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MLB Opening Day Picks: Red Sox vs Mariners, D-Backs vs Dodgers & More

Blake Snell
Tampa Bay Rays Cy Young award winner Blake Snell will face Houston Astros' ace Justin Verlander on Opening Day in what should be a low-scoring game. Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire.
  • What are the best bets on Opening Day 2019, when all 30 MLB teams are in action?
  • The AL Cy Young winner and runner-up will square off when Tampa’s Blake Snell faces Houston’s Justin Verlander
  • Arizona’s Zack Greinke will be facing the Dodgers, the team that has hit him hardest in his career

Baseball is back for real.  No more three-inning starts or cameo appearances.  With the games finally counting towards the standings, here are our three favorite bets on the board at Bovada for Opening Day 2019 (Mar. 28).

Houston Astros vs Tampa Bay Rays

Teams Runline at Bovada Moneyline Total
Houston Astros -1.5 (+140) -124 O 6.5 (-125)
Tampa Bay Rays +1.5 (-160) +104 U 6.5 (+105)

*Odds taken 3/28

Here’s the easiest bet of the day.  Justin Verlander takes on Blake Snell in a battle between two pitchers sure to be in Cy Young contention at the end of the year.

Snell won the award last year going 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA and 0.97 WHIP.  Verlander was the runner-up after posting a 16-9 record, 2.52 ERA and 0.90 WHIP.  You won’t see a better pitching match up in the American League this year and you get it in the first game of the season.

What do you get for siding with two of the best pitchers in baseball? Incredible value from the folks at Bovada. Take under 6.5 and enjoy getting paid out at +105.

Worried about this bet getting killed once the starters are pulled? That’s not a huge concern for me; the Astros had the best bullpen by ERA in all of baseball last year, while the Rays’ pen is incredibly deep, itself, and finished 5th in the majors in bullpen WAR.

PICK: UNDER 6.5 (+105)

Boston Red Sox vs Seattle Mariners

Teams Runline at Bovada Moneyline Total
Boston Red Sox -1.5 (-115) -200 O 7.0 (-120)
Seattle Mariners +1.5 (-105) +170 U 7.0 (EVEN)

*Odds taken 3/28

Chris Sale takes the mound for the defending World Series champions and the Mariners answer with Marco Gonzales, who’s already 1-0 after winning the season-opener in Japan.

Sale has absolutely owned Seattle in his career with a 6-1 record, 1.88 ERA, and 0.75 WHIP.  Pairing anything close to that with a Red Sox lineup that includes Mookie Betts and JD Martinez will be more than enough to win this game by two runs or more.

Sale is pitching after signing a brand new five-year, $150 million extension and will be eager to demonstrate why that was a solid decision by the Red Sox. He’ll also do something today that hasn’t been done in the American League in 45 years.  He recorded the final out for Boston in the World Series last year and will throw the first pitch to kick off the new season.  Pretty cool honor for the flame-throwing lefty as he looks to start the season off right.

PICK: RED SOX -1.5 (-115)

Arizona Diamondbacks vs Los Angeles Dodgers

Teams Runline at Bovada Moneyline Total
Arizona Diamondbacks +1.5 (-155) +144 O 7.5 (+110)
Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5 (+135) -168 U 7.5 (-130)

*odds taken 3/28

You picking up on the theme of the day? Look deep at the starting pitchers.  In this one Zack Greinke goes for the Diamondbacks and Hyun-Jin Ryu answers for the Dodgers.

Greinke has the better reputation, but as you can see from the break down of last year’s stats, Ryu was actually better on the hill.  He had the better BB/9 rate, better K/9 rate, and his ERA was more than a run lower.

Dive even deeper into the numbers and this pitching matchup becomes even more one-sided.  Greinke hates pitching against the Dodgers. Opposing hitters have a .365 AVG against him in this matchup, which is his worst mark against any opponent.

Take the Dodgers to win this one by a wide margin and enjoy the value at +135.

PICK: DODGERS -1.5 (+135)


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