Monday MLB Quick Picks: April 15, 2013

If you aren’t in the baseball spirit already, it’s about time to get pumped for a long spring and summer filled with action on the sun-drenched diamond. With the NBA and NHL playoffs about to get underway, most of the attention will be turned in that direction in the coming weeks, but until then you’ll be able to enjoy all the MLB offerings, including a nine-game slate today that is simply dying to be wagered on. Oblige it by checking out our quick picks!

Tampa Bay Rays +1.5 at Boston Red Sox -1.5

The Sox have gotten off to a decent 7-4 start while the Rays have struggled at 4-7. The Rays rotation – which was so solid a year ago – has gotten beat up so far this season, but don’t expect that to continue. Despite their records, the Rays are the better and they should start to put together some wins. Take Tampa to cover +1.5 here.

Philadelphia Phillies -1.5 at Cincinnati Reds +1.5

The Reds are certainly one of the favorites in the NL this season, but the Phillies look like an improved team ready to make a run. Cliff Lee is getting the ball for Philly today and considering how brilliant he has been in his first two starts – with a 2-0 record and 1.08 ERA – it would be hard to go against him and the Phils here. Take the Phillies to cover -1.5.

Chicago White Sox +1.5 at Toronto Blue Jays -1.5

Mark Buehrle has been absolutely shelled in his first two outings for the Blue Jays, as Toronto has failed to live up to preseason expectations – at least so far. However, we know how good of a pitcher he is and against his old team – a team he is undoubtedly familiar with – he should perform much better. Look for the Jays to win this one and cover -1.5.

St. Louis Cardinals -1.5 at Pittsburgh Pirates +1.5

Pittsburgh was one of my dark horse picks coming into the season and although they haven’t been great so far, they certainly posses the kind of young up-and-coming talent that could shake up the NL Central. Plus, they have home field today, so take Pittsburgh to cover +1.5 here.

Los Angeles Angels -1.5 at Minnesota Twins +1.5

It’s been a bumpy 3-8 start for the Angels, but they simply have too much talent to stay in their current rut. Look for L.A. to begin to pick up the pieces and earn the win against the Twins, covering -1.5.

Washington Nationals -1.5 at Miami Marlins +1.5

This may be one of the more lopsided match-ups of the day, with basement dweller Miami hosting one of the favorites to win the NL pennant, Washington. Jordan Zimmermann is getting the ball for the Nats today and he has dazzled so far this year, going 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in his first two starts. Look for more of the same from him and for the Nationals to earn the win, covering -1.5.

Houston Astros +1.5 at Oakland A’s -1.5

Houston is expected to be the league’s worst team for the second straight season, so this should be a pretty easy one considering how well the A’s are playing. Take Oakland to cover -1.5.

New York Mets +1.5 at Colorado Rockies -1.5

The Rockies have enjoyed a surprisingly fast start and against the Mets, they should continue to find more success, especially at home and against starter Dillon Gee, who got rocked in his first outing for seven earned runs. Look for Colorado’s power hitters to rock Gee and earn the win, covering -1.5.

San Diego Padres +1.5 at Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5

Carlos Quentin will not be in the lineup tonight for San Diego after receiving an eight-game suspension for charging the mound and injuring L.A.’s new star pitcher Zack Greinke. That will hurt the Padres and they were already at a huge disadvantage playing at Dodger Stadium, so take the Dodgers to win this one and cover -1.5.