Pro Baseball Opening Day Free Betting Picks

Posted by Eric Williams on March 31, 2016 in

If you’re an mlb fan or a MLB odds enthusiast that is fired up about this weekend’s Opening Day match ups, then you’re in for a treat thanks to this ‘trifecta’ or expert MLB baseball picks! The 100-win St. Louis Cardinals will visit the Pittsburgh Pirates in their NL Central divisional match up while the defending World Series champion Kansas City Royals kick off their title defense at home against the title-hopeful New York Mets. Last but not least, the Toronto Blue Jays will kick off their quest for consecutive postseason appearances when they visit a Tampa Bay Rays team that is in a minor rebuilding mode. Now, let’s take a look at all three match ups.

St. Louis at Pittsburgh

When: Sunday, April 03 – 1:05 PM EST
Where: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Betting Analysis

Veteran right-hander Adam Wainwright (2-1, 1.44 ERA) will get the call for the St. Louis Cardinals (100-62) while Pittsburgh (98-64) hands the ball to their own veteran righty in Francisco Liriano (12-7, 3.38 ERA). For this opening day matchup, I’m going to go with the Pittsburgh Pirates to get the win, mostly because Adam Wainwright has been really pedestrian in compiling an uninspiring 4.80 ERA in 15 innings this preseason.

Not only that, but the 98-win Pirates have won two straight over their NL Central Division rivals with Francisco Liriano on the mound and I believe St. Louis will feel the loss of elite outfielder Jason Heyward early and often in 2016. Liriano had a very good 2015 season in going 12-7 with a solid 3.12 ERA and the Pirates have a really good trio of outfielders in Andrew McCutchen, Sterling Marte and Gregory Polanco.

The Pirates may not be better than St. Louis this season, but they’ll get the narrow home win in their opener.

The Pick: Pittsburgh 4 St. Louis 3

NY Mets at Kansas City

When: Sunday, April 03 – 8:37 PM EST
Where: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

Betting Analysis:

I know the New York Mets (90-72) are hoping for big things heading into the 2016 regular season after reaching the World Series opposite Kansas City (95-67) last season, but I just don’t see any way the Mets are winning this opener against a Royals tem that apparently still has a chip the size of Mount Rushmore on their collective shoulders, not to mention some serious hatred for the Mets.

The Royals will go with veteran right-hander Edinson Volquez (14-9, 3.73 ERA) opposite New York righty Matt Harvey (15-8, 2.88 ERA). While I fully believe that Harvey is the slightly better of the two starters, there is no way anyone should bet against the Royals in this opener, mostly because of that aforementioned chip on their shoulders. Kansas City has won two straight games with Volquez on the mound opposite Harvey and I see no reason to believe they won’t win this opener.

The Royals beat the Mets in five games to win the 2015 World Series and still have a bunch of anger toward the Mets for Noah Syndergaard’s World Series inside pitches at their hitters. “These guys are not complacent,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “We don’t have that problem. Complacency is not an issue with these guys. They have a chance to make history, and they want to take advantage of it.”

The Mets may have the deepest starting rotation in the majors in Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Syndergaard and Steven Matz, but they’re taking an opening day loss against the eternally-ticked off Royals.

The Pick: Royals 4 Mets 3

Toronto at Tampa Bay

When: Sunday, April 03 – 4:05 PM EST
Where: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida
TV: ESPN2, Sun Sports

Betting Analysis:

Tampa Bay will start the unheralded, but gifted right-hander Marcus Stroman (5-0, 2.72 ERA) while Toronto counters with their own right-hander in Chris Archer (12-13, 3.27 ERA). Stroman went 4-0 with a stellar 1.67 ERA in four starts after returning from knee surgery in September while Archer is coming off a season in which he earned his first all-star berth by setting a franchise record for strikeouts (252).

The bad news for the Rays and the reason I like Toronto to get the road win in this opener is that Archer went 3-8 with a 3.11 ERA in 19 home starts last season. Toronto is by far, the better offensive ballclub having averaged a stellar 5.50 runs per game last season against Tampa Bay’s 3.98 runs per contest. The Blue Jays (93-69) have won five of its last seven games against the rebuilding Rays (80-82) and are my only pick to get the road win on Opening Night.

The Pick: Toronto 5 Tampa Bay 3