The Kansas City Royals (0-0) and Los Angeles Angels (0-0) will finally open their 2012 MLB schedules on Friday night inside Angel Stadium
Kansas City Royals at Los Angeles Angels
Kansas City is set to begin its 44th season in Major League Baseball and will look to improve upon its disappointing 15-28 record in season openers, which includes a 5-15 mark on the road. All eyes will be focused in on first baseman Eric Hosmer, who finished Spring Training with a .441 batting average with three home runs and six RBI. “It’s going to be my first Opening Day and I’m just looking forward to it,” commented Hosmer earlier this week. The club finished the exhibition season with a 16-16 record, as it possesses the youngest roster in the big leagues. Kansas City is 60-103 on the road the last two years.
Royals starting pitcher Bruce Chen will be making his first Opening Day start of his career, coming off a 12-8 campaign with a 3.77 ERA in 25 starts. The left-hander has tallied an even 1-1 mark and 4.01 ERA in six career outings (four starts) versus the Angels. Chen was solid on the road last year, going 6-5 with a 3.79 ERA in 12 starts away from Kaufmann Stadium. In 51 career games (21 starts) in April, he has gone 11-7 with a 4.42 ERA.
Los Angeles starts the year with tremendous hype due to the offseason signing of star first baseman Albert Pujols, who left the St. Louis Cardinals after winning two World Series rings. “I think the main thing is, don’t get too caught up in that,” stated Pujols in the clubhouse this week. The Angels have a tremendous amount of depth, as they will also welcome back Kendrys Morales to the lineup, after he missed all of last season with an ankle injury. Both players should jumpstart an offense that scored just 702 runs in 2011. Los Angeles is 28-11 at home when the total is 7 or less the last two seasons.
Angels starting pitcher Jered Weaver comes off a tremendous season, posting an 18-8 record and 2.41 ERA. The right-hander was sensational in front of the home fans, going 8-2 with a 1.84 ERA in 15 starts, as he allowed just six home runs in 112 2/3 innings of work. Weaver can only hope to replicate his April numbers from a year ago, as he tallied a perfect 5-0 mark and 1.14 ERA, limiting opposing batters to a .171 average.
Bettors will likely back the Angels due to their 15-5 record in their last 20 home games versus left-handed starters, while the Royals are 25-51 in the last 76 meetings in this series.
Recommendation: Los Angeles Angels -210
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