The beginning of a Major League season is usually filled with surprising stories, many of which get “corrected” over the course of the year. The Cincinnati Reds are scoring runs at a high clip and winning more often than not. Meanwhile, the Oakland Athletics have struggled mightily over their first 10 games. These two teams will likely regress to more to their usual selves over the course of 162 games but they are interesting stories non-the-less. One of the mentioned teams is front and center in our right up today, let’s get right to it.
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Season Record: 4-2
Oakland Athletics at Arizona Diamondbacks
It certainly hasn’t been an ideal start for the Athletics as they dropped six straight games right out of the shoot. Since then they are 3-1 up until the 10th. This appears to be a very winnable game as the struggling D-Backs will send Madison Bumgarner to the mound. The former World Series MVP has become a shell of his former self. Over nine innings of work in the early going he has given up 11 earned runs. The relief core for the Snakes carry a good ERA (3.22) but has given up the ninth-most hits in the league.
There are injury concerns to make matters even more challenging for Arizona. We don’t exactly know when Zac Gallen will be back but it has been determined two of their proven producers will miss time until late April. Kole Calhoun will be recovering from knee surgery while Ketel Marte will sit out due to a hamstring injury.
A’s Ramon Laureano will look to continue to ignite the offense. He has already stolen five bases while attaining a .922 OPS. Mark Canha is another right-handed bat that could give the left-handed throwing Bumgarner fits. He is hitting .282 with a team-leading 10 runs to date. Take Oakland as they continue to right the ship against a vulnerable Diamondbacks team that is flawed throughout the entire roster.
Diamond Pick: Oakland (-135)
San Diego Padres at Pittsburgh Pirates
Yu Darvish will be looking to build off his last outing which turned out to be very solid. He struck out seven and allowed just one run in a no-decision versus the Giants. Darvish has not allowed a run versus the Pittsburgh Pirates over 12 consecutive innings of work dating back to the last two seasons. Active Pirates are 4-45 off Darvish, resulting in a paltry .089 batting average.
San Diego’s 2.52 runs against per game is first in baseball. Opposing teams are hitting just .182, second in the league. This has certainly been timely. The Padres will be missing key cogs offensively. Fernando Tatis Jr. is of course out with his shoulder issue. Sparkplug Trent Grisham will also be missing with a grade one hamstring strain. The offense ranks just 21st in runs scored per game at 4.06. The light-hitting Bucs aren’t far behind at 4.03. One of their most exciting players, Ke’Bryan Hayes is sidelined with an injured wrist.
The under has hit in seven of nine games this year for the Friars. Look for Darvish to continue his dominance over the lowly Pirates. Both teams are struggling to score runs and appear they could be at a premium yet again for this one. The only pause you should have is having faith that San Diego doesn’t go off against Trevor Cahill and the Pirates’ weak pitching staff. The bonus of having Tatis and Grisham out and the fact that one of the game’s most dominant pitchers will be on the bump is a good indicator that the under 8.5 is fully in play.
Diamond Pick: Under 8.5 (-110)
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