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Mlb Fixtures National League Fixtures For Tuesday April 8th 2014

Here’s our preview of MLB action in the National League on Tuesday, April 8th 2014…   MILWAUKEE BREWERS (4-2) @ PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (3-3) Veterans Stadium – 21:05 GMT Expected pitchers – Lohse (0-1, 3.86) vs. K. Kendrick (0-0, 1.29)   The Brewers will look to build upon a series sweep of the defending champion Red Sox, as they start a rain-delayed series in Philadelphia on Tuesday. The team has gotten a strong start from its complimentary bats, including Aramis Ramirez and Jonathan Lucroy. Ryan Braun (.150, 0HR 0RBI) has struggled in coming back from his 100-game PED suspension, and the team will hope that he can recover form before the bats of their secondary players inevitably dry up   Tuesday night is the Phillies home opener, and they will try to build upon a promising road start to the season. Pitcher Kyle Kendrick had a particularly strong first outing of the season for the club, and will look to build upon that as he comes up against the Brewers strong bats. The team likes the start it has gotten from veteran Chase Utley (.458, 2HR 6RBI), who looks like a facsimile of the player who was so successful throughout the mid 2000’s.   PICK: Philadelphia   ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS (2-7) @ SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS (5-2) AT&T Park – 21:35 GMT Expected pitchers – Cahill (0-2, 6.30) vs. T. Hudson (1-0, 0.00)   Things haven’t exactly gone as Arizona hoped to start the season, as they have struggled through their opening series’ en route to just two victories in nine games. They went 1-2 in a home series against these same Giants last week, and will look to improve upon that form this week. Tuesday’s starter is Trevor Cahill, and the stats indicate that he has been roughed up in his first two starts for the D-backs. their one constant is first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (.400, 1HR 4RBI), who has picked up exactly where he left off in 2013, with some stellar form at the plate.   The 2012 champion Giants hoped to improve upon a disappointing 2013, and have thusfar shown more resilience and better form in 2014. They got the better of both Arizona and Los Angeles in their first two road series of the season, and return to AT&T Park to open three consecutive sets at home. The team’s pitching has been strong to start the year, including Tuesday’s starter Tim Hudson. The veteran allowed just 3 hits and no runs in 7 2/3 innings pitched in his debut against Arizona last week. The team will hope that he can stave off Father Time for one more season, and give them that kind of production for the balance of the season.   PICK: San Francisco   MIAMI MARLINS (5-2) @ WASHINGTON NATIONALS (4-2) Nationals Stadium – 00:05 GMT Expected pitchers – H. Alvarez (0-1, 9.00) vs. Gio Gonzalez (1-0, 1.50)   After an impressive start to the 2014 campaign, the Miami Marlins hit the road on Tuesday, hoping to carry their form over into sustained success. After finishing dead last in the NL East last season, not much was expected of the team heading into 2014. Their 5-2 start has been buoyed by strong bats, including the re-emergence of right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (.345, 2HR 12RBI). The former All Star has rebounded from last year’s down season, and looks every bit the all-World outfielder he looked last year. Oh, and the unbelievable pitching of Jose Fernandez (2-0, 0.71ERA) certainly helps.   The NL East-favorite Nationals will look to make a statement against the upstart Marlins in their first series of the year. Washington has looked strong in their first 6 games of the year, particularly on the mound. Tuesday’s starter, Gio Gonzalez, had an excellent first start of the year against the Mets, and with ace Stephen Strasburg struggling in his injury recovery, Gonzalez looks like the staff ace at this point. The bullpen has allowed just 4 runs in 6 games to this point, demonstrating another strength of the club.   PICK: Washington   NEW YORK METS (2-4) @ ATLANTA BRAVES (4-2) Turner Field – 00:10 GMT Expected pitchers – Colon (0-1, 4.50) vs. Harang (1-0, 0.00)   It was never going to be an easy season for the New York Mets, who are in the thick of a rebuild back towards respectability. Still, their trouble at the plate is indicative of a team which has really nowhere to go but down from this point forward. Normally reliable veteran David Wright (.238, 1HR 3RBI) has gotten off to a poor start at the plate, while other youngsters expected to emerge this year, have yet to do so. The only Met who has impressed to this point is centerfielder Juan Lagares (.350, 1HR 3RBI), but it remains to be seen if the 24 year old has the gumption to keep that form up for the balance of the season.   After suffering two season-ending arm injuries to starting pitchers during Spring Training, many were writing the Braves off before the campaign had even started. The fact that their 4-2 start has been on the back of some outstanding starting pitching has been one of the more pleasant surprises in the league’s first week. Their starting staff has surrendered just 7 runs in 6 games to this point, all of which were on the top two arms in the rotation. Without a single pitcher over 3.00 ERA to this point in the year, perhaps pundits were too quick to write off this cobbled-together Braves rotation.   