MLB Opening Day Betting Tips

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Betting Tips for MLB Opening Day.

Opening Day is finally here. A couple of rainouts stop us from a true full slate, but still more than enough baseball to bet on.

It is early in the season so I will be going with 0.5 unit bets for the first two weeks to a month of the season. The MLB System is not “fully operational” just yet as it relies on projections and 2023 stats right now. As we get more stats, my confidence in the System will rise and we’ll start betting more units.

I did a quick write-up on every game for today. That was a lot of work so I don’t think I’ll be doing that again, but hey, it’s Opening Day. It comes but once a year.

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All MLB tips are based on the starting pitchers listed. Tips should be considered void if any pitching changes are made unless otherwise noted. Occasionally the “follower” will be listed as we are betting on who will pitch the bulk of the innings.

Los Angeles Angels at Baltimore Orioles
LAA – Patrick Sandoval
BAL – Corbin Burnes

Orioles look great, but too pricey for my taste. I’m not sure I fully trust Burnes in his first start with a new team at a new stadium. I admit to being snake bitten on his early starts last year. Also, Angels offense might not be that bad if they can stay healthy.

Detroit Tigers at Chicago White Sox
DET – Tarik Skubal
CHW – Garrett Crochet

Do I really want to make the Tigers my first -1.5 play of the year? I know where this team was last year, but all the signs are there.

The Tigers offense should be better than last year, and they did appear to improve over the second half. Projection systems are very high on Skubal. While the White Sox should be one of the worst teams in the league this year.

Crochet wasn’t a starter last season or at any point over the last three years. He won’t go deep and his projections aren’t knocking any over. The bullpen should be one of the worst in the league.

Weather in the 50s with winds blowing out.

Okay, I can’t do it with the -1.5, but I will do the first five innings. If Crochet gets the early exit like I expect and Skubal looks good, it should come in easy.

Tigers -0.5 First 5 Innings (-115)
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Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals
MIN – Pablo López
KCR – Cole Ragans

Great pitching match-up here as Ragans was one of the best in the league last year post-trade. Can he continue it? The projections are a bit low on him, but I still believe.

That belief is keeping me off of this one as it is pretty close to a coinflip. This is probably one of the better hitting environments of the day with winds blowing out at 15MPH so it’s a skip all around.

A great Ragans start followed by his bullpen blowing it would not surprise me.

New York Yankees at Houston Astros
NYY – Nestor Cortes
HOU – Framber Valdez

Astros look like the winner here, but not worth a bet. Moneyline is too pricey and too much offense from New York to consider a -1.5. The Houston F5 Moneyline would be my play at -150.

Pittsburgh Pirates at Miami Marlins
PIT – Mitch Keller
MIA – Jesús Luzardo

Two decent pitchers. Two below average offenses. No, thank you.

Marlins pitcher is better and they are at home, so I guess I’ll go with them.

San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres
SFG – Logan Webb
SDP – Yu Darvish

If this total was 8 runs, I’d be all over the under. Great pitching match-up, I don’t buy either offense, and this park can be cruel in the early season.

The System has this as nearly a tie game so no side picks here.

St. Louis Cardinals at Los Angeles Dodgers
STL – Miles Mikolas
LAD – Tyler Glasnow

This is one of those games where I want to bet the Dodgers, but not quite sure how. The -0.5 F5 would be my preferred, but that is way too expensive. Both moneylines are very expensive. Team total is right on at 5.5 runs. That just leaves the -1.5. Is it worth it?

Last year, Mikolas was extremely mid with a 4.78 ERA/4.27 FIP. He doesn’t strike many out and has a below average groundball rate. The Dodgers crush righties and just added Shohei Ohtani who will be making his debut at Dodger Stadium.

On the opposite side, you have Glasnow who had one of the best strikeout rates in baseball at 12.15 K/9. That went with a 3.53 ERA/2.91 FIP. He’s already made one start this year thanks to the Korean games and looked extremely sharp.

Maybe it’s just looking at it next to the Dodgers, but the Cards lineup isn’t scaring me. This is the System’s second favorite game of the day, it’s worth laying the runs.

Dodgers -1.5 (-118)

Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays
TOR – José Berríos
TBR – Zach Eflin

The Rays just keep moving forward and finding a way. I won’t be surprised when they do it again this year.

Eflin is the much better pitcher of the two. Last season, he had a 3.50 ERA/3.01 FIP and a 2.78 FIP in his home starts. He just ended up being the perfect fit here. The Jays offense is good, but righties weren’t their strong side last year. Plus, the defense has taken a hit.

Berrios is nothing special in my mind. A good guy to have, but not a dominator. He had a 3.97 ERA/4.15 FIP on the road last season and I think the Rays can get to him. Tampa was strong against righties last season. I also give them the slight edge on bullpen, plus the homefield advantage.

Rays Moneyline -127

Washington Nationals at Cincinnati Reds
WSN – Josiah Gray
CIN – Frankie Montas

The Reds look good and this is potentially the best over game of the day in a good hitter’s park with winds blowing out, but no bets from me. Montas is a huge wildcard to me.

Chicago Cubs at Texas Rangers
CHC – Justin Steele
TEX – Nathan Eovaldi

The System is way higher on the total here than the sportsbooks. I’m not sure if that’s because the System is overrating the park effects or because of something else.

Here’s the thing, last year this park allowed more home runs than any other park and pitchers had a higher ERA here than any other park.

The difference being so stark is scaring me off a little bit. The neutral part of the system still has this one around 9 runs total though.

Last year’s Rangers offense absolutely destroyed lefties and I think they might be even better this year with Wyatt Langford in the lineup. I really think they show up big to defend their World Series title tonight.

I love the Rangers team over at 3.5 runs. The price there is -145 so I’d almost prefer over 4 runs, but then 4.5 scares me off. I’ve seen it at all three totals across the industry.
The Rangers team over is what I’ll list here. I say it at over 3.5, but if you can get a better price at 4 you should take it.

Rangers Over 3.5 Runs (-145)
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Cleveland Guardians at Oakland Athletics
CLE – Shane Bieber
OAK – Alex Wood

Oakland’s offense might be better this year, but they are probably still going to be pretty bad. Bieber is solid. Wood is closer to average, but the Guardians could not hit lefties last year. Will that carry over? I’m not going to find out. Ignore.

Boston Red Sox at Seattle Mariners
BOS – Brayan Bello
SEA – Luis Castillo

I love the Mariners here, but I’m also pretty biased.

I will say they had one of the better offenses in spring training and Bello had a 4.66 ERA/4.76 FIP on the road last year.

Still, not a -1.5 play and too pricey for the moneyline.

Colorado Rockies at Arizona Diamondbacks
COL – Kyle Freeland
ARI – Zac Gallen

The System’s favorite play of the day is the Diamondbacks because of course it is. The Rockies are never good.

Gallen was amazing last season and especially amazing at home with a 2.47 ERA/2.32 FIP.
Freeland is the worst starter going today. The Diamondbacks didn’t hit lefties well last year, but there is reason to believe we’ll see some improvement this year and this isn’t exactly a guy with lights out stuff.

Diamondbacks -1.5 Runs (-115)
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