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Opening Day Best Plays

Opening Day for the majority of the MLB is finally upon us. Fans nationwide are getting ready to sit on their couch, open up a cold beer, and watch some real-live MLB action. Of course, with a full slate of MLB for the first time in what seems likes forever bettors worldwide are itching to place some winning tickets. Now I’ve gone ahead and done the research for these games, so you don’t have to. Usually I’d only give 5 picks, but since it is opening day I went along and threw in an extra 2 picks. Without further ado, here are my top 7 picks for today’s games.

Tigers @ Reds

DET (+140) @ CIN (-170)

O/U 9

When you here the names Detroit Tigers and Cincinnati Reds, there is a general negative connotation with those teams. The Tigers are coming off one of their worst seasons in recent memory, and just selected with the #1 pick not too long ago. The negative buzz around the team is fairly justified. However, the Reds should not be taken lightly. Today they have Sonny Gray take the mound, and if you followed baseball only a bit, you’d remember him pitching terribly with the Yankees. Take a closer look and you’ll see he had sub 3.00 ERA last year with over 200 strikeouts. Add that to a lineup that has a lot of power with Eugenio Suarez (who is very underrated) and Mike Moustakas, I expect the reds to start hot and win comfortably.

The Pick: CIN (-170)

Reds 6 – Tigers 3

Marlins @ Phillies

MIA (+170) @ PHI (-190)

O/U 9

Both teams naturally will be sending their ace to the mound. For Miami, it’s a young pitcher name Sandy Alcantara. Last year he had a 3.88 ERA, but if you watched him pitch, he shows a lot of promise. For the Phillies, they have Aaron Nola. Two years ago, he finished 3rd in the NL Cy Young Race, and when you hear Aaron Nola’s name you might think he is still a top pitcher in the NL. Well, last year he had an ERA of 3.87, eerily similar to Alcantara. There is the chance that he bounces back, but on Opening Day I expect him to struggle a bit and be pulled by the 6th inning. The same is true with Alcantara, and since both bullpens are sub-par these lineups should start the year hot.

The Pick: Over 9

Phillies 7 – Marlins 5

**If you are looking to bet a heavy underdog, MIA (+170) is a great value bet.

Orioles @ Red Sox

BAL (+190) @ BOS (-210)

O/U 10

This game features the highest O/U total for any game today at 10. I’m going to say it upfront; it should be higher. For me, this analysis is fairly simple. Both these teams have bad starting pitching and not the best bullpen. The Red Sox do have a pretty good lineup, even with the departure of Mookie Betts. Although the Orioles have a bad lineup, the pitching in this game is going to be so bad I honestly expect this over to hit by the 6th inning. If it doesn’t don’t worry, cause the bullpen will probably cough up at least 4 runs in the remaining 3 innings.

The Pick: Over 10

Red Sox 8 – Orioles 5

Twins @ White Sox

MIN (-120) @ CHW (EV)

O/U 9

This is the first game where I like a team strictly based off the value of the odds. The White Sox are an up and coming team with a ton of young talent. Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert, and Lucas Giolito are only a few of the names that they boast. With that being said, the public is way too excited and are betting on potential rather than production. This forced the line to drop all the way to where it is now. The Twins are probably the 2nd favorite to come out of the AL besides the Yankees. Jose Berrios isn’t the best pitcher I’ve ever seen, but he is fairly consistent. They also have one of the deepest lineups in baseball. This is headlined by Josh Donaldson, Nelson Cruz, and Jorge Polanco. The line inflated because the public perception, so I would take the better team with great odds.

The Pick: MIN (-120)

Twins 5 – White Sox 4

Diamondbacks @ Padres

ARI (+135) @ SD (-150) O/U 8

If I thought the Twins were good value, then I definitely love the Diamondbacks. This is a great starting pitching matchup with Chris Paddack and Madison Bumgarner. Both teams have solid bullpens, and formidable lineups. Overall, these teams are pretty evenly matched, but I still give the edge to Arizona. Bumgarner is a veteran, and he has pitched opening day numerous times. Chris Paddack has never pitched opening day (this is his Sophomore Season), and I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets hit around early and taken out before the 6th inning.

The Pick: ARI (+135)

Diamondbacks 5 – Padres 3

Angels @ Athletics

LAA (-140) @ OAK (+120)

O/U 8.5

I’ll be honest, I am very confused as to how the A’s are underdogs in this game. The Angels big signing in the offseason was Anthony Rendon, and if he was playing, I could totally understand the Angels being favorites. Alas, he is not and yet the Angels are still the favorites. Well maybe they have a good pitcher on the mound? Andrew Heaney, nope. He had a 4.91 ERA last year. Maybe the A’s have a bad pitcher on the mound? Frankie Montas, nope. He had a sub 3.00 ERA last year. Maybe the Angels have a stud bullpen and they can go to that early. I think you see a trend here cause the answer is no. The lines should be reversed, and Oakland should be the favorites. This is my best bet of the slate today. I also like the Over 8.5 in this game because of the Angels pitching being absolutely horrid.

The Pick: OAK (+120) and Over 8.5

A’s 7 – Angels 3


-Aaron

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