The best betting props for MLB Opening Day

Profile Picture: Robert Criscola

April 1st, 2021

Opening Day offers hope to the fanbases of every MLB team, as every club begins the year 0-0. It also offers hope to bettors for a profitable season.

In addition to the customary moneyline, runline and total wagers, there is a litany of prop wagers available on every MLB game. Let’s take a look at the four best betting props for the Opening Day action.

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds Total Runs: First 5 Innings (Over/Under 3.5)

Bettors should expect few runs to cross the plate at Great American Ballpark on Thursday afternoon, especially early.

Jack Flaherty starts for the Cardinals, and he’s allowed just one earned run in his last 16 1/3 innings of work against the Reds (0.55 ERA). His opposite number, Luis Castillo, twirled a gem against the St. Louis lineup in 2020, going the distance while allowing only two hits.

Nolan Arenado wasn’t a Cardinal last season, but he likely won’t affect the first five innings total greatly.

MLB pick: Under

Texas Rangers vs. Kansas City Royals: Lead After 5 Innings

If one ranked the best 2021 Opening Day starters, Texas’ Kyle Gibson would be hard-pressed to crack the top half. But his history against the Royals makes the Rangers a good bet, at least in the first five innings department.

Andrew Benintendi, Hunter Dozier, Whit Merrifield, Salvador Perez, Carlos Santana, and Jorge Soler have combined to go only 26-for-137 (.190) all-time against Gibson.

MLB pick: Rangers +170

Total Runs by New York Mets (Over/Under 3.5)

Jacob deGrom and the Mets won’t be intimidated when Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer takes the hill at Nationals Park on Opening Day (7:09 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Scherzer had an inflated 5.52 ERA at home in 2020 in six starts, compared to a 2.37 ERA on the road. Even in 2019, his home ERA was about a half-point higher than his road one. In his last seven starts against the Mets, Scherzer’s ERA is a modest 3.46.

Look for Michael Conforto (1.125 OPS in 35 at-bats against “Mad Max”) to get New York on the board early.

MLB pick: Over

San Francisco Giants vs. Seattle Mariners: Lead After 5 Innings

The Giants should relish the chance to bat against Mariners left-handed ace Marco Gonzales on Thursday night.

San Francisco was fifth in OPS against southpaws in 2020 (.798). Outfielder Mike Yastrzemski (.997 OPS) was particularly lethal.

Giants starter Kevin Gausman, who held opponents to a .181 batting average in 26 2/3 road innings in 2020, should hold up his end of the bargain.

MLB pick: Giants +115