2017 MLB Opening Day – Sunday

Baseball is back! The 2017 MLB Season kicks off Sunday, April 3 with three games spread out throughout the day. They begin at 1:10 EST with the Tampa Bay Rays hosting the Yankees. Today’s slate is smaller, with just three games on the schedule. We will offer a pick on each game today.

Tomorrow’s slate is much larger, with nearly every team in action and games throughout the day. Check back tomorrow for more picks for Monday’s slate.

As always, all our odds will be quoted from BetOnline (Full Review) and are accurate at the time of posting. However, be sure to line shop for the best price before placing your bet. When betting baseball – make sure you’re betting dime lines. They will save you a lot of money over the long haul and are available at BetOnline.

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New York Yankees – M Tanaka -106 at Tampa Bay Rays – Chris Archer -104 Total: 7 Runs

Masahiro Tanaka gets the nod for the Yankees once again as they face the Rays in their home opener at Tropicana Field. Despite injury concerns last year, Tanaka finished with a career high in wins, strikeouts, and quality starts. Archer is coming off a shaky year, but his talent is undeniable. He’s been fantastic this spring and with Team USA in the WBC – this could be his breakout season.

Bets have been about 50/50 between the Yankees and Rays. However, the odds have dropped substantially for the Yankees since they opened as a -120 favorite. The total hasn’t moved off the 7-run opener but is juice on the under at most sportsbooks.

I love Archer in this spot. He’s as talented as ever, but issues with control plagued him last year. Even though it’s Spring Training and the WBC exhibition – he looks locked in right now.  The Yankees lineup isn’t anything to fear if he’s on his game.

Tanaka is an excellent pitcher in his own right, but he may be vulnerable left-handed power bats of the Rays, which dominate the top of the order. It would have been nice to get Tampa at +110, but there’s still value in the current odds, which may get worse for Rays’ backers as we approach first pitch.

Pick: Tampa Bay -104

San Francisco Giants – M Bumgarner (L) -127 at Arizona Diamondbacks – Zach Greinke +117 Total: 8 Runs

Bumgarner, perhaps the most storied pitcher in Giants’ history, makes his fourth Opening Day start for San Francisco as they take on the Diamondbacks at Chase Field. On the other side, Zach Greinke looks to rebound after a poor first year in the desert after signing a 6-year 206-million-dollar contract last season.

The odds haven’t moved much since opening in this one, even with over 80 percent of wagers coming on the Giants. The total has not moved yet from the opener of 8 runs.

I lean slightly on the Diamondbacks in this game, but I think the total is most attractive play. Both pitchers are talented and if this game were in any other ballpark – we would likely see that total a run lower. Chase Field is a bandbox.

That’s one of the reasons Greinke had such a tough year. His home run to fly ball rate soared and his ballpark didn’t help much. He was a little unlikely with that and missed a month with an oblique injury.

I am not expecting a huge turnaround from him this year, but he is fully healthy coming into the season and should improve on those numbers. San Francisco’s lineup is nothing to be feared, and Bumgarner on the other side should rack up some Ks against a free-swinging Arizona lineup.

Pick: Under 8 Runs

Chicago Cubs – Jon Lester (L) -120 at St. Louis Cardinals – Carlos Martinez +110 Total: 7 runs

Lester will make his second opening day start with the Cubbies. The left-hander was outstanding last season, sporting a 19-5 record and 2.44 ERA. Martinez gets the nod for St. Louis. He was easily the Cardinals best starter last year, leading the team with 20 quality starts and 3.04 ERA.

The Cubs opened at -125, but have moved to -120 at most sites as of this writing. 90 percent of wagers have come in on Chicago so far. The total opened at seven runs, which is where it stands at most sportsbooks with some dealing 6.5.

This seems like a good spot for Lester, but the Cardinals are smart enough to stack righty batters against the lefty starter. The line has also gone the other way, despite massive action on the Cubs.

This is my least favorite bet of the day, but the home team makes the most sense in this spot based on the line movement.

Pick: St. Louis +110

Joseph Falchetti

Joseph Falchetti - Editor-in-Chief / Sports Writer & Analyst

Joe is the author of the blog, most picks, and the majority of excellent content on SafestBettingSites. He's been mentioned on Forbes.com as a gaming analyst and his articles have been linked by larger publications, such as the New York Times.

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