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Joe Conroy
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Nationals News

MLB Betting And Gambling in the United States posted by Nationals News

Betting on MLB teams is not simply a game of chance, as you can reduce your odds of losing by carefully studying the players in the teams and their stats. It is just like improving your skills in certain casino games like poker and so on. Although there is always the element of luck involved, you can make a major difference and bring down the odds by being skillful in placing your bets. There are many resources available online for sports betting where you can gather detailed information on team statistics, news about individual players, and expert tips by people who have vast experience in this field.

Gambling in United States has come a long way from shady bookies and dim casinos to legalized gambling from the comfort of your home. Placing bets has not only become easy and safe, but there are various resources also available to improve your skills, and increase your chances of winning.

The gambling industry saw a major growth in the United States in the past few decades, when different states adopted specific policies and laws to promote casinos. The excellent model shown by Las Vegas in attracting tourism and stimulating growth could not be ignored by other states, and several laws were implemented to legalize gambling. This also eventually promoted the growth of the online betting industry and online casinos like iPhonecasino.ca. These casinos have been growing at an impressive rate since their inception roughly a decade ago, and with innovative ideas like sports-themed slots games they have managed to tap into the sports betting audience somewhat as well.

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Nationals News

Gio Gonzalez owns Houston Astros and gets his first win with the Nationals posted by Nationals News

Gio Gonzalez dominated over seven innings and had to wait out a nervous ninth with Brad Lidge on the mound just before his very first win with the Washington Nationals was secure. If you're interested in placing a bet on the next Nats game check out Sportsbook reviews.

Lidge gave up a double to his 1st hitter and walked the subsequent batter before retiring 3 in a row and earning his second save in the Nationals' 1- win against the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.

"Man, one of these instances I'll get a 1-two-three (inning)," Lidge said. "I'm sure I gave a lot of men and women a heart attack these days. That's type of how I've accomplished it for a even though."

Gonzalez didn't acknowledge possessing any doubts over the outcome.

"I was attempting to be cool, calm and collected with a massive smile on my face being aware of he was going to shut it down," Gonzalez stated of the last inning.

The late dramatics stood in sharp contrast to the innings with Gonzalez on the mound, when the Astros hardly ever got the ball out of the infield. Gonzalez (1-) allowed two hits, walked two and struck out eight in his third commence for Washington. The left-hander, acquired from Oakland in the offseason, also earned a standing ovation at the plate when he flied out to the warning track.

It was an additional close game for the Nationals, who enhanced to 9-three -- their ideal start given that moving from Montreal to Washington in 2005. Half of Washington's first 12 games have been decided by one particular run and the Nationals are four-2 in these contests.
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Nationals News

Nationals get Gio Gonzalez Nationals get Gio Gonzalez posted by Nationals News

The Washington Nationals held a news conference Wednesday at their ballpark to show off their most important offseason acquisition and pat themselves on the back for locking him down with a big contract.

No, not Prince Fielder, but Gio Gonzalez.

Gio Gonzalez is "going
to become portion in the furniture for a extended time," common manager Mike Rizzo stated in the pitcher's introductory news conference.
Much more than a month after joining Washington in a trade from Oakland, and 1½ weeks soon after agreeing to a $42 million, five-year deal, Gonzalez produced it official by signing on the dotted line Wednesday.

"I
really like the pressure scenarios," Gonzalez stated.

Sports betting should be heavy this year on the Nationals.

Nationals common manager Mike Rizzo said the left-hander is "going to be element with the furniture for a extended time."

The GM also repeatedly talked about his belief that the Nationals
lastly are ready to play "meaningful games in September." In 2011, Washington went 80-81 and wound up in third place, its highest NL East finish considering that moving from Montreal just before the 2005 season.

The 26-year-old Gonzalez was an All-Star last season, when he went 16-12

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Nationals News

Pitchers Trying To Hold It Together In Washington posted by Nationals News

No one really thinks that Washington is going to seriously compete in the National League East, and why would they? You have Philadelphia and their incredible starting rotation, Atlanta, who made it to the playoffs last season, and even Florida and the New York Mets are probably given more credit than the Nationals. But Washington is starting to show signs of forming their own impressive pitching staff, even without their injured phenom, and they’re going to be needed as the Nationals can’t score any runs.

