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MLB: Weekend Preview (Apr. 4-7)

We’ve had the opening series in Australia. We’ve had opening night at Petco Park in San Diego. We’ve had 14 other home openers. We’ve seen all 30 teams take to the diamond. But baseball doesn’t truly make its return until we get a full weekend of action.

Welcome to the first proper weekend of the 2014 Major League Baseball season.

To start your weekend off the right way, BettingSports.com has picked out some of the action you won’t want to miss over the next 72 hours, starting with a doozy of a series in Motown.

Nelson Cruz has enjoyed his first week in Baltimore.

Nelson Cruz has enjoyed his first week in Baltimore.

American League Pick of the Weekend – Baltimore Orioles at Detroit Tigers

Picked by the bookmakers to take home the AL pennant this year, the Detroit Tigers (2-0) got off to a solid start with a pair of walk-off wins over the Kansas City Royals before Thursday’s game became the casualty of poor weather in the Motor City.

Baltimore (1-2) ruined opening day for the defending champion Boston Red Sox on Monday, before the Red Sox picked up a pair of wins at Camden Yards. The O’s have a very real shot at winning the tough-as-nails AL East this year, and a winning series against the 2012 league champions would be a great way to start things on the road this year.

Detroit ace Justin Verlander (0-0, 3.00 ERA) went home with a no decision in the opener on Monday and will be looking to pick up that first ‘W’ when he takes to the mound on Sunday. The Orioles meanwhile have been pleased with new acquisition Nelson Cruz, who cracked a pair of home runs in his first two appearances for the club.

With quality pitching and impressive offense on hand, this is looking like a three-game delight, weather permitting of course.

You can find odds and trends for Friday’s series opener here.

Can Matt Cain and the San Francisco Giants get the better of their Californian rivals?

Can Matt Cain and the San Francisco Giants get the better of their Californian rivals?

National League Pick of the Weekend – San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers

National League rivalry games come thick and fast this weekend, but it’s this three-game set between Californian adversaries that truly whets the appetite.

The Los Angeles Dodgers (4-1) entered the season with the weight of expectation placed firmly on their proverbial shoulders, not to mention the company coffers. The San Francisco Giants (3-1) meanwhile are happily flying under the radar after a subpar season in 2013, and will hope to upset their SoCal counterparts.

Friday night’s game will serve as the Dodgers’ home opener, and while Clayton Kershaw – sidelined indefinitely with a club-worrying back injury – won’t be making the start, the Chavez Ravine faithful is likely to be into this one from the start. The Giants could be game for some fireworks too.

The three-game series will serve up three excellent pitching matchups (Vogelsong vs. Ryu; Bumgarner vs. Maholm; Cain vs. Greinke), with the Sunday night showdown looking particularly appealing.

While the series will mean little this early on, you can count on neither side wanting to finish on the short end come the early hours of Monday morning.

You can find odds and trends for Friday night’s opener at Dodger Stadium right here.

After two years on the comeback trail, Michael Pineda finally starts for the Yankees on Saturday.

After two years on the comeback trail, Michael Pineda finally starts for the Yankees on Saturday.

Weekend’s Best Pitching Matchup – Michael Pineda (NYY) vs. R.A. Dickey (TOR)

There’re plenty of stellar pitching matchups to look out for this weekend and in terms of true pitching duels and technical skills there are some better than this, but this Saturday matchup has a lot of intrigue about it.

First up, this will be Michael Pineda’s first official start for the New York Yankees since arriving in a trade with the Seattle Mariners back in January 2012. The hard-throwing righty missed all of the 2012 season following shoulder surgery and only made it back as far as Triple-A last year. He looked sharp in preseason, beating out David Phelps for the fifth starter’s spot. He’ll be looking to impress in his debut.

On the other side, R.A. Dickey (0-1, 10.80 ERA) is looking to bounce back from a disappointing campaign a year ago. After winning the Cy Young award with the New York Mets in 2012, Dickey was just 14-13 in his first season with the Toronto Blue Jays, amassing a 4.21 ERA in the process. After picking up a loss in his first start of the year on Monday, he’ll also be looking to put in a good performance.

Look who's 100.

Look who’s 100.


Elsewhere, the Los Angeles Angels (0-3) will look to shrug off an opening series sweep at the hands of the Mariners as they hit the road to face the Houston Astros (2-1). Can the Halos get the better of their division rivals?

The Yankees (1-2) are another team looking to pick up the pieces after a disappointing opening series. They went some way to doing that with a 4-2 win over the Astros on Thursday. Now they’ll look to build some momentum as they head north of the border for a matchup with the Blue Jays. Friday night sees the debut of Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka. Will the Yanks see an immediate return on that $155 million contract?

The St. Louis Cardinals (2-1) and Pittsburgh Pirates (2-1) should once again be banging heads in the race for the NL Central crown this season. Who draws first blood when they meet this weekend?

Wrigley Field will celebrate its 100th anniversary this year, beginning with a three-game set between the hometown Chicago Cubs (1-2) and the visiting Philadelphia Phillies (1-2). Who you got?

Finally, the Red Sox (2-1) will begin their 102nd season at Fenway Park with an interleague matchup against the Milwaukee Brewers (1-2). Can the World Series champs welcome back their fans in style?


Weekend Schedule

American League

Minnesota Twins at Cleveland Indians

Baltimore Orioles at Detroit Tigers

Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros

Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals

Seattle Mariners at Oakland Athletics

Texas Rangers at Tampa Bay Rays

New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays

National League

Philadelphia Phillies at Chicago Cubs

Arizona Diamondbacks at Colorado Rockies

San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers

San Diego Padres at Miami Marlins

Cincinnati Reds at New York Mets

St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates

Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals


Milwaukee Brewers at Boston Red Sox


For a full list of today’s Major League Baseball odds, click here.

For MLB Futures odds, click here.

For team prop bets, click here.

For player prop bets, click here.

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