. However, the Rockies only hit .235 against Maeda, and if Maeda has issues with his stuff at Coors Field, Rockies starter Tyler Anderson should as well. Dodgers win.
MLB Free Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers
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