Washington is currently eighth in the National League in ERA, and if you’re going to hang your hat on their  MLB odds, pitching is the way to go. The wily vets, 36-year-old  Livan Hernandez and 32-year-old Jason Marquis have led the way for the Nationals, while the rest of the rotation is filled out by 28-year-old Tom Gorzelanny, 26-year-old John Lannan and 24-year-old Jordan Zimmerman. The five of them have 11 quality starts, and while they’re not great, they don’t lose many games for the Nationals, either. Don’t forget, Washington still has the injured Stephen Strasburg on the disabled list, although the 22-year-old likely won’t pitch this year as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. We all saw what he did in his brief time in the majors last season, and he will be a welcome addition for the Nationals.

But the bullpen isn’t bad either, led by Tyler Clippard and Chad Gaudin, while Drew Storen and Sean Burnett are currently sharing the closing duties. The two have managed to save six of the nine opportunities that the Nationals have had, which is a decent ratio. If the Nationals could put some runs on the board (Ryan Zimmermann is almost back from injury), Washington could turn some heads in 2011….definitely in 2012.

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Michael McGauley

"The Giants' Bats Show Some Signs of Life Against the Nats" posted by Michael McGauley


Hey, nothing like snapping out of a five-game slide with some timely hitting! The Giants beat the Washington Nationals 4-2 Tuesday night in the first game of a fresh nine-game home stand after limping through a miserable 1-and-6 road-trip.  The Giants took a few innings, by finally settled in against old friend Livan Hernandez with two outs in the fith. Five consecutive hits plated all four runs, highlighted by a two-run double off the bat of Freddy Sanchez. Pablo Sandoval folliwed with a double off the left field wall to score Sanchez. The rally against Livan was rare thus far in 2010, as the veteran Nationals right-hander came into the game with an ERA below two (it ballooned to 2.08 after last night).  Four runs was enough for Todd Wellemeyer: a guy who was really pitching with his back against the wall, and one foot out the door if he didn't come through. Not only did Wellemeyer toss a solid six-innings (two runs and four hits and two strikeouts), but he actually ignited "the rally" at the plate with a two-out bloop single. Wellemeyer actually has one more victory (three) than both Matt Cain and Jonothan Sanchez (two each). The line-up: I like the changes, and I'm very impressed that Aubrey Huff didn't blink. He just went out there and manned left field like he'd been out there all season. Unfortunately, Mark DeRosa is probably not going to contribute much this year if anything at all, and moving Huff to left allows Juan Uribe to play everyday at third base, and takes some pressure off Pablo by moving him over to first base. This one-Continue reading ""The Giants' Bats Show Some Signs ..."


Colin Linneweber

Stephen Strasburg Will Be a Top-Ten Pitcher This Season posted by Colin Linneweber

Washington Nationals right-handed pitcher Stephen Strasburg made his spring training debut Tuesday in a 9-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers in Viera, Fla. 

Strasburg, who was selected by the Nationals with the number one overall pick out of San Diego State University in the 2009 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft, fanned two batters in two scoreless innings before the was relieved. 

Despite his solid statistics, the former Aztecs standout struggled a tad with his command. 

In total, Strasburg managed to throw only 15 of his 27 pitches for strikes. 

“Command really wasn’t there, but I think a lot of that had to do with the adrenaline going on,” said Strasburg, 21, who signed a record four-year contract worth $15.1 million with Washington this past August. “It’s something that happens to me every time – even in college, even in high school. That first outing, there’s all this excitement and it’s really difficult to control the adrenaline and make sure you’re staying nice and relaxed.” 

Regardless of the control issues he experienced, it is evident that Strasburg is a burgeoning superstar. 

The native of San Diego had his fastball consistently clocked in the 97-98 mph range and his curveball was measured between 79 and 81 mph. 

“I just wanted to go out there and throw strikes,” said Strasburg, who tossed a no-hitter and whiffed 17 batters in his final collegiate home start against the Air Force last May. “If they hit it, they hit it. Big deal. I have enough confidence in my stuff that if I can go out there and make them put the ball in play, I’ve got a great defense behind me that’s going to back me up.” 

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Joe Gunderson

A new shortstop and new uniforms! posted by Joe Gunderson

Hey Everyone,

Not sure who is out there but hopefully someone is!  Smile  Anyway, for those that don't know my name is Joe and I've been a Twins fan since I was six years old.  I hope you find this blog entertaining and thought provoking.  Let's get started shall we?!

