Catching our eye on the Saturday baseball schedule is an interesting matchup between the Yankees and Rays in Tampa Bay, and a battle of aces when the Red Sox and Royals face off.
NY Yankees at Tampa Bay – CC Sabathia (0-0, 8.44) vs. Wade Davis (NR) Sabathia goes after his first win of the season after a lackluster debut versus Boston on Sportsbook day. The big lefty went 5 1-3 innings against the Sox and came away with a no-decision after allowing five runs on six hits. He has a healthy 7-3 record and 3.19 ERA in 15 career starts against the Rays, but he was 0-2 with a 5.79 ERA in four starts against them last season.
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Davis will be making his first start of the season for the Rays. He was a late season call-up last year and went 2-2 with a 3.72 ERA in six starts. That included one start against the Yankees in which he allowed five runs (three were earned) on six hits in five innings in a loss. Sabathia may be the ace in this matchup, but the smart money should go on Tampa Bay as the underdog. Sabathia has been inconsistent in April throughout his career with a lame 12-12 record and 4.60 ERA. Look for that to continue against a Rays team that put up solid numbers against left-handed pitching last season. Davis may be young, but he’s pitched a lot better at home (2.55 ERA) compared to on the road (6.17) and it won’t be a surprise when he outpitches Sabathia. Get the latest odds at Sportsbook.
Boston at Kansas City – Josh Beckett (0-0, 9.64) vs. Zach Greinke (0-0, 1.50) Beckett dueled Sabathia in his first start of the season, and like the Yankees’ southpaw he got off to a rough start. Beckett lasted only 4 2-3 innings after giving up five runs on eight hits. He also only struck out one batter, which was down from the six Ks he averaged per start last season. Beckett has feasted on the Royals throughout his career with a 5-0 record and 2.03 ERA in seven starts. Greinke started the season with the same bad luck that dogged him during his Cy Young campaign last year. He pitched six innings and allowed two runs (one was earned) on six hits and left the game in line for a win with Kansas City leading 4-2. The bullpen quickly blew the lead after surrendering six runs in the seventh and Greinke was saddled with a no-decision. It appears the Royals have offered him the same support in his previous starts against the Red Sox. In four career starts against Boston he is 1-2 despite a 2.49 ERA. Get the latest MLB moneyline odds at Sportsbook. Bettors may find it hard to bet against Greinke, but it looks like the right move today. It doesn’t matter if Greinke pitches seven shutout innings if the bullpen surrenders what turns out to be the losing runs after he departs. Expect a low-scoring game while the starters are in there, but the Red Sox win the battle of the bullpens and ultimately win the game as well.