It’s the most wonderful time of the year – MLB Opening Day!!! Sure, the start of baseball is the true signal that summer and warm weather are right around the corner, but it’s the game that we have missed so much. Sit down and get comfortable, folks — we’ve got 162 of these to get through. Let’s just start with the first day, though. Here are three games that we should all be keeping an eye on today.
MLB Betting Preview for Thursday, March 28 (Opening Day)
[1:05 p.m. EST] Over 9 – Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees
BAL: Andrew Cashner – R
NYY: Masahiro Tanaka – R
The New York Yankees hit an MLB-record 267 home runs last season, and they’ll look to pick right back up where they left off against Andrew Cashner and the Baltimore Orioles. Cashner went 1-2 with a 4.26 ERA in four starts against the Yanks last season, and he’ll have to deal with a New York lineup that had the second-most homers (49), only one behind the Milwaukee Brewers, during Spring Training. Aaron Judge led the way for the Yanks with six homers, 15 RBI and a 1.394 OPS down in Florida, while Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Troy Tulowitzki, Luke Voit, Greg Bird and Brett Gardner all raked as well. Masahiro Tanaka gets the ball on Opening Day for the Yanks, but he was much less effective at the (un)friendly confines of Yankee Stadium, going 5-5 with a 4.09 ERA in 12 starts there last season. He also allowed a .272 batting average there, compared to .212 on the road. Yankee Stadium is one of the best parks in all of baseball for offense and we should be reminded of that in the first game of the season. The Spread Knowledge system likes the over!
[4:05 p.m. EST] Houston Astros at Tampa Bay Rays (+120)
HOU: Justin Verlander – R
TBR: Blake Snell – L
In what will likely be the second-best pitching matchup of the day (sorry, deGrom-Scherzer takes the crown), Justin Verlander and Blake Snell will go toe-to-toe at Tropicana Field to open the season. Snell was a remarkable 10-1 with a 1.27 ERA in 14 starts at home last season, and the Spread Knowledge system likes him to pick back up on that string of success and lead the Rays to a win. It won’t come easy, though, as Verlander was 12-2 with a 2.14 ERA in 15 road starts last season. This one will likely come down to the bullpens, in which Tampa Bay may have a slight advantage. Not to mention, Carlos Correa could miss this game with a sore neck and that would be a glaring hole in the Astros’ lineup. The Spread Knowledge system leans in favor of the home team Rays on Opening Day!
Update: Carlos Correa will indeed miss today’s game.
[4:10 p.m. EST] Colorado Rockies at Miami Marlins (+126)
COL: Kyle Freeland – L
MIA: Jose Urena – R
Kyle Freeland gets the ball for the Colorado Rockies on Opening Day, and it’s worth noting that he has had a better record and ERA at Coors Field in each of his first two MLB seasons. Reason being, he’s from Colorado and grew up learning to pitch in the high altitude. Call it what you will, but Freeland just isn’t the same pitcher away from home. Perhaps the oddsmakers are giving the Miami Marlins the benefit of the doubt on Opening Day, but their +126 moneyline odds to win outright don’t measure up to a team that is supposed to finish last in nearly every category this season. In fact, there are actually four teams with lesser moneyline odds today than the Marlins. The value is there for Miami, especially with Jose Urena on the mound. He has made incredible strides in each of the last two seasons, and the 1.18 WHIP that Urena sported in 2018 is a true testament to how far he has come. The Spread Knowledge system is rolling with MIA in this one!