In my first entry I'd like to discuss how the Twins acquired a new shortstop for the 2010 season and what I think of the acquisition and also the news that was announced today, that they are going to be wearing new uniforms next year.

The Twins have acquired shortstop J.J. Hardy from the Milwaukee Brewers for outfielder Carlos Gomez.  I am excited about this acquisition.  It potentially fills a very big need for the Twins, a right-handed bat with good power and an infielder at a position of need.  It thins out the Twins depth in the outfield but they still have four guys who are capable of playing out there everyday and you can only have three out there everyday.  Gomez is very talented but he gets way too excited when he's at the plate a lot of the time which causes him to swing wildly and strike out a lot.  He has the potential to be special at the plate if he ever calms down his approach.  He is an excellent defender as well.

Hardy, while he is coming off a bad year offensively is capable of hitting in the upper .200's to .300 and has pop enough to hit 20+ home runs a season and plays consistent defense.  Overall for 2010, the trade favors the Twins.  In the future, it could favor the Brewers but the Twins had to take that chance to give themselves a better chance to compete in 2010.

Continue reading "A new shortstop and new uniforms!"


Eric Hatleback

More Thoughts on MLB Pitching Statistics posted by Eric Hatleback

In the National League, the elongated double switch shows again why pitching statistics are quite poorly attributed.  A traditional double switch involves the manager inserting a position player into the game  for the current pitcher and a new pitcher for a position player--typically one who just made an out, so that the new pitcher won't be batting for nearly a full trip through the lineup.

However, this same basic maneuver can also occur by simply pinch-hitting for the pitcher while on offense and then placing the pitcher in for whichever player makes the last out of the inning.  If the team takes the lead (and subsequently does not lose it), the just-substituted-for pitcher gets credited with the win.

The problem is this: if this scenario occurs before the 5th inning, the starting pitcher cannot get the win, so it'll almost certainly be the next guy who pitches that will get the win.  But given that a position player is the opne who was inserted for the pitcher, why wouldn't that guy get the win?  He is technically inserted for the pitcher.  Of course, I'm not advocating that he really should get the win; I'm arguing that the statistics need to be reconfigured so that there are categories such as "Team Wins / Losses."  See some of my earlier posts for more good examples of why this should be the case.

One other note--it also wouldn't help to require a pitcher to actually throw a pitch before earning a win, as we saw last month:  http://espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=290707127.  Both Embree and B.J. Ryan (in 2003) have recently earned Wins without throwing a pitch.  This makes it possible for a reliever to enter for a starter before the 5th (after an offensive rally when his team took the lead), warm up for the inning, then leave without doing

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Keith trussell

Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star Break Analysis posted by Keith trussell

   Pittsburgh Pirates Mid-Season Analysis

     I moved to Western Maryland a couple of weeks ago and this is part of my ongoing attempt to learn about the sports interests here.  Baseball-wise it’s the Pirates, Orioles, and Nationals, and I wanted to get into the one with the best current chance of a playoff push.  The Nats are obviously out and the Orioles are 14 games behind first in a ridiculously hard division, so that leaves the Pirates, a tantalizing Homer-pick at 9.5 behind in the absurdly mediocre NL Central.  On paper it looks possible that any team could take it, and I hoped that statistical analysis would show some obscure Pirates advantage that could take them over the top, but I just can’t find it.  I’m not saying that an X-factor doesn’t exist, just that anyone who claims there is one is obviously from Pittsburgh.  In fact, this team so cries for the use of the “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” comparison that I spent ten whole minutes looking up how I could work it in.  And here it is:  Mario Brega, who played Cpl. Wallace, the big cross-eyed prison guard in the film who beat up Tuco to get the name of the cemetery the money was buried in for Angel Eyes ,died 15 years ago this month.  So to honor his memory, here’s a breakdown of the Pirates in the spirit of that great film (I resisted using a corresponding pirate-based ranking system, i.e.; Avast Ye Maties, Walk the Plank, and Totally Somalian because even I have standards).

Continue reading "Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star Break Analysis"


Eric Hatleback

Another Reason Why MLB Needs Team Pitching Statistics posted by Eric Hatleback

Here'e another quirky entry into the "Win" category:  http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4318608.  If we used Team pitching statistics, that win would simply go to the Nationals pitching staff, which clearly it should have.