PICK: Atlanta   PITTSBURGH PIRATES (4-2) @ CHICAGO CUBS (2-4) Wrigley Field – 01:05 GMT Expected pitchers – Morton (0-0, 0.00) vs. E. Jackson (0-0, 1.69)   Coming off their first playoff appearance in two decades, expectations were high for the Pirates entering 2014. Early returns have been strong for the club, and that is without a strong early performance from defending NL MVP Andrew McCutchen. The team has been buoyed by some really strong performances from its pitching staff, particularly the strengthened bullpen. The ‘pen has allowed just 3 runs to this point in the season, and figures to be a strength behind the Pirates respectable rotation as the season progresses.   The Cubbies kick off another season at legendary Wrigley Field rooted firmly in the reality that they simply aren’t a playoff team as currently constructed. Outside of second baseman Emilio Bonifacio, none of their bats have awoken yet this year, and a pitching staff that has no real star has been saves by two strong starts from ace Jeff Samardzija (0-1, 1.29). The problem with the Cubs as they are currently constructed is that they lack punch in the lineup, and have none foreseeable on the horizon. It’s bound to be another long season for long-suffering Cubs faithful.   PICK: Pittsburgh   CINCINNATI REDS (2-5) @ ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (4-3) Busch Stadium – 01:15 GMT Expected pitchers – H. Bailey (0-1, 8.31) vs. Lynn (1-0, 5.40)   Cincinnati hasn’t exactly gotten off to the start that they had hoped, particularly with their stars at the plate. The usually-reliable Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto have struggled to start the year, with just 1 home run and 3 RBI between the two. They have been bupoyed somewhat by strong starts from Ryan Ludwick and Todd Frazier, but unless they can get power production from their two biggest bats, they will struggle to post the kind of numbers they did in their 90-win season of 2013.   As expected, the strength of the Cardinals roster to this point has been their starting pitching. Michael Wacha and Adam Wainwright have allowed a combined 3 runs in their four starts, and look every bit the dynamic duo they were expected to be at the start of the year. Lance Lynn takes the mound on Tuesday with the hopes of solidifying himself as a strong number 3 starter for the club. Flamethrowing closer Trevor Rosenthal has had a shakier start to the season than usual, but has been given enough of a run cushion to net 2 saves to this point.   PICK: St. Louis   CHICAGO WHITE SOX (3-4) @ COLORADO ROCKIES (4-4) Coors Field – 01:40 GMT Expected pitchers – Quintana (0-0, 3.00) vs. F. Morales (0-0, 5.06)   The White Sox have looked respectable enough in posting a 3-4 record to start the season, though 2 of those wins were as a result of outstanding starts from ace starter Chris Sale. When Sale doesn’t start, the team stands much less of a chance of being competitive. Case in point, the team’s rough 8-1 loss to the Rockies on Monday, where their pitching again struggled to give them reliability beyond Sale. The team has actually got a decent start from most of the bats they rely on, but unless the starters and pen can keep the runs down, it won’t matter at all.   The Rockies always manage to field a potent offense, in large part thanks to the friendly, low-altitude confines of Coors Field. All-world left fielder Carlos Gonzalez (.355, 3HR 9RBI) has been his expected self this season, while long-time Rockie shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (.417, 1HR 3RBI) looks like the perennial +.285/20HR guy he has established himself as being to this point in his career. As is always the case in Colorado, if the arms can hold up, the Rockies will contend. It all rests on the proficiency of the pitching staff.   PICK: Colorado   DETROIT TIGERS (4-1) @ LOS ANGELES DODGERS (5-3) Dodger Stadium – 03:10 GMT Expected pitchers – Scherzer (0-0, 0.00) vs. Haren (1-0, 0.00)   The Tigers entered the season as heavy AL Central favorites, and though they have seen a couple of their early games postponed due to weather, their wins in four from five have demonstrated that they are full value for that assertion. $300 Million man Miguel Cabrera (.350, 1HR 3RBI) looks every bit the perennial MVP candidate the team needs him to be, while the pitching staff, anchored by ace Justin Verlander and Tuesday starter Max Scherzer, has been reliable in their early showings. This is a deep, strong team.   Los Angeles had the unique assignment of opening the season with the double set against Arizona in Sydney, Australia, and don’t appear to have suffered the ill effects of such bizarre season-opening circumstances. The Dodgers have probably the most potent batting order int he entire league, and have seen that order posting the kind of run support they need to be successful. Tuesday’s starter is Dan Haren, who posted a 4 hit, 0 run 6 inning start in his first game last week, and looks like he can contribute well behind duelling aces Clayton Kershaw (15 day disabled list) and Zack Greinke.   PICK: Los Angeles

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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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