Florida Marlins at New York Mets (+145, 6.5)
The Mets biggest problem in recent seasons has been themselves. On Monday, however, their worst nightmare is Josh Johnson.
Florida’s ace is arguably the best pitcher in baseball right now. Despite giving up an uncharacteristic five earned runs at St. Louis on May 5, Johnson still boasts an ERA of 1.63 to go along with a 3-1 record and 53 strikeouts in 55.1 innings. He bounced back on Tuesday by allowing just one run in seven innings while striking out seven in a 2-1 victory over NL East rival Philadelphia.
“All the world will now know who Josh Johnson is,” manager Edwin Rodriguez told the Palm Beach Post after his man out-dueled Roy Halladay in what many called an instant classic. “That put Josh Johnson on the next level.”
As for the Mets, well, they are once again on a level down from Philadelphia, Florida, and Atlanta in the East. At 18-21 as of Sunday afternoon, they are tied for last in the division with Washington.
Furthermore, New York is 8-11 at home while the Marlins are 11-6 as visitors.Pick:
MarlinsLos Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics (-135, 6.5)
Joel Pineiro has pitched like gangbusters for the Angeles ever since coming off the disabled list late last month.
Having been sidelined due to right shoulder tightness, Pineiro wasted no time getting back into a groove. He gave up a mere four hits and one run through seven innings in his 2011 debut on April 30 and he most recently went 7 2/3 innings while surrendering only two runs in a 6-2 victory over the White Sox on Tuesday.
He threw 98 pitches, not quite getting to the 100-pitch mark for what would have been the first time of the year.
“Guys were making fun of me—‘'maybe next time you can break that 100-pitch mark’ — but it's only the third start back,” Pineiro told the Orange County Register. “I felt great.”
Overall, Pineiro is 2-0 with a 1.33 ERA after three starts this season. That is not good news for the Athletics, who will look to crack the Pineiro code on Monday.
Interestingly, Los Angeles has been more impressive on the road than at home in 2011. Mike Scioscia’s squad is just 9-10 in Anaheim, but as of Sunday afternoon the club was 13-8 on the road. That’s the second best visiting mark in the American League behind Tampa Bay.Pick: