Opening Day MLB Best Bets

By Mike Rose

We had ourselves a season on the diamond last year over at BetRivers Sportsbook with my Best Bets going 40-31-2 which added close to 14 units to the bottom line! I’m back for more in 2023 and fully expect to be stockpiling wins over the course of the upcoming MLB betting season. All 30 teams will be in action on Opening Day which means there’s 15 games to choose from on a loaded slate to kick off the season. Let’s see if we can’t get it all started on the right foot with my first installment of MLB best bets - Slam Your Man!


YTD: 0-0 ($0)


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Milwaukee Brewers vs. Chicago Cubs


I’ll start this off by saying that I think the Chicago Cubs will be much improved in 2023. So much so that I’ve already taken an early flier on the over of their 77.5-game season wins total over at BetRivers - it currently clocks in at 78.5! That being said, I also think Corbin Burnes goes HAM and is in contention to win a second NY Cy Young Award. I also took a flier on that occurring at 5-1! The durable right-handed K artist hasn’t had the greatest of success against the Cubs throughout his career in going 2-2 over eight starts, but he owns a career 2.63 ERA and .222 BAA over three Wrigley Field starts where he racked up a 36:11 K/BB ratio over 24 total innings. While Marcus Stroman was brilliant in going 1-0 with a 1.37 ERA and .098 BAA as a Cub in his three starts against the Brew Crew last season, I side with Burnes in the season opener with the burly right-hander taking the bump with a chip on his shoulder after his arbitration case fell through.




Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds


Hunter Greene had an up and down rookie campaign with the Reds last season. He went 5-13 with a 4.44 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and .222 BAA. A lack of control was a major issue evidenced by his 3.4 walk per nine innings average. However, the kid still flat out got the job done when it came to getting opposing batters out via the strikeout. His 11.7 K/9 ranked out amongst the best in baseball! He did however shore up the walks throughout the second half of last season, and I fully expect him to build off that improvement and harness more control throughout his sophomore campaign. One team he dominated regardless was the Pittsburgh Pirates whom he went 0-1 against but only surrendered four hits and 1 ER through 13.1 innings over a pair of starts. More importantly, he tallied a whopping 19 Ks and logged a 0.90 WHIP. I threw some beer money on the kid to win the Cy Young at 40-1 and fully expect him to start his 2023 campaign off with a bang. We’ll be targeting the over of his K prop at BetRivers throughout the 2023 regular season and will slam anything under 7.0 in his 2023 debut against the Buccos.




Toronto Blue Jays vs. St. Louis Cardinals


The BJs and Redbirds are each expected to be players in both the AL and NL as well as their respective divisions throughout the 2023 MLB betting season. I have mad respect for both squads entering the regular season, but anytime I see the Cardinals not installed favorites in Busch Stadium it piques my interest. This is a team that was one of only seven teams that won 50+ home games a season ago, and I think they find a way to topple Alek Manoah and the Blue Jays in the season opener with Miles Mikolas getting the Opening Day nod. The right-hander put forth a huge bounceback campaign in 2022! Though he only went 12-13 through 32 overall starts, he pitched to a 3.29 ERA and 1.06 WHIP while holding the opposition to a .226 BAA and racked up a solid 153:39 K/BB ratio while going for 200+ innings for the second time in his career. He was at his absolute best in the comforts of Busch where he only issued 15 free passes and stymied opposing offenses to the tune of a .192 BAA. If we get a quality start, St. Louis will hold the upper hand with it sporting the better of the two bullpens by a good margin.




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