I'm drawn to a pair of evening games Saturday, with a couple left-handers who've started the season well featured in the first game and an AL Cy Young contender who's had an uneven beginning to the season in the second.
Early season outcomes, especially for pitchers, can be deceiving, and that guides Saturday's top two primary picks.
Seattle Mariners at Miami Marlins, 6:10 p.m. EDT
The Pick: Mariners over 3.5 runs (-110 on FanDuel Sportsbook) for 2 RW Bucks
Secondary Pick: Mariners to score first and win (+140 on DraftKings Sportsbook) for 1 RW Buck
Ray has mostly picked up right where he left off in his AL Cy Young-winning campaign in Toronto last season, producing quality starts in three of his first four trips to the mound in Seattle. The veteran southpaw has allowed two earned runs or fewer in each of those outings and faces a Marlins team whose bats he's flummoxed for a .126/.191/.235 batting line in 71 career encounters. What's more, Miami, despite its surprising early season success, has a 29.7 percent strikeout rate, .204 average, .279 wOBA and 85 wRC+ against left-handed pitching.
Luzardo is slowly beginning to resemble the promising prospect he once was viewed as in the Athletics organization. He's turned in two stellar efforts against the dangerous lineups of the Angels and Atlanta. The young lefty had one slip-up against the Cardinals at Loan Depot Park, however, and faces a Mariners squad that went into Friday with an MLB-high 14.8 percent walk rate and AL-high .358 wOBA against left-handed pitching.
New York Yankees at Kansas City Royals, 7:10 p.m. EDT
The Pick: Yankees -0.5 in 1st 5 innings (-125 on BetMGM Sportsbook) for 1 RW Buck
Secondary Pick: Yankees -1.5 (-115 on BetMGM Sportsbook) for 1 RW Buck
Cole had a shaky first three starts of the season, the low point a 1.2-inning outing against the Tigers on April 19. However, the right-hander finally looked like himself his last time out, recording nine strikeouts while blanking the Guardians in 6.2 innings last Sunday. The Royals' current bats have a .174 average and .585 OPS in 72 career plate appearances versus Cole, as well as a .208 average, .264 wOBA, 70 wRC+ and -8.9 wRAA against righties at home.
Hernandez showed promise as both starter and reliever last season, but he's pitched to plenty of contact early in 2022. The right-hander has given up 20 hits, including a pair of homers, in 14 innings, while producing a middling 5:5 K:BB. He's pitched to a 7.27 ERA and 1.96 WHIP in his first two home starts as well, and the red-hot Yankees have won seven consecutive while tying for the second-most runs in baseball (97).