Game 1: Erik Bedard vs. Johan Santana
Orioles @ Twins Preview (AP)
Opening day is looking like a low-scoring pitchers duel... which of course means the score will be 14-8.
The Twins lineup sorely missed Shannon Stewart last season, as he was down often with injuries. Stewart is now in Oakland, leaving two LH bats (Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau) leading the offense from the #3 and 5 spots in the lineup. I think Bedard can frustrate the lefties and easily handle the rest of the lineup.
Our lineup actually matches up fairly well against Santana. Last season, left-handed batters hit .254/.306/.432 against him (as opposed to frightening numbers for RH batters). It will be up to Roberts, Markakis, Huff, Gibbons and Patterson to find a way around the Twins ace... and hopefully when Tejada can find himself on base.
I think this is going to come down to our bullpen, who'll give up a walk and a late game hit to Michael Cuddyer or the like... Bedard will get a no-decision and Santana will pick up victory #1 by relying on his incredible stamina and going 8-9 innings.
Prediction: Twins 3, Orioles 1
September 16, 2012: The Losing Streak Ends