Looking for value on the first full day of Major League Baseball’s 2013 slate? Go directly to Los Angeles, where the revamped Dodgers will host the San Francisco Giants on Monday. There has been so much talk about the improved Dodgers line-up, but with an injury to Hanley Ramirez they look a bit thin, with the likes of Luis Cruz, Jerry Hariston Jr and AJ Ellis filling out the back of the starting nine. With that in mind, don’t look for the home team to light up the scoreboard.
Especially considering the Giants send Matt Cain to pitch. Cain has a lot of experience at Dodger Stadium (11 starts) and has always thrown well there (3.05 ERA). His pitching opponent, Clayton Kershaw, should be equally as daunting for the Giants’ line-up. Kershaw was a beast at home last year, posting a 2.05 ERA in 19 starts. Even when weak pitchers are on the mound, Dodger Stadium is not a scoring ballpark (it ranked 25th out of 30 stadiums in runs scored in 2012). The sum total is that the sums on the scoreboard will be low. Take under 6.0 runs at 1.98.
If you want an alternative, consider picking the Boston Red Sox on the road against the New York Yankees. The Yankees could be overvalued compared to their actual worth this season. With starters Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson all out of the line-up, even the typical advantage of playing at home won’t help New York.
Red Sox starter Jon Lester is coming off an excellent spring training (3-0, 0.75 ERA) and, as a left-hander, will neutralize one of the Yankees typical strengths at their home stadium – left-handed power. CC Sabathia takes the ball for the Yankees and after arm issues at the end of the season, there are still question marks around his health. While pre-season numbers shouldn’t receive too much consideration, Sabathia’s 5.40 ERA doesn’t look too good considering the arm problems. Go with the Red Sox at 2.05.