Free MLB Baseball Picks: Baltimore Orioles @ Detroit Tigers – 4/4/2011

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Major League Baseball is finally off and running for the 2011 season. We, at will keep you supplied with the best in baseball handicapping along with free MLB picks and information this season. Daily picks with detailed analysis and a wagering guide for MLB. This Monday six new series get underway, three in the NL including two day games and three in the AL with one day game at Camden Yards in Baltimore. This Orioles-Tigers game is our pick for today. The game starts at 3:05 EST and the current line has Baltimore at -125 with a total of 9.5 runs. The announced starting pitchers are Rick Porcello for Detroit, and Jake Arrieta for Baltimore.

MLB Matchup: Detroit Tigers @ Baltimore Orioles
Date: Monday, April 4th, 6:45 ET
Location: Oriole Park @ Camden Yards – Baltimore, MD
NCAA Basketball Odds: Baltimore -125
Over/Under 9.5

For the Orioles: The Orioles come into this game sky high off a three game road sweep of Tampa. The pitching was super allowing just 3 runs the entire 3 game series. AAA call up Zack Britton pitched 6 strong innings in the finale allowing just 3 hits and 1 earned run to run the O’s record to 3-0. The Orioles pitching has really taken a turn for the better since the arrival late last year of manager Buck Showalter. Monday’s starter Jake Arrieta is one of several Orioles young pitchers with tremendous potential. He was having trouble last year allowing too many walks, but showed improvement once Showalter arrived. Arrieta’s ERA in June was 6.20 with 12 walks to 11 strikeouts. July it was 5.01 with 21 walks to 14 strikeouts. In August it was 4.45 with 13 walks and 14 strikeouts, and in September it was 2.60 with just 2 walks to 13 strikeouts. The “light bulb” went on for Arrieta in September and he should carry that over to this season. The Orioles are loaded with new additions on offense this year with veterans Derrick Lee at first base, Vlad Guerrero as the DH, JJ Hardy at shortstop and new third baseman Mark Reynolds. Long time Orioles Nick Markakis and Brian Roberts along with Adam Jones and Matt Weiters make for a decent lineup with some power from top to bottom of the order. Look for the Orioles to be a much improved team this year and with Showalter at the helm make a real run at respectability. Up until now that is something that Baltimore hasn’t earned in a long time.

For the Tigers: Detroit was able to avoid the sweep in New York winning the last game of the series in a slugfest 10-7 to move to 1-2. Tiger’s slugger Miguel Cabrera led Detroit’s offense going 3 for 5 with two home runs knocking in 4 runs. Cabrera is batting .455 three games into the year and looks like the main hitter to avoid in the Tigers lineup. Detroit sends Rick Porcello to the mound Monday. Porcello had a rough year in 2010 going 10-12 with a 4.92 ERA. He had an even tougher time pitching on the road where his ERA was 5.73. Opponents batted .308 off Porcello on the road last year compared to .273 when he pitched at home. This has plagued Porcello both years in the big leagues and is something he must overcome in order to secure a spot in the rotation. Detroit has the misfortune of facing two American League East teams in their home openers before finally having theirs against Kansas City April 8th. Detroit is 3-5 the last three years playing at Camden Yards and will play the Orioles in their home opener after a surprise three game sweep in Tampa. For the Tigers to have any chance in this game Rick Porcello is going to have to go at least 6 strong innings of work and keep the Orioles off the bases. That may be a tall order to ask of Porcello against a much improved Baltimore offense.

Free MLB Picks: Take Baltimore on the money line at -125 in this game. Jake Arrieta was a different pitcher last year after Showalter took over and that wasn’t a coincidence. He has all the tools to be a future 20 game winner and should take a big step in that direction this year. You have to be impressed with the Orioles “new” lineup loaded with pop from top to bottom. This is a prime spot for Baltimore to pick on a pitcher who is extremely shaky on the road. It is the home opener, the line is very fair at -125 and the O’s have to be very confident coming off the sweep of Tampa. MLB Prediction: O’s 6 Tigers 3

Lou Palumbo is the founder and part owner of the Sports Handicapping Community. He's been writing and posting free picks and sports handicapping strategies on the Cappersinfo forums and website for 15 years now. He enjoys handicapping just as much as he did from the very first day he built the original Cappersinfo website.

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