Texas Rangers vs. Philadelphia Phillies - 3/31/14
Philadelphia Phillies (0-0) at Texas Rangers (0-0)
MLB Baseball: Monday, March 31, 2014 at 2:05 pm (Globe Life Park)
Cliff Lee (L) (0-0) (0.00) vs. Tanner Scheppers (R) (0-0) (0.00)
The Line: Texas Rangers -105 / Philadelphia Phillies -115 --- Over/Under: 8 See the Latest Odds
The Philadelphia Phillies and Texas Rangers will kick off opening day on Monday afternoon.
The Phillies will start their ace in Cliff Lee, who finished last season with a 14-8 record and 2.87 ERA. Cliff Lee has pitched 11 games against the Texas Rangers in his career and is 7-3 with an ERA of 4.91. In inter-league play overall, Lee is 19-7 with an ERA of 3.42. The Phillies hope that their veteran lineup can stay healthy this season, especially first baseman Ryan Howard, who has played in 80 or fewer games in two consecutive seasons.
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With Yu Darvish scratched from being the opening day starter, the ball will be given to Tanner Scheppers. Scheppers, who is a 27-year-old pitcher, finished 6-2 last season with an ERA of 1.88. This will be the first time the Phillies have ever faced Scheppers and will be his first start ever in inter-league play. In Tanner Scheppers career, he has allowed 20 hits and nine earned runs in 12.2 innings in inter-league play. The Rangers added some serious pop to their lineup during the offseason with the additions of Price Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo.
The Phillies are 1-8 in their last 9 games vs. a right-handed starter and 2-6 in Lee's last 8 interleague starts. The Rangers are 4-1 in their last 5 games vs. a left-handed starter and 7-3 in their last 10 interleague games vs. a left-handed starter.
While the Phillies have the experienced pitcher you should trust more, the Rangers have one of the best lineups in baseball. The Rangers should score a ton of runs this season like they did last year, and I expect that to start Monday night when both teams take the field for the first time.
You have to pick the better overall team in the first game of the season, which is why I’ll take my chances with the Rangers at this price.