MLB Opening Day, one of America’s biggest sporting days of the year is finally upon us. Yes we had the opening few games a week ago in Sydney, however now the fun actually starts.
Let’s get straight into it
Probably the hardest Division to predict. The Red Sox took it out last year with Tamp Bay struggling to make up ground towards the end of the season. The Yankees have spent big this year on 5 new players, the standouts being Ellsbury and Beltran from Boston and St Louis. Is it enough ?
Baltimore have probably the best young lineup and I can really see them improving a lot, maybe a few years away from a Divison title if they can hang on to their stars. Plenty of runs in them though in Davis and Jones (Machado if fit also). Toronto just cannot seem to get it together, they were hyped up big time last season and with the lineup they have you can see why. Something isn’t clicking, they lack pitching depth and in this division I just cannot make a case for them competing.
Red Sox ($2.90) Yankees ($3.25) Rays ($3.50) Blue Jays ($7.00) Orioles ($11.00) All TAB
Boston Red Sox. Just.
Tampa and Orioles
Probably the easiest Division to predict. If Detroit stay reasonably healthy they win this at a canter. They may have lost Fielder at 1B but AL MVP Cabrera will move positions. Former Triple Crown winner (lead the league in 3 statistical categories) is the best in the game, hand down. They Royals are improving and I predict a good run at the wild card spot, a young team with a bright future. The Indians over achieved last season and a repeat of making the post season seems unlikely. The White Sox and Twins are competitive but not this year, or next.
Tigers ($1.33) Royals ($5.50) Indians ($7.00) White Sox ($15.00) Twins ($34.00)
Detroit Tigers. Easy.
A very competitive division this year with 3 genuine contenders and a team that could cause a stir.
Texas are the clear cut favourites with a pretty packed squad after some off season additions, that really improve an already good team. With adding Choo to the top of the lineup they have a player who will get on base, they have the firepower below to drive in the runs as well since adding Fielder and Rios last year. Pitching they have a few questions in depth. Oakland another team that I think over achieved last year. Can they back it up, they have great depth, no superstars but just solid all over. In a 7 game series they can be a match for anyone, but this division is tough and its a long season. The LA Angles are interesting, a superstar in Mike Trout could lead them to the division title but they have little rotation or position player depth and are not equipped to withstand significant injuries, which could be their downfall. Seattle are hard to predict, they have good pitching and spent plenty of money on Robison Cano from the Yankees. I can see them being amongst the race for the division by the mid way point but just tailing off. Then we come to poor old Houston, can they avoid another 100 loss season ?
Rangers ($2.90) A’s ($2.90) Angels ($2.90) Mariners ($8.00) Astros ($67.00)
Texas Rangers, not with much confidence though.
Last season saw the Braves waltz this division, the much hyped Nationals couldn’t get going due mainly to injuries. They looked great at the end of last season however it was too late. We could see roles reversed this year with Atlanta already packed with injuries going into opening day. 2 horse race. The Mets have a decent pitching rotation and will take a few games off the top teams but not enough to make a run for the division. Phillies are just a mess, good players but so old. Not in this at all. Same can be said for the Marlins not in this, some great young players but need time and the team needs investment from an uninterested owner.
Nationals ($1.85) Braves ($2.15) Phillies ($9.00) Mets ($26.00) Marlins ($34.00)
Last season this went down to the last few games, St Louis the NL Champions have the solid lineup and pitching staff, have the experience as well. Pirates had the passion to break a post season curse lead on the shoulders of NL MVP Mc Cutchen. They still have a solid lineup but have they improved enough on last season to make those extra steps. The Reds for me are going to be the biggest question mark, last season they struggled but still pushed for the division, sounds odd right ? I just cannot see where they will get runs from on a consistent basis. Unless Votto has an MVP calibre year I just cannot have them challenging. The Brewers should have a good young team and in a few years I could give them chance but not now. The Cubs ? finishing 5th ain’t bad right ?
Cardinals ($1.58) Reds ($4.25) Pirates ($5.00) Brewers ($13.00) Cubs ($34.00)
St Louis Cardinals.
We got to see the Dodgers in Australia last week, and see exactly why the bookies make then the short price favourites to win the division. Solid batting, solid pitching. Stay relatively injury free they should win this division rather well. Giants can give them a fright but they seem so stale. This is basically the same team that won the 2012 World Series but their pitching won them that, and last season it was terrible. If they can bounce back they could challenge but offense is another issue as well. Diamondbacks were woeful in Sydney, now they have their No.1 pitcher in Corbin out for the year. They have a decent lineup that will win plenty of games but nothing here to suggest anything other then average season is on the cards. Even if Goldschmidt has a season like last. Padres and Rockies are similar to the Diamondbacks, they are not poor teams but they just don’t have the depth and overall quality to push for a division title. Plenty of runs though, which can at least be fun for the fans.
