It’s that time of the year again when we praise Bud Selig for bringing us an interleague weekend. Rivalries are contrived and corporate sponsors shill for the chance to own the rights to the weekend series. That being said, Dr Pepper Ten presents Trophy Sportsbooks look at this weekend’s Interleague games.
Cubs / White Sox – This series already started with an afternoon contest at Wrigley Field and it was action packed to say the least. Paul Konerko got belted in the face, Dale Sveum got ejected and Kerry Wood retired after a 3 pitch strikeout in the 8th inning. All Cub fans thought bigger things were in store for Kid K after his 20 strikeout game but his career was still exciting nonetheless.
Atlanta Braves at Tampa Bay Rays – Anybody that’s ever driven from the Midwest down to Florida knows what this rivalry is all about as the Atlanta rush hour is quite the roadblock on your way to fun in the 95 degree humidity. Actually, there’s not one thing I can think of off the top of my head that provides bad blood between these two teams but it is my best series bet of the weekend. The Rays will throw out Shields on Friday and David Price on Sunday and the -160 line has good value. Even though the Braves have surged into 1st in the N.L. East, I like the Rays to take 2 if not 3 this weekend.
Baltimore Orioles at Washington Nationals – In what was previously a MLB afterthought, suddenly the Beltway Series is the most anticipated matchup in the 1st Interleague Weekend of the year. Your Baltimore Orioles sit atop the stacked AL East and the Nationals are only half a game out in the NL East. I really like the Orioles at +120, especially with their tendency to win games away from home as they currently sport a 7 game road winning streak. If Baltimore can get the first two in the series, they won’t have to fret over facing Stephen Strasburg on Sunday so here’s hoping the Orioles strike fast and hard against the #1 pitching staff in baseball.
Texas Rangers @ Houston Astros – There’s no question who reins big in Texas as the Rangers have been one of the hottest teams in baseball for three years now. Look for Josh Hamilton to have a huge weekend after getting a day off Thursday and even though the odds aren’t the greatest at -225, Texas will keep the Silver Boot with a sweep.
Oakland A’s at San Francisco Giants - The Giants won a World Series a couple years ago but it was the Bay’s Oakland A’s that are perhaps more popular nationwide after people assume “That’s the team that Brad Pitt coached.” Oakland is having another Moneyball-type season as most people couldn’t name 3 players yet the A’s are hanging on to 2nd place in the AL West. The Giants trot out Barry Zito (pitching against his former team), Ryan Vogelsong and Tim Lincecum this weekend and the Vegas odds reflect it at -180. I’m going to buck the trend and hope the Moneyball gang can put some of it into our wallets. Take Oakland +140 for the series.
Load up on Dr. Pepper 10 and enjoy this first weekend of Interleague play.