Should bettors avoid the Pirates?
LAS VEGAS, NV (The Spread) - It's time for some baseball and more importantly it's time to build our bankroll. Here are some teams to “play on” and avoid in the first couple of weeks.
PLAY ON :
Miami Marlins----The Marlins will be an undervalued team entering the season and I see them being a money-maker for the month of April. Looking at the rotation, The Marlins have an above par rotation with Fernandez being a legit ace. Eovaldi, Alvarez, and Turner all are expected to have promising seasons as well. The Marlins rotation was respectable last year, but it was the offense that was the problem. Injuries to Stanton and Ozuna did not help at all. Now both of these guys are healthy plus additions of Rafael Furcal, Saltalamacchia, and Garrett Jones are solid additions and I look for a much more potent lineup this season. The Marlins start the season on a 6 game home stand vs. NL West bottom dwellers Colorado and San Diego and they could possibly start the season off 6-0. They will play a 3 game set at Washington where they will be an underdog all 3 games and also will play the Braves 5 times the month of April where they will more than likely be a dog in those games as well. I see the Marlins as a profitable bet as the season gets underway in 2014
Milwaukee Brewers------The Brewers will have a healthy lineup this year with Aramis Ramirez looking good in spring training and Ryan Braun swinging for the fences as he looks to have put the PED issues behind him. Rookie right fielder Mitch Haniger has also has a promising spring batting .500 and this kid can be an extra spark to the offense. They also have a solid defense with Gomez playing center field and Segura playing shortstop. The Brewers acquired Matt Garza in the off-season as was one of the NL's best last year before getting traded to the Rangers. The rotation now has Gallardo, Garza, Lohse, and then a young Willie Peralta bringing up the year, I see the Brewers bats being able to get some runs across the plate while the pitching holds their own. For the first month of April, the Brewers have a tough schedule as they travel to play the Red Sox for a 3 game set and they also play Saint Louis six games. The Brewers should be getting some excellent value in these games, especially vs. the Red Sox. Look for the 'Brew Crew' to win some ball games and out some much-deserved cash in our pocket. I also see the Brewers play a Pittsburgh team 7 times in April and the Brewers will be hungry for revenge as Pittsburgh got the best of them last year; not to mention that the Pirates are due for a regressing year in my opinion as well. Then with home games vs. the Cubs and the Padres, I can see Milwaukee being very profitable for us this April.
PLAY AGAINST :
Pittsburgh Pirates-----The Pirates have some young talent indeed, but they did not make any major off-season acquisitions and dealt A.J. Burnett. The starting rotation will rely on two lefties in Francisco Liriano and Wandy Rodriguez. I still have questions with Gerrit Cole and Charlie Morton is a guy I don't trust. Even if the Pirates’ starting pitching holds their own, it is the offense that will struggle. Outside of Andrew McCuthen the Pirates do not have any reliable power hitters and I see them struggling. The Pirates will see the Cardinals six times this April and the Milwaukee Brewers seven times. They will be overmatched vs. the Cardinals and will be 'overpriced' vs. the Brewers. Look for Pittsburgh to also be overvalued as they begin the season vs. the Cubs. I can see them as a -175 to -200 favorite in all three games and the Cubs have Jeff Samardzija, who is more than capable of securing a win. Travis Wood and Edwin Jackson are also capable of tossing good games. I will be looking to play against the Pirates as an 'overpriced' favorite as their lack of run support and a shaky rotation will Cole, Morton, and Volquez should allow us to make a nice profit PLAYING AGAINST them.