April 4, 2011
For Amusement Only 4/5
The underdog didn't win in last night's college basketball national championship game as Butler fell to Connecticut. Nevertheless, I like four underdogs on Tuesday's baseball schedule, based on the early odds.
In an afternoon affair, I'll go with the Padres and Aaron Harang +105 over the Giants and Madison Bumgarner. This is a feel pick as it is the home opener at Petco Park and Harang, a San Diego native, is making his debut with his hometown team.
I'll take the Blue Jays and Jo-Jo Reyes +100 over the Athletics and Brandon McCarthy in a matchup of two pitchers who resurrected their careers with strong performances in spring training. The Blue Jays have won 16 of their last 22 meetings against the Athletics.
The Braves and Derek Lowe +105 over the Brewers and Yovani Gallardo is an appealing pick in another night game. The Braves have won eight of their last 10 games against the winless Brewers and, even though it's just four games, I get the sense this a season where everything is going to go wrong in Milwaukee.
Finally, I'll take the Royals and Luke Hochevar +120 over the White Sox and Gavin Floyd. Kaufman Stadium has never been kind to Floyd as he is 1-4 with a 6.62 ERA in six career starts there. Perhaps he has a phobia about fountains.
I'll stick with the Padres up to -105, the Blue Jays to -130, the Braves to -115 and the Royals to -105.
There are two other matchups that look favorable if the lines come down. I like the Reds and Mike Leake over the Astros and J.A. Happ, and the Cardinals and Kyle McClellan over the Pirates and James McDonald if both lines fall to at least -145.
Monday was just a one-pick day but it was a loser as the Diamondbacks +131 fell to the Cubs despite getting the rarity of rarities—a home run by Willie Bloomquist to lead off the game.
Season record: 7-9 (.438)
Net profit/loss: -284