This Sunday, April 3, is opening day in Major League Baseball! It feels like the Kanas City Royals just beat the New York Mets in the World Series yesterday.
— Clemson Tom (@ClemsonTom) March 28, 2016
Speaking of the Royals, they battle the Mets on Opening Day MLB 2016 in the day’s biggest game. Matt “The Dark Knight” Harvey takes on Edinson Volquez. I take a look at that game as well as St. Louis at Pittsburgh and Toronto at Tampa Bay on April 3.
A Closer Look At My 2016 MLB Opening Day Free Picks
St. Louis at Pittsburgh
Time: 1:00 pm ET
Starting Pitchers: Adam Wainwright vs Francisco Liriano
Analysis: Both of these teams are expected to chase the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central this season. When it comes to St. Louis, the key will be whether or not Adam Wainwright can return to awesome starter status. He spent all of last season in relief duty after suffering a major injury. Even when Wainwright is on his game, the Pirates have had good success against him. As a team, Pittsburgh bats .310 versus Wainwright. Out of 113 at-bats, the Pirates have 35 hits.
Francisco Liriano has done very well against the Cardinals. St. Louis does bat a healthy .268 against Liriano, but he’s given up only 6 home runs in over 200 at-bats. Since Liriano’s sample is much larger than Wainwright’s, and his stats are better in the matchup, he and the Pirates are the pick.
Toronto at Tampa Bay
Time: 4:00 pm ET
Starting Pitchers: Marcus Stroman vs Chris Archer
Analysis: Two of the best young pitchers in MLB take to the mound on Opening Day this coming Sunday. Marcus Stroman takes over for David Price as the ace in Toronto. Does Stroman have the stuff to be an ace? He might. But versus Tampa Bay last season Stroman got dinged. The Rays have nailed Stroman for 14 hits out of 31 at-bats. He’s given up 3 home runs. He’s allowed 9 RBIs. The Rays bat .452 against Marcus Stroman.
The Rays’ Chris Archer has been lock down city versus Toronto. In 184 at-bats, the Blue Jays only have 32 hits versus Archer. He’s allowed 7 home runs and a .174 average. Archer and the Rays should roll on Sunday.
Pick: Tampa Bay
New York Mets at Kansas City
Time: 8:37 pm ET
Starting Pitchers: Matt Harvey vs Edinson Volquez
Analysis: This should be a terrific game between last season’s World Series’ participants. Truth be told, Harvey only pitched 4 innings against the Royals because he had to shut the door on the Cubs during last season’s NL Playoffs.
Not only that, but Volquez has familiarity pitching against the Mets since he spent some time with Pittsburgh earlier in his career. Kansas City is likely to take it in this battle on April 3. It’s hard to see the Mets going on the road and beating the World Series Champs in the first game of the season.
Pick: Kansas City