Upcoming Match-ups

MLB Opening Day Odds and Picks

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in MLB Baseball

Apr 6, 2022 · 10:03 AM PDT

Max Fried celebration
Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Max Fried celebrates the last out in the first inning in Game 6 of baseball's World Series between the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
  • The 2022 MLB season gets underway on Thursday, April 7th
  • St. Louis and Atlanta are the biggest favorites on the board on Opening Day
  • See below for analysis on the 9-game MLB Opening Day slate

It’s a little later than originally scheduled, but Opening Day has finally arrived. The MLB season officially gets underway in the Bronx on Thursday at 1:05pm ET, as the Red Sox and Yankees renew their storied rivalry.

The nine-game slate feature five matinees in total, while the action culminates in the Desert with a tilt between the Padres and Diamondbacks at 9:40pm ET.

MLB Opening Day Odds

Matchup Run Line Moneyline Total
Boston Red Sox OFF +130 OFF
New York Yankees OFF -155 OFF
Matchup Run Line Moneyline Total
Milwaukee Brewers OFF -175 OFF
Chicago Cubs OFF +143 OFF
Matchup Run Line Moneyline Total
New York Mets OFF OFF OFF
Washington Nationals OFF OFF OFF
Matchup Run Line Moneyline Total
Cleveland Guardians -1.5 (+145) -114 O 8.5 (-108)
Kansas City Royals +1.5 (-175) -105 U 8.5 (-110)
Matchup Run Line Moneyline Total
Seattle Mariners OFF -120 OFF
Minnesota Twins OFF +100 OFF
Matchup Run Line Moneyline Total
Pittsburgh Pirates +1.5 (-121) +185 O 8 (-114)
St. Louis Cardinals -1.5 (+104) -225 U 8 (-105)
Matchup Run Line Moneyline Total
Cincinnati Reds +1.5 (-121) +185 O 8 (-114)
Atlanta Braves -1.5 (+102) -225 U 8 (-105)
Matchup Run Line Moneyline Total
Houston Astros +1.5 (-200) +105 O 8 (-115)
Los Angeles Angels -1.5 (+165) -125 U 8 (-104)
Matchup Run Line Moneyline Total
San Diego Padres -1.5 (+102) -165 O 8.5 (-113)
Arizona Diamondbacks +1.5 (-121) +138 U 8.5 (-106)

Odds as of April 6th at Barstool Sportsbook

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The Cardinals and Braves opened up as the biggest favorites on the board, while the highest total is currently 8.5 in a couple different matchups.

Our betting card starts in Atlanta, where the defending champion Braves look poised to make another serious run at the title.

Reds vs Braves Betting Analysis

Atlanta currently boasts the fourth shortest World Series odds, behind only the Yankees, Blue Jays and Dodgers. Their top-three starters are back for 2022, and the additions of Kenley Jensen and Collin McHugh give them arguably the best bullpen in baseball.

Offensively, Freddie Freeman is out, but they replaced his bat with a more dangerous one in Matt Olson. The 28-year-old is fresh off a 39 home run, 5.8 WAR campaign, numbers that were significantly better than Freeman’s.

Ronald Acuna Jr., who was the favorite in the MLB MVP odds for much of last season before going down with an injury, won’t be back until May, but the team is still loaded with talent at the plate.

They’ll face Cincinnati on Thursday, a team that projects for the seventh fewest wins in baseball per FanGraphs. The Reds lost a pair of former All-Star outfielders in the offseason (Jesse Winker, Eugenio Suarez), as well as top-three starter Sonny Gray.

The Braves will send ace Max Fried to the hill, who was 14-7 last season, including 7-3 at home. The southpaw is fresh of a postseason in which he yielded two runs or less in three of five starts, and has held Cincinnati’s projected Opening Day lineup to two hits over 22 at-bats during his five-year career.

The Reds will counter with Tyler Mahle who was hit hard in his only start against the Braves last season. Atlanta’s bats roughed him up for six hits and four runs over 6.0 innings, including two home runs.

Pick: Atlanta Braves -1.5 (+102)

Guardians vs Royals Betting Analysis

The biggest move Cleveland made in the offseason was changing its name to the Guardians. They didn’t add a single bat to improve an offense that ranked bottom-13 in runs per game. They did just extend Jose Ramirez to a monster contract, but outside of him and Franmil Reyes, not batter slugged higher than .445 last season.

That means they’ll likely need to rely on pitching most days, and fortunately for them, they’ll feature one of the top-two candidates in the Cy Young odds on Thursday versus the Royals.

Shane Bieber is fresh off an injury plagued 2021, but he’s proven when he’s on he’s virtually unhittable. He sports a K/9 rate north of 13.0 over the past two seasons combined, and has owned KC batters. He’s undefeated in his past five starts against the Royals, allowing just six runs over 27 innings.

The last time he pitched at the Royals Kauffman Stadium, he yielding just a single run en route to a 6-1 Cleveland victory.

Bieber Career Stats at Kauffman Stadium

GS W/L ERA WHIP K
5 2-0 4.10 1.32 28

As for the Royals, they’re once again a bottom feeder in the AL Pennant odds. They ranked bottom-three in the American League in runs and home runs last season, yet chose not to upgrade their offense.

One move they did make was bring back former Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke. The 38-year-old is fresh off three straight winning seasons in Houston, where he was spoiled by pitching for one of the best hitting clubs in baseball.

He did pitch pretty well last season, posting a 4.21 xFIP and was 1-0 in two starts versus Cleveland, holding them to a .213 batting average.

With two below average offenses set to clash on Opening Day, we should be looking to target the under. Low scoring games were the norm at Kauffman Stadium last season, especially when KC was an underdog. 61.4% of Royals’ game came in under the total in those instances, while the majority of Bieber starts also tended to produce low scoring games.

12 of his 16 outings last season produced a total of 8 runs or lower, including eight of his 10 starts against AL Central opponents.

Pick: Under 8.5 (-110)

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