Also, I wonder what the rules are concerning rosters resuming suspended games.  What if the whole team was replaced in the interim?  That team would have a distinct advantage in bench players and pitchers available over the other team.  And what if Hanrahan had been traded to the Astros?  Could he have come into the game in the bottom half, given up the winning run, and earned both the win and the loss?  This one deserves some thought. 

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Washington Nationals News

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Baseball-Highlights of Friday's MLB Games (Reuters)

- - - Phillies 7, Cubs 2 Second baseman Chase Utley went 2-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs to lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a 7-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs. Utley clubbed a go-ahead two-run homer, his first of the season, in the fifth inning off Chicago starter Travis Wood, who took the loss on a windy, frigid afternoon in the Cubs' home opener at Wrigley Field. Right-handed starter Roberto Hernandez (1-0) worked 5 2/3 innings for the win. - - - Braves 2, Nationals 1 Third baseman Chris Johnson hit a sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth to break a 1-1 tie and the Atlanta Braves beat the Washington Nationals 2-1 to spoil Opening Day in the nation's capital before a sellout crowd of 42,834. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Nationals-Mets Preview (The Associated Press)

Any void left when Gio Gonzalez departed the Oakland Athletics after the 2011 season was filled by how Bartolo Colon pitched for that club over the last two years. Now both starters are division rivals, and Colon will make his New York Mets debut at home Wednesday night against Gonzalez and the Washington Nationals, who will face a Mets team that just lost its closer. Colon went 28-15 with a 2.99 ERA over the last two seasons for Oakland, completing a 50-game suspension for a positive testosterone test in between. The 40-year-old went 18-6 last season with a 2.65 ERA that was the AL's second-best mark, then signed a two-year, $20 million deal with New York this winter. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


MLB back with replays, metal detectors, comebacks (The Associated Press)

Jimmy Rollins began the season with a slam, Neil Walker with a walkoff homer and the Washington Nationals with a thrilling ninth-inning comeback. After a frigid winter of blizzards for much of the U.S., baseball came storming back Monday when 26 major league teams opened their seasons and seemed to make the outdoors feel a little warmer. Washington's Matt Williams and Detroit's Brad Ausmus won in their big league debuts as managers. There was an innovative replay system for umpires, and at some ballparks new metal detectors at fan entrances as teams installed the devices a year before Major League Baseball's industrywide requirement. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Ranking all 30 ‘traditional’opening day starting pitchers (Big League Stew)

