The Colorado Rockies winning in their home opener against the San Francisco Giants on Monday is a good bet. The Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin is highly underrated. He held hitters to a weak .238 batting average last year and pitched well against the Giants, posting a 3.38 ERA in three 2011 starts. Like most pitchers, his numbers aren’t as good at the hitter park’s Coors Field as on the road, but they’re still respectable.
On the other hand, Giants hurler Barry Zito has been hammered the last two times he started in Denver. In those outings, which both took place in 2010, he gave up a total of 10 runs in 9.2 innings. Zito, who lost his slot in the starting rotation last year, has shown few signs that he’s going to return to the form early in his career when he was named to three All Star teams. Take the Rockies at 1.55 rather than the Giants at 2.45.
The biggest mismatch of the day will take place in New York where the Yankees play host to the Baltimore Orioles. The Yanks were a fantastic 52-29 at home last year and they have Ivan Nova pitching for them. Nova is 2-0 with a 3.55 ERA lifetime against the Orioles. He’s struck out 21 batters in 25.1 innings – the most strikeouts he has recorded against any club in his young career.
Baltimore went 5-13 against New York in 2011 and there’s no reason to believe they’ll do much better this season. While the odds (the Yankees are 1.62; the Orioles are 2.63) aren’t good, the chances of New York prevailing are.