Money Line: Kansas City +190 Los Angeles -180
Total Line: 7.5
The Kansas City Royals will send Bruce Chen to the mound to face Albert Pujols and the Los Angeles Angels this Friday night in the MLB regular season opener for both ballclub’s. The game is set to get underway at 10:05 p.m. (ET) and it will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2.
Kansas City is hoping that a new season brings a change in direction for a team that has not posted a winning record since 2003. There is reason for optimism behind a young crop of talent that includes first baseman Eric Hosmer and third baseman Mike Moustakas. The main problem last season was a pitching staff that ranked 12th in the AL with a 4.44 team ERA.
Chen will hope to change all that as Friday’s starter for the Royals. This will be the left-handers first opening day start in his 15-year MLB career. Last season, he went 12-8 with an ERA of 3.77 and a 1.30 WHIP to lead Kansas City’s starting rotation. Lifetime against the Angels, Chen is 1-1 with a 4.01 ERA.
Los Angeles kicks-off what it hopes will be, a championship season with a brand new first baseman named Albert Pujols. In landing the biggest free-agent in recent MLB memory, the Angels are confident they added the missing ingredient to go all the way this year after missing the postseason in 2010 and 2011.
While an official starter has not been named for Friday night, look for Los Angeles to go with its ace Jered Weaver. Other candidates could be Dan Haren or new acquisition C.J. Wilson, but if Weaver gets the call look for the money line on the Angels to go even higher.
These two teams opened the 2011 regular season against one another with Kansas City winning three straight after losing to Weaver on opening day. The Royals went on to win two of three in a three-game home series and two of three on the road against the Angels later in the year. All told, it was one of their more productive head-to-head series of the season with an overall record of 7-3. The total went 5-4-1 in the 10 games.
This time around stick with Los Angeles to once again grab the first game of the year as the excitement and buzz surrounding this team carries it to a victory in front of the home-town crowd. The Free MLB Pick: Los Angeles 4 Kansas City 3
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.