Thursday gives me a chance to check out a couple surly old veterans dealing on the mound against a couple young aces in the making. Wakefield has been around a long time, and his dancing knuckle ball probably has a lot to do with his impressive shelf life. Tim Hudson has a big fat arm surgery, but he’s pitching as well as ever, and he’s had a bit of success over the years. On the side of youth we’ve got Francisco Liriano and his flame throwing, biting slider style and the young Mat Latos throws straight gas. It’ll be fun to see age against youth.
Boston Red Sox @ Minnesota Twins (-120) (4-15: 1:10 PM ET) (Wakefield vs. Liriano): I like the things “working against me” in this match-up. I like the fact that Liriano struggled a bit last time out, and otherwise, during winter ball and in the spring, he was pretty lights out. I think he’ll pitch well in his 2nd start – and I know Boston doesn’t scare the kid. Also, Wakefield had his knuckler doing the twist last time out, going 7 innings with 6 strikeouts against the Royals. He’ll probably take a step backwards in his 2nd start. And the Twins always start the season playing well, so they have that working for them as well.
Atlanta Braves (-124) @ San Diego Padres (4-15: 6:35 PM ET) (Hudson vs. Latos): I would not be surprised on bit if Tim Hudson doesn’t allow a run in 6 or 7 innings in San Diego. The Padres aren’t good, and aside from a couple big boppers, they struggle to put runs on the board. Hudson is very consistent, doesn’t waste pitches, and doesn’t walk batters – without giving away free runs, I can’t see the Braves losing to San Diego. Latos is a solid young hurler, but a couple Braves lefties will give him trouble – maybe even The Rookie. Ha.