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Our 2020 MLB Opening Day Picks And Preview: Part 2

MLB

If you tailed yesterday, you woke up today in the plus. Depending on what service you may be using to make your investment, you start off the 2020 Major League Baseball season with a 2-0 record. At the very least, you are 1-0.

Things looked great as each play was well on its way to cash. The Yankees were producing runs and hitting dingers. The Los Angeles Dodgers handled the San Francisco Giants with ease. But the rain poured in at Nationals Park, shortening the game as well as our chances to cruise to another winning ticket. The over in play was 7.5 runs. The game was called in the 6th inning, with the Yankees winning by a score of 4-1.

Let’s start of today with a winning precedent as well. Today’s slate features the rest of the 26 MLB teams. And just like yesterday, expect a bevy of late-breaking news pertaining to lineups and pitching matchups. Dave O’Brien of The Athletic has already reported that Atlanta Braves catchers Tyler Flowers and Travis d’Arnaud are out due to sickness. O’Brien states that while parties have similar symptoms pertaining to COVID-19, each has tested negative for the virus. Braves rookie Alex Jackson will get the nod behind the plate to pair with Mike Soroka as he faces Mets’ ace Jacob deGrom. For starters, let’s stay away from that game!

A wise man once told me, “expect the unexpected.” That statement certainly applies to the current state of MLB, especially when it comes to projecting matchups. With that said, we will focus on the plays that can’t go wrong. Or at least the ones will the most difficult path to fail. We will keep chipping singles into the outfield until they put the shift on. So, here it goes.

Orioles Team Total OVER 3.5 (-130)

The Baltimore Orioles were one of the worst teams in baseball last year. Surprisingly though, they had the ability to score some runs. They averaged 4.5 runs per game in 2019. That’s a far cry from bottom-feeders like Miami and Detroit, who finished with marks of 3.8 and 3.61, respectively. Despite ranking 22nd in the category, the Black Birds averaged more runs than teams such as Toronto and San Diego, both of whom have firepower in their lineups. During the last half of the season in 2019, Baltimore saw an uptick with runs, averaging 4.8 per game.

But that’s not all. Boston’s expected starter, Nathan Eovaldi, is atrocious against Baltimore. He has a 6.30 ERA in his last five outings versus the Orioles. The Baltimore lineup boasts an .851 OPS when facing the Red Sox veteran.

It’s tempting to go over 10 runs combined here. Tommy Milone is slated to start on the mound for the Orioles. He holds a 9.26 ERA in his last five starts versus Boston. But he is three seasons separated from his last outing facing the Sox. The current Boston lineup is only hitting .246 versus Milone, to go along with a mediocre .640 OPS. I want to see what this Boston lineup looks like without Mookie Betts. We’ll go with the safe play here. Orioles get four runs.

STL Team Total OVER 4.5 runs (-115), STL RL (+100)

There are several plays that look enticing pertaining to the NL Central battle between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Let’s double-dip in this one. Heck, it’s Opening Day. It’s time to liberate ourselves a bit, right?

While Joe Musgrove is by far the Pirates’ most proven pitcher, he is awful against the Red Birds. In his last five games against St, Louis, Musgrove is 0-5 with an ERA of 9.00. The Cardinals’ lineup is eviscerating the Pirate hurler to the tune of an .896 OPS. Six St. Louis batters currently hold an OPS over 1.000 against the black and gold pitching staff.

On the flip side, Cardinals’ ace Jack Flaherty has been dealing against Pittsburgh. He is 3-0 with a 1.36 ERA in his last five starts versus the Pirates. Pittsburgh batters are having a hard time navigating the young righty. Flaherty boasts an opponent batting average of .188 against this lineup. Pirate batters also have a career .544 OPS when facing hack-a-Jack.

St. Louis simply destroyed Pittsburgh last year. The Cardinals went 14-5 against their division foe in 2019. During their last 10 matchups, the average score between the two rests in favor of home team in today’s bout. St Louis paced 7.1 runs per game, while the Pirates averaged just 3.6 during that stretch.

The only worry is if Josh Bell hits a bases-clearing dinger to balance things out. Let’s hope that’s not the case. Ultimately, I think the defending NL Central champions get this one with ease while scoring a ton of runs. Worst-case scenario, we split. Cardinals by a million!

That’s it for today! We will update you on any plays or other news that develops throughout the day. Adjust accordingly, the 2020 MLB season will be a bumpy ride. But we plan to get to the window and make it worth while. Sit back and enjoy the Red and Black Birds singing their victory tunes on this beautiful Opening Day Part Deux!

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