Major League Baseball begins its first full week of action in 2016. The first game that I take a look at has Philadelphia traveling to Cincinnati in a battle between two teams that are expected to be two of the worst in baseball this year. I try and pick a winner.
I also think that the Chicago White Sox versus Oakland A’s on Thursday could yield a winning wager. I finish up my picks for the week when the New York Yankees battle the Detroit Tigers on Sunday Night Baseball.
A Closer Look At My MLB 2016 Opening Week Expert Picks
Philadelphia at Cincinnati
When: Wednesday, April 6 at 7:00 pm ET
Listed Pitchers: PHIL-Aaron Nola vs CIN-Brandon Finnegan
Aaron Nola, a 22 year old from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, pitched well in 13 starts with the Phillies last season. He actually held his own with a 3.59 ERA and struck out 68 batters in 77.2 innings. Nola hasn’t faced Cincinnati yet.
Also 22 years old, Brandon Finnegan’s last team were the defending World Series Champion Kansas City Royals. Finnegan didn’t look very good during the spring. He produced a 10.29 ERA and a 2.07 WHIP. Philly is a bad team. But so are the Reds. I like the Phillies to light up Finnegan in this matchup.
Chicago White Sox at Oakland
When: Wednesday, April 6 at 10:00 pm ET
Listed Pitchers: CWS-Carlos Rodon vs OAK-Chris Bassitt
The Chicago White Sox send Carlos Rodon to the mound this Wednesday. Rodon didn’t have a very good 2015 when going 9 and 6 with a terrible WHIP of 1.44. The ERA of 3.75 wasn’t bad. But, the WHIP is still awfully high for the third pitcher in Chicago’s rotation. Against Oakland, Rodon has allowed 5 hits form 16 at-bats.
The A’s are scheduled to start Chris Bassitt. Bassitt is suffering from a hamstring contusion. He should be ready by Wednesday but if he isn’t, the A’s may go with Sonny Gray, their ace, or Rich Hill. Bassitt is the fifth starter in the rotation, meaning that Chicago, even with Rodon struggling, has a good shot at winning should Basitt get the start.
Pick: Chicago White Sox
New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers
When: Sunday, April 10 at 8:00 pm ET
Listed Pitchers: NYY-Masahiro Tanaka vs DET-Shane Green
The terrific Masahiro Tanaka faces off against Shane Green and the Detroit Tigers on Sunday night. Tanaka has faced Detroit batters 36 times. He’s allowed 11 hits, 3 home runs and 8 RBIs. The Tigers bat .306 versus the solid Tanaka.
Detroit pitcher Shane Green was terrible in 2015. His record ended up at 9 and 12. He produced a 5.38 ERA. His WHIP was a horrible 1.48. But, the only 4 Yankee batters he’s faced have been Starlin Castro, Dustin Ackley and Aaron Hicks. That should give Green the edge. I think that Detroit upsets Tanaka and the Yankees on April 10.