The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are on the road against the Minnesota Twins and while this may give some pause (the Angels were a mediocre 41-40 away last year), the Angels are a strong pick here.
Los Angeles’ Jared Weaver was brilliant in his first start of 2012, striking out 10, walking none and scattering four hits in eight innings of work at home against the Kansas City Royals. Admittedly, he was slightly better at home than on the road in 2011, but the Royals lineup has more depth than the Twins’, which augurs well here against Minnesota. In fact, through Monday, the Twins had scored an American League low six runs. Take the Angels at 1.55 instead of the Twins at 2.45.
Another good bet is the Texas Rangers, who host the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners have gotten off to a surprisingly solid start – but much of that can be attributed to beginning the campaign with two series against the Oakland A’s.
As Monday’s 11-5 loss to the Rangers showed, the Mariners struggle against high-octane offences like the one Texas possess. Throw in the fact that the Rangers have Colby Lewis, who is one of their best, pitching and Texas is a definite favourite (the odds do reflect this: Texas is 1.40, with Seattle at 2.95). That said there is one wild card in this match-up: Mariners’ starter Kevin Millwood.
He had a good spring going 3-1 with a 2.57 ERA. Still, the right-hander may struggle at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, a stadium extremely favourable to hitters. A former member of the Rangers, Millwood had two of the worst seasons of his career (2007 and 2008) playing his home games there. As a result, the Rangers bring too much to the table in this one and should prevail.