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Key Matchups Litter The Saturday Schedule As Summer Begins In Baseball

Posted by Dale “Skip” Lalonde on 6/22/2013 1:31:56 AM

It’s officially summertime, and what better way to begin the season than a full docket of big-league baseball? The American League East has the best games on the slate.

Game 1: Tampa Bay Rays @ New York Yankees – Saturday, June 22

A sound sports betting play doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel. It just needs to look at the existing facts and parameters of a given matchup and make the appropriate evaluation in response. Such is the case for this Saturday’s afternoon encounter between the visiting Rays and the homestanding Yankees. Tampa Bay is sending an unproven and untested starter, Alex Colome, to the bump in this contest. It is always intimidating to pitch in Yankee Stadium for someone who has never done so before, and Colome will have to step into this unique cauldron of pressure. He will be making his second career start, which is not generally a good time to face the Pinstripes in the Bronx. It’s going to be very tough for Colome to get the job done against the Yankees, and it’s even more difficult to imagine how a savvy betting player might bet on the Rays as a result.

Colome is not going up against David Phelps, Phil Hughes, or one of the Yankees’ second-tier starters, either. Colome will have to defeat C.C. Sabathia, the workhorse starter who is New York’s established ace. Sabathia versus Colome is a mismatch of considerable proportions, and it’s the obvious reason why New York should be the betting play in this spot.

MLB Betting Pick: New York Yankees

Game 2: Baltimore Orioles @ Toronto Blue Jays – Saturday, June 22

The community of mma betting specialists, though perhaps knowing very little about the nuances of baseball, can certainly look at the standings and conclude that this game is a lot more interesting than it would have been a few months ago. Toronto is climbing up the ladder in the American League East, having entered play on Friday, June 21 with an eight-game winning streak that has moved the Blue Jays within one game of the .500 mark. Toronto is just six games behind first-place Boston in the loss column, putting the Jays very much in the conversation in the American League East. How will Toronto fare in this game? It’s going to be hard to trust the Jays here.

Baltimore starter Miguel Gonzalez has been a core member of the Orioles’ starting rotation during the team’s rise to prominence in 2012 and in its generally solid 2013 campaign. Gonzalez has been away from the team for a brief period of time due to the birth of his daughter, but that’s not a physical limitation. If he makes this start, he should be able to contain the Jays’ bats. Gonzalez has a respectable 3.75 ERA in the American League (with a designated hitter), so he knows what he’s doing on the mound. Toronto’s starting pitcher is much more of a wild card in this tilt.

Chien-Ming Wang pitched well for the New York Yankees, but his peak didn’t last very long. He could not produce on a long-term basis, and he pinballed to the Washington Nationals before resurfacing with Toronto. He’s made two starts for the Blue Jays this season, one of them brilliant and one of them subpar. Can Wang be trusted here? Yes. Should he be trusted, though? No. Take Baltimore in this situation, because Gonzalez is a more reliable pitcher at the moment.

MLB Betting Pick: Baltimore

Game 3: Pittsburgh Pirates @ Los Angeles Angels – Saturday, June 22

Football betting or basketball betting number-crunchers might look at this game as a chance to brush up on their baseball awareness. All in all, the advantage should go to the Pirates, whose starter – Francisco Liriano – has an ERA (2.44) that’s 1.21 runs lower than the mark possessed by Los Angeles starter Jason Vargas (3.65). Go with Pittsburgh here.

MLB Betting Pick: Pittsburgh

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