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Mlb Fixtures American League Fixtures For Monday April 7th 2014

Here’s our preview of tonight’s MLB action in the American League…

BALTIMORE ORIOLES (2-4) @ NEW YORK YANKEES (3-3) Yankee Stadium – 18:05 GMT Expected pitchers – U. Jimenez (0-1, 6.00) vs. Kuroda (0-1, 3.00)   It’s Opening Day in the Bronx, as the Yankees play their first home game of the year after starting the season with two series on the road. It’ll be particularly emotional for Yankee veteran Derek Jeter (.250, 0HR 1RBI), who makes the final Opening Day start of his career. The Yankees finally broke their early season home run drought on Sunday, when outfielder Brett Gardner hit the team’s first long bomb of the year. They will turn to Hiroki Kuroda for the start; he was strong in a losing effort against Houston in his first start of the season.   Baltimore hasn’t started the year quite how they’d hoped, as they are just 2-4 after some tough opening series against the defending champion Red Sox, and the Tigers. It doesn’t get much easier for them on the road against the Yankees for three, and they will hope to see more from their power bats in this series. After leading the league in homers last season with 51, Chris Davis (.273, 0HR 3RBI) has yet to go yard yet this season. In fact, only new acquisition Nelson Cruz has homered for the O’s this season, an anomaly considering the power bats strewn throughout their lineup   PICK: New York LOS ANGELES ANGELS (2-4) @ HOUSTON ASTROS (3-3) Minute Maid Park – 19:10 GMT Expected pitchers – C. Wilson (0-1, 9.53) vs. Cosart (1-0, 0.00)   After a rocky start to the season, the L.A. Angels will look to close out their opening road series strongly, as they close out their four-game set with the Astros on Monday. The Angels bats have been active over the weekend, taking 20 runs from the Astros in the three games of the set. Still, they will want more from their pitching staff, as it has been up-and-down to start the year. C.J. Wilson, who got rocked for 6 earned runs in 5 2/3 innings pitched against Seattle last week, will look to rebound, while the bullpen will look to prove more reliable behind the starting staff.   Coming off a league-worst 51 win season, the Astros were expected to be AL West doormats in 2014. To their credit, they have started 2014 well enough, including a 2-1 series win over the Yankees to start the year. Their bats have been alive to start the season, particularly that of first baseman Jesus Guzman (.250, 2HR 3RBI). They already have 9 home runs on the year, a remarkable feat for a team which didn’t have a single player above 25 in the stat last season. Jarred Cosart didn’t allow a single run to the Yanks in his first start of the year, and will look to carry that over into Monday’s contest.   PICK: Houston OAKLAND ATHLETICS (3-3) @ MINNESOTA TWINS (3-3) Target Field – 21:10 GMT Expected pitchers – Kazmir (1-0, 0.00) vs. Correia (0-0, 3.00)   The injury-ravaged Oakland A’s turn to Scott Kazmir for what they hope will be a second consecutive strong start, as they face Minnesota on Monday night. Oakland has seen a few postponed games disrupt their early season schedule, but the performance of their new ace Sonny Gray (1-0, 0.75ERA) has been a particularly bright spot. Their bats could still use with some waking up (outside of Brandon Moss), but things look promising for the season, judging by early form at least, in Oakland.   Minnesota has had a stronger start to the year than perhaps observers expected, though that may have more to do with their first two series opponents than anything else. Monday is their home opener, and they will hope to show strong form at Target Field after a rough 2013 campaign. Big designated hitter Chris Colabello (.391, 1HR 11RBI) has been a particular bright spot for the team, as his 11 RBI’s lead the American League at this early juncture. Though they may lack the arms to consistently compete with the big boys in the AL, they have shown early in the year that they may well have the bats.   