Lenny D's 10* ESPN "OPENING NIGHT" WINNER: Get the oddsmakers edge for Wednesday's St. Louis-Miami (yes, Miami) "Opening Night" contest on ESPN from former linesmaker Lenny Del Genio RIGHT HERE. Is this one as "easy" as the oddsmakers are calling for or are the new-look Marlins already overvalued? Lenny's got the answer & is offering at a low price to boot!
Game: St Louis Cardinals at Miami Marlins Apr 4 2012 7:05PM
Prediction: Miami Marlins
Grade: Loser (-180)
Reason: Play on Miami at 7:05 ET. There is much excitement around the newly rechristened Miami Marlins heading into 2012 and for good reason. This team clearly "won" the offseason w/ multiple free agent additions, not to mention a new manager in the bombastic Ozzie Guillen. They are now a bonafide contender in the loaded National League East and can even challenge the division favorite Phillies. Perhaps the most prominent free agent signing was shortstop Jose Reyes. The team thinks so highly of Reyes that they are moving over their best player, Hanley Ramirez, to third base. While forming a formidable 'left side' of the infield, the presence of these two superstars will be more clearly felt in the lineup where Reyes will lead off and Ramirez likely to bat him in numerous times. Remember that Ramirez missed the final two months of last season due to injury. This is a lineup that will score plenty of runs w/ holdovers such as Gaby Sanchez (78 RBI's), Logan Morrison and Giancarlo Stanton (hit 34 HR's at 21 yrs of age) returning. Heath Bell (43 saves) was brought in to anchor the bullpen. The starting rotation has been bolstered with the additions of veterans Mark Buehrle and Carlos Zambrano. But it will be 2010 NL ERA leader Josh Johnson getting the baseball Wednesday (3rd straight Opening Day start) as he looks to bounce back from a 2011 season cut short by injury. When he did make it to the mound LY, Johnson was fantastic w/ a 1.64 ERA in nine starts, allowing 2 ER or less in eight of them. Guillen is the right man for the job here. Meanwhile, expect St. Louis to take a 'step back' from last season as they are very unlikely to be the first repeat World Series winner in over a decade considering the losses of manager Tony La Russa as well as Albert Pujols. Kyle Lohse is not what we'd consider a good Opening Day Starter. He allowed 8 ER in nine innings of work LY vs. a far less formidable Marlins lineup. Considering the Fish lost six of eight to the Cards LY, they will be highly motivated to open their new ballpark with a big win on Opening Night. Miami is our 10* ESPN "OPENING NIGHT" WINNER.