The 2014 season opener is just hours away and not far behind will be our first full slate of action on Monday afternoon. With that in mind, here's a look at all 30 pitchers who will take the ball in their team's respective North American opener —the Australia games counted, but not here —and we rank them heading into the new season. You can also look back to see how we fared in 2013 . 1. Felix Hernandez —Seattle Mariners (at Angels, Mon. 10:05 ET): The King of Seattle is also the King of opening day. He’s set to start his franchise record seventh opener, which ties him with Justin Verlander for the most opening day starts among active pitchers. You can safely pencil him into the Cy Young race already. 2. Justin Verlander —Detroit Tigers (vs. Royals, Mon. 1:08 ET): The former Rookie of the Year, Cy Young and MVP will start his seventh consecutive opener for Detroit despite the fact Max Scherzer is coming off a Cy Young season of his own in 2013. Verlander’s seniority with the team and his longer list of accolades likely played a role in that decision. Their inability to come to terms on an extension with Scherzer may have sealed it. Either way, life won’t be easy for Kansas City on Monday afternoon. 3. Stephen Strasburg —Washington Nationals (@ Mets, Mon. 1:10 ET): He’s healthy, he’s added a slider to an already impressive array of pitches, and he seems determined to take the next step in his career. If Clayton Kershaw doesn’t win the NL Cy Young, Strasburg will likely be the guy. 4. Adam Wainwright —St. Louis Cardinals (@ Reds, Mon. 4:10 ET): Wainwright will go for a milestone in Cincinnati as he enters the season sitting on 99 career wins. He’s sure to have a decent sized chip on his shoulder as well after the Cardinals fell in the World Series and he finished second to Clayton Kershaw in the Cy Young balloting. Reserve his spot on the all-star team. 5. David Price —Tampa Bay Rays (vs. Blue Jays, Mon. 4:10 ET): Easy call for Joe Maddon after the Rays elected to hold on to the 2012 AL Cy Young winner. Of course, the question now becomes where will Price’s opening day start in 2015 come, but that’s something Rays fans don’t want to think about until they absolutely have to. 6. Jose Fernandez —Miami Marlins (vs. Rockies, Mon. 7:05 ET): No-hitter alert on opening day? If it happens, Miami’s 21-year-old phenom and the reigning NL Rookie of the Year may have the best opportunity. In 15 home starts last season, he allowed only 13 earned runs for a minuscule 1.19 ERA. In two starts against Colorado, he allowed only nine hits over 14 innings. 7. Chris Sale —Chicago White Sox (vs. Twins, Mon. 4:10 ET): A strikeout machine - 529 in 500 2/3 career innings - Sale gets a nice matchup to start his season. If Head groundkeeper Roger Bossard can’t thaw out the turf at U.S. Cellular Field by Monday afternoon, Sale might do it himself. 8. Jered Weaver —Los Angeles Angels (vs. Mariners, Mon. 10:15): Weaver completes one of the better opening matchups against Felix Hernandez. With a no-hitter, three all-star selections and three top 5 Cy Young finishes, he doesn’t have to take a back seat to many, but this is one of those rare occasions. 9. James Shields —Kansas City Royals (@ Tigers, Mon. 1:08 ET): Shields makes his second opening day start for Kansas City after being acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays on Dec. 9, 2012. Firmly established as an ace and a workhorse, Shields has topped 30 starts and 200 innings seven years in a row. 10. Jon Lester —Boston Red Sox (@ Orioles, Mon. 3:05 ET): Manager John Ferrell only confirmed Lester as his starter on Thursday, but there was little doubt he’d get the call. The 30-year-old left-hander is coming off a strong postseason in which he posted a 1.56 ERA over five starts. He’s also looking for a contract extension, but both sides have put those talks on hold . 11: Johnny Cueto —Cincinnati Reds (vs. Cardinals, Mon. 4:10 ET): The Reds will unveil a new manager in former pitching coach Bryan Price, but the opening day starter remains the same with Johnny Cueto getting the nod for a fourth straight season. The issue with Cueto has never been getting him ready for the opener, though he did battle through a scapula irritation last week. It’s about keeping him healthy for 30+ starts and a possible postseason run. 12. Madison Bumgarner —San Francisco Giants (@Diamondbacks, Mon. 9:40 ET): While San Francisco’s typically dominant rotation crumbled a bit in 2013, Bumgarner stayed steady and earned his first all-star appearance. Now he’s receiving the first of what should be many opening day starts. 13. Justin Masterson —Cleveland Indians (@ A's, Mon. 10:05 ET): Masterson didn’t get the extension he was seeking during the offseason, which may serve as extra motivation heading in to his third opening day start. Not that he needs to show a lot. His 2013 season was all-star worthy and included an MLB best three shutouts. 14. R.A. Dickey —Toronto Blue Jays (@ Rays, Mon. 4:10 ET): The knuckleballer’s debut season in Toronto didn’t meet expectations, but the Blue Jays will need a bounce back season if they hope to move up the standings in a loaded AL East. It's far from a given considering the unpredictability of his No. 1 weapon, but he's still the ace until proven otherwise. 