After a reduced 60-game schedule in 2020, MLB is back for a full slate of games in 2021. There are several good matchups for the first weekend with the NL West battle between the Dodgers and Rockies headlining play.
Los Angeles Dodgers versus Colorado Rockies
The Dodgers head into the season as the defending World Series Champions and the Rockies were 4th in the NL West. Both teams enter “burning hot” and the Rockies have a +16 to +7 edge on the Power Ranking Indicator based on spring training play. The teams are trending on opposite sides of the “over/under” line making this not an attractive bet. Julio Urias is scheduled to pitch for the Dodgers versus Austin Gomber for the Rockies. Urias went 3-0 with a 3.27 ERA last season and is -70 on the Pitcher Profit Oscillator. Gomber went 1-1 with a 1.86 ERA and is +716 on the Pitcher Profit Oscillator. The Dodgers won seven of the ten meetings between the teams last season. While Gomber is generally a great bet, it’s difficult to go against the defending champions early in the season. Go with the Dodgers to win on the road.
Minnesota Twins versus Milwaukee Brewers
The Twins won the AL Central last season while the Brewers finished 4th in the NL Central. Milwaukee has a +25 to +12 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator and “burning hot” versus “average” on the Team Strength Oscillator. Michael Pineda is on the mound for the Twins versus Adrain Houser for the Brewers. Pineda went 2-0 with a 3.38 ERA last season and is +278 on the Pitcher Profit Oscillator. Houser went 1-6 with a 5.30 ERA and is -847 profit. Avoid the over/under bet as teams are trending on opposite sides of the line. The two teams split the six games between them last season. Expect the Twins to come away with a road win.
Cleveland Indians versus Detroit Tigers
The Indians finished a game out of first place in the AL Central last season and the Tigers came in last, 12 games out. After a strong spring, the Tigers have a +25 to +8 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator and “burning hot down” versus “average down” on the Team Strength Oscillator. Expect a lower-scoring game, so the “under” is a safe bet. Aaron Civale is scheduled to pitch for the Indians and Tarik Skubal will get the ball for the Tigers. Civale went 4-6 with a 4.74 ERA last season and is -326 on the Pitcher Profit Oscillator. Skubal was 1-4 with a 5.63 ERA and is -375 profit. The Indians won seven of ten games between the teams last season and expect another victory on Sunday.
Baltimore Orioles versus Boston Red Sox
Both teams struggled last season in the AL East, bringing up the bottom of the pack. The Orioles are “ice cold down” and +8 on the Power Ranking Indicator, while the Red Sox are “average down” and +24, respectively. Avoid the “over/under” bet according to the Totals Predictor indication of the teams on opposite sides of the line. Bruce Zimmermann is on the mound for the Orioles and Garrett Richards will get the ball for the Red Sox. Zimmermann went 0-0 with a 7.71 ERA in two games last season and is -100 on the Pitcher Profit Oscillator. On the flip side, Richards was 2-2 with a 4.03 ERA and +384 profit. The teams split the ten games last season. The Red Sox will take care of business at home and win this one.
Atlanta Braves versus Philadelphia Phillies
The Braves won the NL East last season and the Phillies finished third. Atlanta is “average up” on the Team Strength Oscillator and +10 on the Power Ranking Indicator. The Phillies are “ice cold down” and +19. Avoid the “over/under” bet with the teams on opposite sides of the line. Ian Anderson is on the mound for the Braves and will face Zach Eflin. Anderson was 3-2 with a 1.98 ERA last season while Eflin was 4-2 with a 3.97 ERA. The teams split the ten games between them last season. The Phillies are excellent at home. Eflin has the chance to be one of the better pitchers in the league. Look for a Phillies win at home to end this series.
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