Royals @ Twins April 3 Free Pick


It isn’t the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament and it can’t live up to Super Bowl Sunday, but Opening Day is as good as any other to bet on sports. A dozen games will be played across the country tomorrow, starting at 1 pm, and there’s action to be had on all of them.

Free Pick

It’s hard to believe that Target Field was opened in 2010. It sure feels a lot younger to me so I wonder if some of my misconception has to do with the fact that the Twins haven’t won a whole lot of games there.

The Yankees swept Minnesota out of the playoffs in the first season of the new stadium and the Twins haven’t been back to the postseason since.

Fifty-Nine wins were nine fewer than the second-worst team in baseball last year and the Twins didn’t seek much help from outside the organization in the offseason. Minnesota will continue to build from within and develop talent to compete in a few years from now.

I’ve tried and failed to find a recent photo of Miguel Sano because I haven’t tuned in to any Twins spring training. Once upon a time, I loved Sano’s bat when he came onto the scene in his Julio Franco frame. But he ballooned in last year’s offseason and suffered a terrible decline. I won’t give up on a kid who managed to hit 25 home runs in 116 games as an overweight 23-year-old. If he gets into shape, Sano has the talent to be one of the premier hitters in the game for a long time.

He doesn’t have a whole lot of similar talent around him, however. Brian Dozier is your prototypical late bloomer but may not still be in a Twins uniform to see the next crop of young talent. It’s tough to imagine Minnesota taking such a leap that it won’t still be overmatched this season.

That means Danny Duffy will be the first opposing pitcher with an opportunity to capitalize, fresh off signing a five-year extension. Duffy got through six innings in all three of his starts against Minnesota last season and looked good for Team USA at the World Baseball Classic last month, winning two elimination games, including one over the Dominican Republic to send the Americans to the semifinals.

But he beat Ervin Santana, who has revenge on his mind. It would suck to let the guy who eliminated your country from title defense to ruin your Opening Day too.

I’ll take the: Twinkies (-110)

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