15. CC Sabathia —New York Yankees (@ Astros, Tues. 7:10 ET): Sabathia posted a dreadful 4.78 ERA last season —at least by his standards —but Joe Girardi will give the nod for his 11th opening day start. View it as a tip of the cap for getting into the best shape of his career. 16. Hyun-Jin Ryu —Los Angeles Dodgers (@ Padres, Sun. 8:05 ET): Ryu started the Dodgers second game in Australia, so he's technically making back-to-back starts. He also has a chance to improve to 2-0 before any of the other 29 teams win their first game. 17. Brandon McCarthy —Arizona Diamondbacks (vs. Giants, Mon, 9:40 ET): Wade Miley started the real opener in Australia, but only after Patrick Corbin was sidelined for the season. Still, this is a nice honor for McCarthy to start their true home opener, especially considering the hurdles he‘s had to overcome dating back to his skull fracture in 2012. 18. Yovani Gallardo —Milwaukee Brewers (vs. Braves, Mon. 2:10 ET): It’s the fifth straight opening day assignment for Milwaukee’s ace. An impressive feat given that he’s only 28. His 4.18 ERA last season was a career high, but he’s still Ron Roenicke’s most dependable option despite their recent signing of Matt Garza. 19. Jeff Samardzija —Chicago Cubs (@ Pirates, Mon. 1:05 ET): Will it be his last opening day start with Chicago, or just the first of many to come? We should know by the trade deadline. 20. Francisco Liriano —Pittsburgh Pirates (vs. Cubs, Mon. 1:05): Liriano started last season on the DL with a broken arm but is cleared to start the 2014 opener despite a groin injury suffered last week. That’s big news for the Pirates, as Liriano became a big part of their first winning season in 21 years by posting a 3.02 ERA in 26 starts. 21. Andrew Cashner —San Diego Padres (vs. Dodgers, Sun. 8:05): Took a big step forward in 2013 and may now be on the cusp of reaching all-star status. A tough challenge awaits in the opener, so we may get a feeling for how realistic those expectations are. 22. Chris Tillman —Baltimore Orioles (vs. Red Sox, Mon. 3:05 ET): Tillman didn’t develop as quickly as Baltimore hoped he would, but arrived in 2012 posting a 2.91 over 15 starts. He cemented his spot last season with 16 wins, a 3.71 ERA and his first all-star selection. Manager Buck Showalter is calling the assignment a reward for rebounding and stabilizing the Orioles’rotation. Facing the defending world champions is some reward. 23. Cliff Lee —Philadelphia Phillies (@ Rangers, Mon. 2:05 ET): Lee’s best days are behind him, but manager Ryne Sandberg had few options with Cole Hamels out through April. It will be brutal assignment against a playoff contender and one of his former teams. Can he meet this challenge? 24. Julio Teheran —Atlanta Braves (@ Brewers, Mon. 2:10 ET): The 23-year-old right-hander almost gets the job by default after Atlanta lost Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy to season-ending elbow injuries. Mike Minor will also start the season on the disabled list after experiencing shoulder soreness. The team added Ervin Santana two weeks ago to help carry the load, but Teheran is clearly the best option now. In his rookie season, he went 14-8 with a 3.20 ERA and 170 strikeouts in 185 2/3 innings. 25. Jorge De La Rosa —Colorado Rockies (@ Marlins, Mon. 7:05 ET): At 32, De La Rosa is coming off a career best 3.49 ERA in his first season back from Tommy John surgery. He’ll try to anchor Colorado’s rotation until Jhoulys Chacin returns sometime in May. 26. Sonny Gray —Oakland A's (vs. Indians, Mon. 10:05 ET): The 24-year-old right-hander has never attended an opening day, but he’ll start one in only his 14th career start (postseason included). After throwing eight shutout innings against Detroit and out dueling Justin Verlander in the ALDS, we’re guessing he won’t be fazed by the atmosphere. 27. Ricky Nolasco —Minnesota Twins (@ White Sox, Mon. 4:10 ET): Nolasco inked the richest free agent deal in Twins history this winter at four years and $49 million. With that much committed, he better be the opening day starter. 28. Dillon Gee —New York Mets (vs. Nationals, Mon. 1:10 ET): It’s a shame it’s not Matt Harvey, and a surprise it’s neither veteran Bartolo Colon or young right-hander Zack Wheeler getting the nod. Gee‘s seniority with the Mets ultimately won out. 29. Scott Feldman —Houston Astros (vs. Yankees, Tues. 7:10 ET): No offense to Feldman, but get back to us when Mark Appel is ready. 30. Tanner Scheppers —Texas Rangers (vs. Phillies, Mon. 2:05 ET): It’s not often a pitcher’s first career start comes on opening day , but such is the case for Scheppers, who as of one week ago wasn’t even a lock to make the rotation. Scheduled opening day starter Yu Darvish was scratched on Wednesday with neck soreness. The Rangers are also missing lefties Derek Holland and Matt Harrison, and released veteran Tommy Hanson. It‘s a situation very similar to Atlanta‘s, only the Rangers are forced to turn to a reliever turned starter in Scheppers. More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: - - - - - - - Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813 [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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