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Yankees’ Injuries, Blue Jays’ Expectations Among Early Storylines

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 4/3/2013 7:18:47 PM

The first week of the MLB regular season is always an exciting time of the year, but it is also a time when we learn a lot about what we can expect throughout the first month. From the New York Yankees’ injury concerns to the expectation concerns for a Toronto Blue Jays’ team that is expected to contend with the big boys for an AL East title, there are some important storylines to keep an eye on heading in to Thursday’s games.

Boston Red Sox @ New York Yankees
Thursday, 7:05 PM ET

The Yankees and their fans knew it wouldn’t be easy early on without Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, and Alex Rodriguez available, and after getting blown away by the Red Sox in their season opener there could be some concerns about the pitchers that are healthy and in the lineup anyway. New York had a day off Tuesday before getting back on the field Wednesday, and will look to close out the three-game series on Thursday with a sports betting win. The veteran Andy Pettitte will get the start Thursday opposite Ryan Dempster for Boston, and while neither pitcher is expected to throw a perfect game, the offense on either side is questionable enough to think they can keep this a slow scoring affair. Dempster has the better arm at this point and the better roster behind him, so look for the Red Sox to get the job done.

MLB Betting Pick: Boston Red Sox + 120

Cleveland Indians @ Toronto Blue Jays
Thursday, 7:07 PM ET

The Blue Jays entered this online sportsbook season with higher expectations than ever before in franchise history, and will need to be much better offensively after scoring just one run in a season opening loss to the Indians. Toronto should have an easier time making contact against Brett Myers, who allowed seven runs on 14 hits in just 7.2 innings of work this spring and is getting up there in years. The Blue Jays will counter with Mark Buehrle, who should be able to do enough to get the win as long as the offense puts up the numbers they should.

MLB Betting Pick: Toronto Blue Jays - 140

Philadelphia Phillies @ Atlanta Braves
Thursday, 7:10 PM ET

The finale of this three-game set presents one of the more interesting pitching matchups as veteran Cliff Lee gets the start against Kris Medlen. Lee struggled last year and is looking to prove that he still deserves to be considered among the elite pitchers in the game, while Medlen is looking to get on track after a tough spring. Medlen may not be throwing his best stuff just yet, but he does have the better offense behind him and as long as it produces, Medlen should be able to get the job done against Lee and a suspect Phillies’ lineup to wrap up the series with another online sportsbook win.

MLB Betting Pick: Atlanta Braves - 130

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