Baseball is back! Betting on baseball is back!
Here are the bets for Thursday, March 30.
Yankees -175 over Giants
Normally, I would be hesitant about this. More than hesitant. I probably just wouldn’t do it. Gerrit Cole on Opening Day as a Yankee hasn’t been good. Logan Webb, who dominates right-handed hitters (of which nearly the entire Yankees lineup is) and doesn’t allow home runs (the way the Yankees plan on winning) is a really bad matchup for this Yankees team. But again, it’s Opening Day, and I’m not not going to bet the Yankees on Opening Day.
What makes me feel a little better about backing Cole and going against Webb in a perfect spot for Webb is that the Giants suck. Wilmer Flores bats third for the Giants and Joc Pederson fourth. Thairo Estrada bats sixth! (I guess I shouldn’t be shitting on other lineups with the Yankees having Josh Donaldson fifth.) It’s not a good team, and this is a lineup Cole should overpower. But again it’s Cole, and I wouldn’t trust him to tell me what the day of the week it is, let alone go out and shut down a bad team when it’s going to “feel like” 34 degrees at first pitch on Thursday. If it weren’t Opening Day, I would be passing. But it is Opening Day, so here’s to starting off the season with a decision that I won’t be able to second-guess because I’m first-guessing it.
Braves -255 over Nationals
Angels -210 over Athletics
Padres -215 over Rockies
Are parlays smart? Of course not! Is it Opening Day? Yes, it is! Like the Yankees at -175, I wouldn’t normally advise for a three-team parlay, but again, it’s Opening Day, and the Nationals and Athletics are the two worst teams in baseball and the Padres are going to be really, really good.
The scariest part of this parlay is the last scheduled game with the Padres and the Rockies. I don’t trust Blake Snell, and German Marquez is always capable of dominant performance. I will take my chances that the Padres at home coupled with Marquez’s career being defined by him not being able to put it together consistently will bring this one home. (And if the parlay does come down to the Padres-Rockies game, I will hedge or live bet my way out to some profit.)
Rangers -135 over Phillies
I don’t know when the last time Jacob deGrom was only -135 in a game, and I don’t know the next time he will be, if ever. The Phillies as a team have hit .192/.262/.269 against deGrom in 214 plate appearances, and the best two hitters have been Bryce Harper (.930 OPS) and and Rhys Hoskins (.637 OPS), and neither of them will be playing on Thursday.
Mets -130 over Marlins
This is a coin flip with Max Scherzer going against Sandy Alcantara, but this is more about me picking for the Mets offense and against the Marlins offense, not me thinking Scherzer is better than Alcantara. I don’t even like the Mets offense (I would have liked it a whole lot more with Carlos Correa), but I like it enough that a game started by Scherzer at -130 against a really bad offense makes it worth it.
Blue Jays -120 over Cardinals
Miles Mikolas being the Cardinals’ Opening Day starter isn’t a great look for the Cardinals. (Luckily for them, they play in the NL Central.) Unluckily for them, they are playing the Blue Jays on Opening Day and someone like Mikolas who doesn’t miss many bats and relies on the ball being hit at defenders will be in one against this Blue Jays offense. While Alek Manoah might not have been as good as his numbers suggest he was last year, I have seen him shut down the Yankees down enough to know what he’s capable of. There won’t be many days this season the Blue Jays are -120.
White Sox-Astros Under 7.5 (-105)
It’s going to be hard to not like the under in every White Sox game this season like last season. They suck. Dylan Cease is good, but their offense sucks. And if they are a right-handed heavy lineup that can destroy left-handed pitching, Framber Valdez isn’t just any left-handed pitcher, he’s the best in baseball. The absence of Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley and a very weak 6 through 9 for the Astros makes this line incredibly appealing.
My book The Next Yankees Era: My Transition from the Core Four to the Baby Bombers is now available as an ebook!