Lo Duca: Handicapping Price vs. Ohtani, Kluber vs. the Twins

Lo Duca: Handicapping Price vs. Ohtani, Kluber vs. the Twins article feature image

Kirby Lee – USA TODAY Sports

Who knows if we’re even going to play baseball today. The weather is so insane that it even postponed a dome game last night. What the heck. Mother Nature willing, here are two picks for Tuesday’s slate.

Cleveland Indians (-185) @ Minnesota Twins (+166) | O/U: 7.5
Corey Kluber (1-1, 1.57 ERA) vs. Jake Odorizzi (1-0, 2.20 ERA)
7:10 p.m. ET

Kluber has been dynamite to start the year, and it’s a good thing, because the Tribe’s offense hasn’t performed well.

Kluber has pitched into the seventh inning in each of his three starts this year, racking up 27 strikeouts in the process.

On paper, Odorizzi looks like he’s been dominant as well, but while Kluber has walked four and fanned 27, Odorizzi has issued 10 walks against 13 strikeouts in 16.1 innings. To his credit, the right-hander has wiggled out of a lot of jams. He walked five in his last start against the Astros and came away with only one earned run.

Here’s a sneaky reason I really love the Indians. The Twins haven’t played since Thursday. That’s unheard of in a baseball season. A few days off is great later in the season, but not now. You want to stay engaged and your timing needs to be impeccable, especially against a guy like Kluber.

I think Kluber keeps rolling and the walks will catch up to Odorizzi. Play the Indians on the run line! I also think Kluber is worth spending the money for in any DFS format.

Pick: Indians -1.5 (+100)

Boston Red Sox (+153) @ Los Angeles Angels (-170) | O/U: 7.5
David Price (1-1, 2.40 ERA) vs. Shohei Ohtani (2-0, 2.08 ERA)
10:10 p.m. ET

It’s a heavyweight battle tonight as Boston’s David Price takes on Japanese sensation Shohei Ohtani.

Price exited his last start, on Wednesday against the Yankees, after just one inning. The veteran southpaw said he felt a “sensation” in his hand, but has been cleared for tonight’s start. It was all a bit confusing, to be honest. My experience with numbness usually points to a nerve issue. Maybe this is what’s been bugging Price all along? He said after the game it was something he’s always dealt with, even when he was a little kid. He even went so far as to say that his hands and feet are always cold. Ummm, that’s every person in America right now! Who knows, maybe the warmer weather in Anaheim will help with the numbness.

On Thursday, there was video of Price letting it go. Then there was nothing else. They didn’t send him for an MRI, so maybe he just felt some scar tissue tear? Sometimes that can happen, but obviously there’s something going on. He does catch a subtle break in that the Angels won’t face Chris Sale before him. Since Sale is also a lefty, having him pitch before Price makes the latter’s stuff look worse.  If I was in the Boston front office, I’d space them out.

This has the look of a great game, as Boston is off to a fantastic start and the buzz surrounding Ohtani has brought hope back to Mike Scioscia. The Angels are off to a fantastic start, too, thanks in large part to the best player on the planet — Mike Trout.

In his last start, Ohtani was flirting with perfection, and his average fastball has been sitting around 97 mph. That’s insane with his devastating splitter. I’ve spoken to some members of the Angels’ staff, and they were telling me how sneaky his fastball is. He could be scary good in the first part of the season because everybody is facing him for the first time.

The Red Sox have had some early season success, but I don’t trust Price in this spot. Ride Ohtani on the run line!

Pick: Angels -1.5 (+125)

Photo: Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani (17) throws against Oakland Athletics during a MLB baseball game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim

All odds current as of Tuesday morning via the Action App.