MLB betting tips: 4 picks and predictions for Opening Day
Guy Giles has picked out four teams to back on the money line as the 2021 MLB season gets underway on Thursday.
Check out the Betway Insider's MLB picks and predictions page for the best bets throughout the 2021 season.
Cleveland Indians to beat Detroit Tigers
Reigning AL Cy Young winner Shane Bieber dominated the Detroit Tigers last season, going 2-0 with an ERA of 1.84.
He also struck out 14 batters in an Opening Day win over the Kansas City Royals – just one short of an MLB record.
His opposite number on Thursday is Matthew Boyd, who endured a tough season for the Tigers in 2020, allowing the most earned runs and home runs in the AL.
The Indians have lost one of their biggest stars in shortstop Francisco Lindor since last year, but the strength of their hand on the mound should carry them through this one.
San Diego Padres to beat Arizona Diamondbacks
The Padres were one of the most exciting teams to watch in 2020, with their explosive offense – led by Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado – carrying them through to the NLDS.
They will be even better this season thanks to an active offseason in which they strengthened their starting rotation with the acquisitions of Blake Snell from Tampa Bay and Yu Darvish from the Chicago Cubs.
It is the latter who gets the start on Opening Day as Darvish looks to build on his best MLB season to date, in which he went 8-3 with an 2.01 ERA and a league-best 2.23 FIP.
They face a Diamondbacks team that finished bottom of the NL West last year.
Lefty Madison Bumgarner gets the start for Arizona after a disappointing 2020 in which he registered two losses against the Padres, allowing nine runs over just 7.2 innings pitched.
Expect Darvish to lay a solid platform for the Friars’ big-hitting offense to build upon.
Tampa Bay Rays to beat Miami Marlins
Tampa seems to have been written off as a contender ahead of the 2021 season despite dominating the AL last year on their way to the World Series.
The Rays begin their 2021 campaign in Florida as young ace Tyler Glasnow gets the start against a Marlins team that blows hot and cold.
Glasnow himself can be inconsistent, but he’s worth backing to get the job done in a pitcher’s park.
The Rays retained all of their offensive stars in the offseason and should have enough firepower to outlast the Marlins in a low-scoring game.
New York Mets to beat Washington Nationals
Two of the MLB’s best pitchers face off in an exciting NL East match-up at Nationals Stadium on Opening Day.
Jacob deGrom takes to the mound for the Mets after a season in which he was narrowly denied a third successive Cy Young.
New York has also added some serious firepower to their offense since then, signing Lindor from Cleveland to catapult themselves towards the top of the betting in the 2021 World Series futures.
DeGrom faces off against Max Scherzer, who was not at his best in 2020 but remains one of the league’s elite arms.
It’s worth backing the Mets to get off to a hot start here. They have an incredible record on Opening Day, owning a .661 winning percentage, which is the best in MLB history.
DeGrom also has history himself – he shut out the Braves over five innings in 2020 and the Nationals over six the year before.
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