PICK: Oakland SAN DIEGO PADRES (2-4) @ CLEVELAND INDIANS (3-3) Progressive Field – 00:05 GMT Expected pitchers – Erlin (0-0, 0.00) vs. Kluber (0-1, 13.50)   The Padres snapped a 4-game losing streak on Sunday, beating the Miami Marlins by a 4-2 score line. Runs had been hard to come by for the Pads early in the year, and the team won in spite of registering just 7 hits in the game off Marlins pitchers. Scoring was always going to be a problem for San Diego, whose biggest bat is probably sophomore second baseman Jedd Gyorki (.095, 0HR 1RBI), and he has struggled. Still, it’s early in the season, and the hope for San Diego is that the strong pitching performances they’ve gotten from the majority of their starters can carry over, and they can compete on the back of improved bats.   Cleveland made the playoffs in 2013 on the back of a remarkable 10-0 run to close off the season, so it was always going to be tough for them to continue that form through to 2014. Their 3-3 start has been somewhat of an anomaly, as they lost a weekend series to the Minnesota Twins 2 games to 1 (and looked poor in doing so). None of their heavy bats, including Carlos Santana and Michael Brantley, have really woken up yet, and with Michael Bourn still out with an injury, there is definitely room to improve offensively. Monday starter Corey Kluber got rocked for 5 earned runs in just 3 innings in his first start of the year, so he will be looking to rebound.   PICK: Cleveland TEXAS RANGERS (3-3) @ BOSTON RED SOX (2-4) Fenway Park – 00:10 GMT Expected pitchers – Scheppers (0-0, 15.75) vs. Lackey (1-0, 3.00)   After an injury-riddled Spring Training saw them lose two starting pitchers and some heavy bats, not much was expected of the Texas Rangers to start the season. They had a strong first series against Philadelphia, before stumbling to a 1-2 mark against Tampa Bay. The return of flamethrower Yu Darvish on Sunday was a definite boon, but Monday starter Tanner Scheppers has yet to instill confidence in the club; he gave up 7 earned runs in just 4 innings in his first start of the year, and will be looking to bounce back against the Sox. They will hope that the heavy bat of Prince Fielder (.167, 0HR 1RBI) can awaken after what has been a sleepy start to the year.   The defending champs haven’t had the kind of start they had hoped for, but Boston is still positive that they can quickly turn it around. Their offense has been a bit hobbled by some rough starts, including early season lulls from Daniel Nava and A.J. Pierzynski, among others. They love what they have seen from rookie shortstop Xaender Bogaerts (.381, 0HR 0RBI), who looks like an every day stud at the position for them. John Lackey was strong in his first start of the season, a win over Baltimore, and they will look for more of the same from him in the home opener at Fenway on Monday.   PICK: Boston TAMPA BAY RAYS (4-3) @ KANSAS CITY ROYALS (2-3) Kauffman Stadium – 01:10 GMT Expected pitchers – M. Moore (0-1, 3.18) vs. Vargas (0-0, 1.29)   Pegged by many pundits as pre-season Championship favorites, the Rays have had a strong start to the 2014 campaign, and look every bit the threat they were expected to be. They had a modest 3-game win streak snapped by Yu Darvish and the Rangers on Sunday, but have still seen some outstanding performances by their arms to start the year. Monday’s starter is 24-year old Matt Moore, who is looking to build upon his outstanding 17-4 record from 2013. Perennial all-star Evan Longoria (.360, 1HR 4RBI) has had another strong start to the season, and figures to be in the Silver Slugger form expected of him this year.   Kansas City figures to finally be a factor in the American League Central this year, coming off an 86-win 2013 campaign that had them very much on the up-swing. 23 year old catcher Salvador Perez (.438, 2HR 4RBI) is seen as a future all-World player at the position, and has had an outstanding start to the year for the team. They turned a disappointing 0-2 opening series start against the White Sox, and will be hoping that their bats, which have struggled outside of Perez with just 15 runs in five games, can wake up as they kick off their home schedule with the opener against Tampa Bay on Monday.

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Richard Roche
Richard is our sportsbook specialist. Spotting the best odds on the market or a curveball spread opportunity is his job - and he dedicates himself to it.

Richard is our sportsbook specialist. Spotting the best odds on the market or a curveball spread opportunity is his job - and he dedicates himself to it.

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