New York Mets Closer Edwin Diaz is Back

Spread the Word:

Last season was a disaster for the New York Mets, and it began in March. That’s when closer Edwin Diaz tore his patellar tendon celebrating at the World Baseball Classic. Puerto Rico had just beaten the Dominican Republic, Diaz recorded the final three outs, and in the ensuing celebration, he was injured.

By the end of the season, the Mets also said goodbye to former Cy Young winners Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, manager Buck Showalter, and general manager Billy Eppler. The team went from 101 wins in 2022 to 75 wins in 2023.

It won’t all be made right by having Diaz back, but it’s a start. He is a two-time All-Star and was the National League Reliever of the Year in 2022, which led to him signing the richest contract in history for a relief pitcher – five years for $102 million.

New Mets manager Carlos Martinez is ready to have his closer back. “Excited for the boys, for the whole team, for himself. The fact that he gets to pitch in a major league game for the first time after, you know, a long year of rehab and all that, I think is important for all of us.”

Diaz will be on a 20-pitch limit when he takes the mound on Monday night.

New York online sportsbooks are paying +350 on Diaz winning another National League Reliever of the Year Award in 2024.

Corbin Burnes Getting Opening Day Start for Orioles

The Baltimore Orioles made a rare February blockbuster trade to acquire starting pitcher Corbin Burnes, sending two prospects and a draft pick to the Milwaukee Brewers. Not surprisingly, Burnes has been named the O’s starting pitcher for Opening Day at home against the Los Angeles Angels.

“[It was] a real honor for me to let him know,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “We’ve been talking about it for a while, and we’re real excited to watch him pitching on Opening Day.”

The Orioles won 101 games last season, but they were swept in the playoffs by the eventual World Series champion Texas Rangers. Burnes has a career ERA of 3.26, and in the playoffs last season, the Orioles team ERA was 7.27. In two of the Baltimore losses, their starters didn’t get past the second inning.

Burnes won the National League Cy Young in 2021, and Maryland online sportsbooks have him at +1000 to win the award in the American League this year.

Mookie Betts “Permanent” Dodgers Shortstop

The Los Angeles Dodgers keep trying to make Gavin Lux their everyday shortstop, and that keeps failing. Last year, the would-be shortstop missed the season with a torn ACL. This year, he is healthy, but the defense isn’t coming along. The second baseman has throwing issues that are keeping him stuck at second base.

Taking his expected place at shortstop is former A.L. MVP Mookie Betts, and manager Dave Roberts said the move is “permanent for now.” Just how permanent that ends up being, only Roberts knows. And how Lux does back at second, and how he might progress the rest of the spring and in practice, might also make the permanence of the move more temporary.

In the meantime, Betts, a gold glove right fielder, is tasked with shoring up the left side infield defense for the Dodgers.

Baseball online sportsbooks have Betts as the second betting favorite to win the MVP in 2024, and those +650 odds would shorten if he proves to be a good choice at shortstop.

Joey Votto Signs with Blue Jays

Joey Votto was an MVP with the Cincinnati Reds in 2010, and overall he appeared in six All-Star Games. From Toronto, the 40-year-old Votto is one of the best Canadian-born baseball players of all-time. Now, he is trying to make one last MLB roster with his hometown Toronto Blue Jays.

“I would have loved to finish my career in one uniform, but that opportunity wasn’t presented to me,” explained Votto. “This is the one team that excited me.”

Votto and the Blue Jays have agreed on a minor-league deal, and even though he was hoping to get a major-league contract, Votto said it was an easy decision. “I’ve wanted to play here since I was wearing a Blue Jays bib.”

Stay Ahead of the Game

Are you ready to take your online gambling experience to the next level? Sign up for the LetsGambleUSA newsletter and get the latest news, exclusive offers, and expert tips delivered straight to your inbox.