Here is a look at Monday’s set of games. The first of series as sides look to kick on from their opening weekend fixtures.
Toronto Blue Jays 5-9 Kansas City Royals
The Blue Jays’ struggles continue and this time it was pitcher Jose Berrios who gave up eight runs over five innings against a Royals team that had scored just four runs in the first three games of the season.
The 9-5 defeat means starts the season 1-3 and it’s been evident that this start has been as poor as they could possibly get. The Blue Jays are expecting to compete with the Yankees for the AL East Division, some have them as favourites. They will need to get better and quick. The Blue Jays are +220 to win the AL East Division.
This is still a talented line-up and they can get out of this hole as quickly as they got in in, but it needs to happen soon. Speaking to the official Blue Jays’ website, manager John Schneider said: “It’s tough to crawl out of a hole every night.
"But we trust these guys. It’s early. The beginning of the year is tough. It’s everyone’s first time through, so they’re trying to get their footing a little bit. Hopefully, it gets better the second time.”
Toronto’s four starters have combined to post a 10.80 ERA over 18 and a third innings, allowing a huge 36 hits while striking out 17. Toronto will have Yusei Kikuchi on the mound making his first start of the season for Game Two.
Arizona Diamondbacks 4-5 San Diego Padres
David Dahl’s pinch-hit home run tied the game at 4-4 and the very next batter, Ha-Seong Kim hit a walk-off homer to win the game and send Petco Park into a frenzy.
Kim’s walk-off home run was the first in franchise history from a player who had started the game as the team’s number nine batter. Dahl, meanwhile, became the first Padres’ pinch-hitter to belt a game-tying homer in the ninth inning or later since Hunter Renfroe in 2018, which was also against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Padres, +120 to win National League West, now have depth beyond last season when they came up short in the National League Championship series loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. They need it then and didn’t get it. Now they have the depth and it came up trumps on Monday night.
Los Angeles Angels 7-3 Seattle Mariners
On Monday night at T-Mobile Park in Seattle, the continued their good form with a win over the Seattle Mariners side that finished ahead of them in the American League last season to grab a Wild Card playoff spot.
The Angels have now won three consecutive games on the road and their new hitters, Brandon Drury, Hunter Renfroe and Jake Lamb were in the thick of the action during the win.
All three had hits, with Lamb doubling and a hitting a single, plus scoring twice, while Drury hitting a single with his first two at-bats and a double in the ninth.
Who else but Shoheli Ohtani helped himself to a home run and also Taylor Ward hit the ball out of the park for insurance.
Speaking to the official Angels’ website, Drury said: “Obviously the top of the lineup is as good as it gets. But I feel like it’s really been all that way one through nine. I think the depth of our line-up is really, really good."
Detroit Tigers 7-6 Houston Astros (11 innings)
With the Astros down by three runs in the fifth inning, Alvarez launched his 100th career home run, making him the fastest in club history to reach that mark.
The home run arrived in his 372nd career game, beating the previous record of 452 games held by former first baseman Lance Berkman. Alvarez is the 19th player in the Astros’ franchise history to reach the 100-homer mark.
Much of the Astros’ offence is yet to get going, but Alvarez is the one to find form at present. The defending champions are 2-3 going into game two of the series with ace Framber Valdez on the mound. The Astros are -180 to win the AL West Division.