In a battle of the bottom of the National League West, the Colorado Rockies should capture a road win against the San Diego Padres. The Rockies have been surprisingly good so far in 2013. For the most part their hitting has been carrying them, but their one pitching bright spot, Jon Garland, gets the start in this one. Garland missed all of the 2012 season with an arm injury and there was some question whether he would successfully come back. I certainly had my doubts, betting he wouldn’t pitch well in his first start, but he went six innings, allowing just five hits and two runs. Considering that game was at home, where offence usually dominates, it’s a good sign. An even better sign was that that performance came against his opponent here – the San Diego Padres.
On the flip side, the Padres go with Tyson Ross, who has struggled mightily. He opened the season facing the Rockies and didn’t fare well. He gave up three runs in four innings, but most telling was the fact he yielded four walks. That’s not a sign of a pitcher in command of his game. Take the Rockies, who are on at 1.87.
I always like a pitcher with something to prove and the Toronto Blue Jays’ J.A. Happ is one such guy. As a result, the Blue Jays are the team to pick when they visit the Kansas City Royals. Throughout spring training, Happ, the 2009 runner-up for National League Rookie of the Year, was told he was likely to start the season in the minor leagues. Needless to say the left-hander, who has been a big league regular since coming up to the Majors, was upset. Instead of pouting, he went out and proved he deserved a spot in Toronto’s rotation. He ultimately won that slot and carried his pre-season momentum to an excellent first appearance when games mattered: Against Boston Red Sox last Saturday he went 5 1/3 innings, allowing just one hit and three walks, while striking out six. Boston’s line-up has generated more runs than the Royals hitters have so far this year so there’s no reason to believe Happ can’t continue his winning ways.
Royals pitcher Luis Mendoza also began his season well (six innings, two hits, one run against the Phillies), but I’m less convinced he can replicate his performance here. Toronto had his number last season as Mendoza posted a 6.75 ERA in two starts against Canada’s team. In fact, Toronto has always been a tough club for Mendoza. Lifetime, the pitcher has a 5.64 ERA in five appearances against them. Go with the Blue Jays at 2.05.