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Batters Will Shine During Friday’s MLB Action

Posted by Dale “Skip” Lalonde on 4/17/2014 7:49:48 PM

Baseball is turning into a pitchers game, but with very few front of the line starters taking the hill on Friday, it’s time the batters have a day for themselves. A few of the lesser known shutdown pitchers will be on the mound, but the majority are youngsters who still have much to prove, and aren’t the most consistent either. There are plenty of solid matchups taking place, and the games below are not only the most interesting, but the easiest to predict.

Minnesota Twins @ Kansas City Royals
Friday April 18, 2014 – 8:10 PM ET

This may come as a surprise, but the Minnesota Twins outscored the Kansas City Royals 21-5 in a three game series that began one week ago. Ricky Nolasco, the Twins’ starter for this matchup, threw eight innings of one run ball against the Royals last Saturday and surrendered only five hits in his first victory of the season. Nolasco’s opponent on the hill is veteran Jason Vargas who holds a 1.63 ERA in 22 innings pitched this season. Nolasco hasn’t been as consistent as Vargas this season, but the Twins’ offense has been on a tear as of late making them my pick to win this game and beat the Royals for the fourth straight time this year.

Pick: Twins

Philadelphia Phillies @ Colorado Rockies
Friday April 18, 2014 – 8:40 PM ET

The Colorado Rockies were built to score runs, and that’s exactly what they’ve done this season. Through 16 games they’ve scored 79 runs, third in the majors, compared to the Philadelphia Phillies who’ve scored 62 runs – right around league average. The two starters for this game have limited major league experience, but Tyler Chatwood of the Rockies has a career 4.36 ERA, compared to that of his opponent Jonathan Pettibone who has a career ERA of just under four, and a 1.80 mark through five innings this season.  The deciding factor however could be the thin Colorado air at Coors Field, which has helped the Rockies slug 15 home runs this season, and will likely help them beat the slumping Phillies.

Pick: Rockies

Houston Astros @ Oakland Athletics
Friday April 18, 2014 – 10:05 PM ET

The Houston Astros are expected to have a terrible season, and a 5-10 start and current last place standing in the AL West has the Oakland Athletics as the early favorites in this matchup. The Athletics don’t have a great lineup, but they’re atop the AL West standings at the moment, and with Sonny Gray on the mound they should make quick work of the struggling Astros lineup. Gray has allowed just two earned runs in 19 innings pitched this season, and his undefeated record of 2-0 should only improve Friday evening. The Athletics rank in the top third of the league in runs scored, and Gray is really one of the up and coming pitchers in the majors, making this one of the easier Friday games to predict.

Pick: Athletics

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