Here's guessing that Mets third baseman David Wright can't wait to get to the plate on Friday in Atlanta after Thursday's day off. Wright no doubt would like to get the sour taste out of his mouth from Wednesday in Philadelphia when he had perhaps the worst game of his career at the plate. Wright was 0-for-6 with four strikeouts. He missed on 10 of his 12 total swings. Entering the game, his previous high miss percentage in a game dating to the start of the 2015 season was just 45.5 percent. Wright hadn't struck out more than twice in a game this season.
Free $60 in Member MLB Picks No Obligation Click Here
Twins at Nationals (-170, 7.5)
This is your interleague matchup of the weekend -- and apparent mismatch of the weekend -- so Minnesota loses the DH. It's the second straight series in an NL park for the Twins as they finished off a set in Milwaukee on Thursday afternoon. They go with Kyle Gibson (0-2, 3.57) here. Minnesota has scored just five total runs in his three starts. Last time out, Gibson took a no-decision in allowing two runs and four hits over seven innings against the Angels. He has had some control problems with 10 walks in 17.2 innings. Gibson has never faced Washington. But Daniel Murphy has seen him and is 2-for-3 with an RBI. It's not clear if Nats outfielder Jayson Werth will play here. He left Wednesday's game with tightness in his left hamstring and then got Thursday off. Washington lefty Gio Gonzalez (0-0, 0.69) is off to the best start of his career, but the Nationals haven't scored much in his two starts. Gonzalez has allowed only seven hits in 13 innings. Joe Mauer has seen him more than any Twin, going 5-for-17 with two homers.
Key trends: The Twins are 3-8 in Gibson's past 11 series openers. They are 2-7 in his past nine interleague games. Washington is 5-0 in its past five at home. The "over/under" has gone under in six straight Gibson starts vs. teams with a winning record.
Early lean: Nationals and under.
Rays at Yankees (+104, 8)
Lefty Matt Moore (1-0, 2.95) is scheduled for Tampa and in the early going he looks back to pre-Tommy John surgery form. Last time out, Moore allowed two runs and five hits over 6.1 innings against the White Sox while striking out 10 and walking none. This will be his first road start of the year. He was 1-2 with a 6.94 ERA in five away starts last year. Moore pitched once against the Yankees in 2015, allowing two runs in 4.2 innings. Alex Rodriguez is 3-for-10 with an RBI and five strikeouts against him. Mark Teixeira is 2-for-5 with a double. New York enters having lost three straight series. The Yankees turn to lefty CC Sabathia (1-1, 5.06). He lasted just 4.2 innings in his last start vs. Seattle, allowing three runs and seven hits. Sabathia wasn't very good in 2015, either, but was 1-0 with a 1.98 ERA in two starts vs. the Rays. Evan Longoria hits him hard, batting .385 with six homers and 14 RBIs in 64 at-bats. Logan Forsythe is 6-for-15 with two homers.
Key trends: The Rays are 6-0 in Moore's past six starts. The Yankees are 0-5 in their past five against a lefty. The under is 6-1 in Moore's past seven.
Early lean: Rays and under.
A's at Blue Jays (-129, 8.5)
On paper, this looks to be the best pitching matchup of the day. It's ace Sonny Gray (2-1, 2.33) for Oakland. He had his third straight quality start last Saturday, allowing one earned run over six innings on seven hits. He struck out six. Gray threw a season-high 114 pitches. Gray made one start against Toronto last year and allowed two runs and nine hits over seven innings in a no-decision. Jose Bautista is 5-for-10 with a homer and two RBIs off him. Former teammate Josh Donaldson is 2-for-3. The Jays entered the spring thinking Aaron Sanchez (1-0, 1.35) would come out of the bullpen, but he won a rotation spot with his performances. Sanchez has allowed just 10 hits in 20 innings over three starts while striking out 20. Sanchez pitched two scoreless innings vs. Oakland in 2015. No Oakland batters have more than one official at-bat against him.
Key trends: The A's are 0-4 in Gray's past four road starts. The over is 7-3 in his past 10. The under is 6-1 in Sanchez's past seven at home.
Early lean: A's and under.
Mets at Braves (+163, 7.5)
If you are wondering, Wright hit .310 against Atlanta pitching last season with two homers and five RBIs in 29 at-bats -- Wright only played 38 regular-season games total in 2015. Wright hasn't had much success off Atlanta starter Bud Norris, going 1-for-11 with six strikeouts. Norris (1-2, 6.23) didn't deserve a win last time out in allowing four runs and seven hits in 5.1 innings vs. Miami but got it. Norris has allowed 22 hits in 17.1 innings this season. He's just not very good. Neil Walker hits him the best of the Mets, going 9-for-23 with a double, homer and five walks. What's up with Matt Harvey (0-3, 5.71)? His velocity is bit down thus far, but the Mets think he's simply pressing. Harvey, who says he feels fine, has struck out only nine batters in 17⅓ innings. Harvey made one start vs. Atlanta in 2015 and lost despite allowing a run in 6.2 innings. Freddie Freeman is 0-for-6 off him.
Key trends: The Mets are 7-0 in their past seven Friday games. They are 6-1 in Harvey's past seven with five days of rest. The Braves are 0-5 in their past five against right-handers. The over is 7-1 in Harvey's past eight on the road.
Early lean: Mets and over.
Dodgers at Rockies (+125, 11)
L.A. had to fly out of Atlanta on Thursday evening for this series opener. The Dodgers go with lefty Scott Kazmir (1-1, 6.43) here. He was fantastic in his season debut in shutting out the Padres on one hit over six innings. But those are the Padres. His past two starts were both against the Giants, and Kazmir lasted four innings in both, giving up 10 runs and 14 hits combined. So who knows what he is yet. Kazmir didn't face the Rockies last year. For Colorado, it's top pitching prospect Jon Gray making his season debut. I always monitor Gray because the Cubs were considering taking him at No. 2 overall in the 2013 draft but instead wisely chose Kris Bryant. Gray went No. 3 to the Rockies. An abdominal strain landed Gray on the disabled list to start the season. He was 0-2 with a 5.53 ERA in nine starts last year as a rookie. Gray made one start vs. L.A. and allowed two runs in 4.2 innings in a loss.
Key trends: The Dodgers are 3-7 in their past 10 series openers. The Rockies are 6-1 in their past seven Friday games. The over is 5-0 in Gray's past five at home.
Early lean: Rockies and over.
Doc's is offering $60 worth of member baseball picks absolutely free - no obligation, no sales people - you don't even have to enter credit card information. You can use this $60 credit for any of our top MLB handicappers. Click here for free MLB picks now. Also, for a limited time only get three MLB handicappers for the price of one. Click here for details.
Read more articles by Alan Matthews
Most Recent Baseball Handicapping Articles
- MLB Betting Odds and Expert Predictions: Live Long Shots for Futures Wagering
- Expert MLB Betting Advice: World Series Matchup Props
- MLB Home Run Totals Props Odds with Expert Betting Predictions
- Betting Odds for Houston Astros to Repeat as World Series Champs with Expert Predictions
- 2018 MLB MVP Odds with Expert Betting Predictions for Most Valuable Player
- Which Teams Will Make the MLB Playoffs: Yes or No Betting Props and Predictions
- 2018 Cy Young Futures Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
- MLB Wagering and Expert Baseball Handicapping: Rotations Bettors Can Trust
- Expert MLB Betting Advice: 2018 Rotations that Are Tough to Wager On
- 2018 Atlanta Braves Expert Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series