My MLB Expert Picks start on Friday the 13th when Toronto battles Cleveland in Cleveland, Ohio. The Tribe should be a huge favorite. Do the Blue Jays have any shot versus the Tribe? I also like Saturday’s matchup between the L.A. Angels and the Kansas City Royals on Saturday Who takes it when the Angels head to KC to battle the Royals? The final game I like has the Houston Astros hosting the Texas Rangers on Sunday night. Can the Rangers possibly upset the defending champs?
MLB Expert Picks April 9-15
Toronto at Cleveland
When: Friday, April 13 at 7:10 pm ET
Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland, OH
Analysis: Cleveland listed pitcher for this Jason Voorhees showdown on April 13 is Mike Cleavinger. Cleavinger has only faced Toronto batters 5 times. That’s not nearly enough for us to make a conclusion as to how well Cleavinger might throw on Friday.
Cleavinger’s lack of pitches versus the Toronto Blue Jays isn’t a problem, though. The reason it isn’t a problem is because Cleavinger has a .71 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP this season. If he keeps this up, he’ll be in the AL Cy Young Award discussion.
He also has 9 strikeouts in only 12.1 innings on the mound. Cleavinger might be the next great Cleveland starting pitcher. I think he throws well enough on Friday the 13th for a 2-run Cleveland victory.
L.A. Angels at Kansas City
When: Saturday, April 14 at 7:15 pm ET
Where: Kaufman Stadium, Kansas City, MO
Analysis: The Angels head to Missouri to go against the terrible Kansas City Royals. The hottest young player in MLB bats (and pitches!) for the Angels. Japanese star Shohei Ohtani is batting .389 with 3 home runs in 4 games played.
Ohtani is scheduled to be the designated hitter for the Angels on Saturday. The starter is listed as Garrett Richards. Richards has a 5.06 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP this season. Luckily for Richards, not only does Ohtani play on his team, but he also gets to face the Royals on Saturday.
With that being written, KC starter Jakob Junis has been as good on the mound as any starting pitcher yet this season. His ERA is 0.00 after he allowed 3 hits, struck out 6, and didn’t give up a run in 7 innings versus the Detroit Tigers on April 3.
The Angels should be favored. I’m going with Junis and the Royals.
Pick: Kansas City
Texas at Houston
When: Sunday, April 15 at 8:00 pm ET
Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX
Analysis: Houston ace Justin Verlander is scheduled to take the mound on Sunday, April 15. Verlander has been great versus the Texas Rangers. Ranger batters have faced Verlander over 250 times. They bat .239 as a team versus the great Justin Verlander.
Verlander’s started out this season hot. He’s got a 2.31 ERA. He’s struck out 14 batters in only 11.2 inning pitched. Texas doesn’t have much shot against Houston’s ace.
This is a run line pick. Heck, if you can find a 2.5 run line, the Stros are a good play.