The 2022 major league baseball regular season is less than 48 hours away. That means baseball betting is back.
Thursday’s slate of Opening Day matchups are an excellent opportunity for bettors to get off to a hot start this season. Here are a few Opening Day moneyline picks which will make bettors money on Thursday.
Chicago Cubs +125 over Milwaukee Brewers
It may seem like a risky first bet to make, but there’s a lot to like about the Cubs in this matchup. Yes, the Cubbies will be facing the reigning National League Cy Young Award Winner, Corbin Burnes, but it’s important to remember that Burnes has only proved himself as a top-caliber starter in one full season.
Between 2019 and 2020, his numbers tell a very different tale. He is 5-6 with a 5.13 earned run average and a 1.390 walks + hits per innings pitched rate over 108.2 innings pitched.
That first game of the season in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field will rattle Burnes as he struggles to get outs against a young, scrappy Cubs offense. That offense is led by guys like catcher Willson Contreras, first baseman Frank Schwindel, third baseman Patrick Wisdom and outfielder Ian Happ. The Cubbie offense will also be getting a jolt this season in the form of Japanese sensation, outfielder Seiya Suzuki.
It will be Cubs’ ace starter Kyle Hendricks towing the rubber in front of the Wrigley Field faithful. Hendricks struggled last season but his potential is undeniably there.
Excluding his single-season worst effort in 2021, Hendricks is a career 69-48 with a 3.12 ERA, 1.105 WHIP and 882 strikeouts over 1047.1 innings pitched.
The Cubs may not have what it takes to make it to the playoffs this season, but they’re going to start the regular season off with a W.
Final score prediction: Cubs 5, Brewers 2
Seattle Mariners -110 over Minnesota Twins
The fact that the Mariners do not have better odds to win this game is frankly mind-boggling. They’ve had an incredible offseason acquiring big names like reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray in addition to solid bats in Adam Frazier, Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez.
Those are additions to an already impressive roster which managed a 90-72 record in 2021 and was eliminated from the playoffs on the final day of the regular season last year. They’ll be facing an undoubtedly less impressive Twins team whose only big offseason pickup was All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa.
It’ll be the Mariners’ new ace Robbie Ray who takes the hill for them in Minnesota. Ray is an extremely skilled southpaw who came into his own in 2021. Target Field is usually hitter friendly, but look for Ray to rack up the outs and go at least 6.2 innings in this one.
On the other side, it’ll be 25 year old rookie starter Joe Ryan who went 2-1 with a 4.05 ERA in just 5 starts in 2021.
The greater level of skill and confidence as a ballclub belongs to the Mariners in this one. The M’s are ready to have a year to remember and that journey begins with an Opening Day victory in Minnesota.
Final score prediction: Mariners 7, Twins 3
Los Angeles Angels -120 over Houston Astros
The Angels will be starting the reigning AL MVP in Shohei Ohtani and will have another MVP in the outfield in Mike Trout. The Halos used the offseason to significantly improve as a ballclub and they’re looking dangerous to start the year.
The offense is the real weapon for the Angels, though. Trout and Ohtani will be supported in the lineup by guys like young outfielder Jo Adell, 2021 All-Star Jared Walsh and third baseman Anthony Rendon. This is a formidable lineup and if the Angels play up to snuff in 2022, they’ll be able to be a really consistent force in the AL West.
The Angels will be opposed by the Astros in the season’s opening series. Yes, the ‘Stros have won the pennant twice in the last three seasons, but they’re entering the season having made no significant major league moves while losing both Carlos Correa and starter Zack Greinke.
Houston will be rolling out 28 year old, left-handed starter Framber Valdez who had a solid 2021, going 11-6 with a 3.14 ERA. However, this is a new chapter for the Angels, and like the Mariners, that’ll start with a win on Opening Day.
The Angels’ bats are going to attack Valdez early while Ohtani keeps Houston from putting up a crooked number. No reason not to throw $50 on the Halos in this one.
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