Dodgers ($1.40) Giants ($4.50) Diamondbacks ($7.50) Rockies ($17.00) Padres ($21.00)
Kershaw, opps. I mean LA Dodgers.
American League Winner
Tigers ($6.00) Red Sox ($6.50) Rangers ($8.00) Yankees ($8.00) Angeles ($9.00) Rays ($10.00) A’s ($10.00) Blue Jays ($11.00) Orioles ($15.00) Royals ($15.00)
Tigers at $6.0, simply because one way or another they are making the post season. Can make a case for any of the others missing out some how. So Tigers bet is pretty much half way there already.
National League Winner
Dodgers ($4.00) Cardinals ($5.00) Nationals ($6.00) Braves ($6.50) Reds ($10.00) Pirates ($13.00)
Cardinals to win the NL 2 years in a row. $5 is nice enough, maybe to multi up.
Opening Day Games
Due to the amount of games over this period I am focusing on a select few games.
As Baseball markets are usually not put up until the night before, these will be updated ASAP. Suggested bets dependent on markets set by bookmakers. See Twitter account for updates on suggested plays – @MLB_TheProfits
Baltimore Orioles to beat the Boston Red Sox at $2.01
Next Best Bet
Over 6.5 runs in Angels vs Mariners
Pirates and Tigers to win at $2.56
LA Dodgers vs San Diego Padres
(Live ESPN 11am Monday 31st AEST)
Dodgers ($1.90) – Ryu
Padres ($1.94) – Cashner
Over/Unders – 6.5
I can see Dodgers going 3-0 to start the season. Cashner does not have much experience against these Dodgers players so it is hard to get a read on how how he is likely to fair. Ryu gets the start as Kershaw is out injured for a few days he also does not have enough history against the current Padre lineup to get a sense of what to expect.
Dodgers to win, however i’m happy to just watch this one.
Chicago Cubs vs Pittsburgh Pirates
(Live ESPN 4am Tuesday 1st AEST)
Cubs ($2.41) – Samardzija
Pirates ($1.60) – Liriano
Over/Unders – 7.0
Pirates to win. Liriano just stifled the Cubs last season (.155 BA against) . As a left handed pitcher his slider is just pure nasty for these batters. Samardzija is a top quality pitcher and has been successful against the Pirates in the past but I will take home field advantage here and Pirates offense to be too good.
Boston Red Sox vs Baltimore Orioles
(Live ESPN2 6 am Tuesday 1st AEST)
Red Sox ($1.84) – Lester
Orioles ($2.01) – Tillman
Over/Unders – 8.5
Baltimore to win. Tillman vs Lester. Im going with the Orioles man in this matchup. Was successful against the Sox last year and at home on opening day against the Champions. Great time to prove your worth.
St Louis Cardinals vs Cincinnati Reds
(Live ESPN 7am Tuesday 1st AEST)
Cardinals ($1.87) – Wainwright
Reds ($1.97) – Cueto
Over/Unders – 7
Cardinals. I really like St Louis to get off to a good start this season. It’s a tough matchup but Cuetos figures against the guys in the Cards lineup are not very good. He struggled at the rear end of last season and has not been amazing in spring training. Cards to drive in too many runs for the Reds
Colorado Rockies vs Miami Marlins
(Live ESPN 10am Tuesday 1st AEST)
Rockies ($2.31) – De La Rosa
Marlins ($1.64) – Fernandez
Over/Unders – 6.5
Miami. Hernandez is a future CY Young winner, he is young, powerful and most of all just dominates the batter all over the plate. Will be betting with Miami a lot this season when he is pitching so this game will be no exception. Oh by the way the current Rockies players have hit .167 against him.
Seattle Mariners vs LA Angles
(Live ESPN 1pm Tuesday 1st AEST)
Mariners ($2.18) – Hernandez
Angles ($1.72) – Weaver
Over/Unders – 6.5
Tough call, like Hernandez as a pitcher, but does he have the offense behind him to get a Win against a solid Angles offense. Weaver may just have enough to allow the Angles offense to produce the win.
Angles, but maybe a game to steer clear on the win bet. Over/Under market could be the play.
Other Suggested Bets
Detroit Tigers to beat Kansas City Royals
If you bet on Verlander to win all season you will end up ahead.
Tampa Bay Rays to beat Toronto Bluejays
Price to get the best of the Bluejays.
All of the above are the opinions of the author and are not recommendations or advice. The author may not be taking every bet listed above. Bet at your own risk.
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