Tigers favored over Giants in World Series

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San Francisco won six more games than Detroit during the regular season, but the Tigers are sizable favorites over the Giants in the World Series.

Bovada has Detroit as -180 favorites, which means you’d have to risk $180 to win $100 on the Tigers and means they’d have to win the series 65 percent of the time for that bet to be profitable.

Fresh off a dominant sweep of the Yankees and with a fully rested Justin Verlander matched up against Barry Zito in Game 1 it’s definitely not surprising that the Tigers are favored–Lance Berkman agrees, for instance–but -180 is maybe a little surprising considering the Giants have homefield advantage.

I’ll keep an eye on the betting line to see if it moves strongly one way or another before the first pitch tomorrow night.

Jon Gray will start Opening Day for the Rockies

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Manager Bud Black has tabbed Jon Gray to start on Opening Day for the Rockies. That will be Monday, April 3 in Milwaukee against the Brewers in an afternoon contest.

Gray, 25, is starting Opening Day for the first time in his career. He’ll be the sixth different Rockies pitcher to start Opening Day in as many years.

The Rockies and Gray had a bit of a scare on Friday as he left his spring training start with discomfort in his left foot, but everything came up clean in an MRI. He pitched again on Wednesday with no issue.

Last season, Gray went 10-10 with a 4.61 ERA and a 185/59 K/BB ratio in 168 innings. A consensus top prospect entering each of the previous three seasons, Gray surprisingly put up better numbers at Coors Field — the most hitter-friendly park in baseball — than away.

Blake Treinen named Nationals closer

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Today Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker named Blake Treinen as his closer. Treinen has saved exactly one big league game.

There wasn’t necessarily an obvious choice, however. Last year Washington had Mark Melancon, but with him gone and GM Mike Rizzo’s failure to land a high-profile closer in the offseason, it became a contest between Treinen Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.

Treinen posted a 2.28 ERA with 31 walks and 63 Ks in 67 innings in 2016. His big improvement last year came against lefties, who had tattooed him in the past. He pitched well this spring as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

The Nats are our favorites to win the NL East, but we do have some questions about the pen. Blake Treinen will take the first crack at answering them.