Hot lines: Monday’s best MLB bets

Apr 4, 2010 |

Minnesota Twins at Los Angeles Angels (-133, 8.5)

The Angels open a new season with many projecting a step back for the three-time defending AL West winners. Los Angeles lost two major parts when Vladimir Guerrero and John Lackey jumped ship.

While Guerrero’s production had been slipping for years, Lackey was the Halos’ unquestioned No. 1 starter.

"It definitely has importance, has significance," Angels manager Mike Scioscia told the L.A. Daily News about having a staff leader. "As you get into a pennant race and hopefully the playoffs, you'd obviously like to have that guy you can count on to go on the road and win a big game. John was that pitcher."

Jered Weaver, who was named the team’s opening day starter, doesn’t look at the situation in the same light as his manager.

"It sucks to see Lackey go, but that's the business side of the game, and that's how it works sometimes," Weaver said. "But we have five guys here who are legit. Guys who have pitched in playoff situations, guys who have pitched in big games."

Expect Sciosia to be extra aggressive on the base paths and get some early run support for Weaver.

Pick: Over

Seattle Mariners at Oakland A’s (+114, 7)

Did the Athletics’ weak-hitting lineup just get weaker? In a surprise move the A’s cut their leading home run hitter in each of the past three seasons, Jack Cust.

"I think it's messed up," Cust told The San Francisco Chronicle on Saturday. "They're going to go on 50 at-bats after three years of what I've done here? It's ridiculous. A lot of other guys have had bad springs. This is a joke.”

Cust’s spring was certainly forgettable. The designated hitter notched just one homer and three RBIs to go along with 20 strikeouts in 50 at-bats.

"The fact is, this team has no power and they've just released a guy who (averaged 28 homers) the last three years. That's amazing."

The San Francisco Chronicle reports the plan is to shift former Gold Glove winner Eric Chavez to DH.

Yuck. It’s going to be another long season for Oakland fans.

Pick: Mariners

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