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MLB Opening Day!

By: Hardee Picks

Baseball is back! It has been 148 days since a Nathan Eovaldi led Texas Rangers won the World Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. And over that time, a lot has changed with rosters and rules. This article is built in order to help you prepare for these changes, as well as discuss my looks for Opening Day bets. I will run down the biggest moves made by each team to start, then go over the main rules changes that will affect your betting strategies, and lastly have my top game out looks and player props! If you follow baseball closely, feel free to skip to the game outlooks, but for those who focused on other sports this offseason or are not a big baseball fan but want to be get into it, make sure you read this full article. As always my DM's on X and Discord are always open for any comments, concerns, or questions. Now, the only way to start this article would be to say, "Play Ball!"

Biggest Offseason Acquisitions

  • AL East

    • New York Yankees

      • Signed SP Marcus Stroman

      • Traded for OF Alex Verdugo

      • Traded for OF Juan Soto and OF Trent Grisham

    • Boston Red Sox

      • Signed SP Lucas Giolito

      • Traded for OF Tyler O'Neil

    • Baltimore Orioles

      • Traded for SP Corbin Burnes

    • Tampa Bay Rays

      • Minor moves

    • Toronto Blue Jays

      • Minor moves

  • AL Central

    • Detroit Tigers

      • Signed SP Kenta Maeda

      • Traded for OF Mark Canha

    • Kansas City Royals

      • Minor moves

    • Minnesota Twins

      • Minor moves

    • Chicago White Sox

      • Minor moves

    • Cleveland Guardians

      • Minor moves

  • AL West

    • Houston Astros

      • Signed RP Josh Hader

    • Texas Rangers

      • Minor moves

    • Seattle Mariners

      • Traded for 2B Jorge Polanco

      • Signed C Mitch Garver

    • Los Angeles Angels

      • Minor moves

    • Oakland Athletics

      • Minor moves

  • NL East

    • Philadelphia Phillies

      • Minor moves

    • Atlanta Braves

      • Traded for Chris Sale

    • Miami Marlins

      • Signed SS Tim Anderson

    • New York Mets

      • Signed SP Sean Manaea

    • Washington Nationals

      • Minor moves

  • NL Central

    • Cincinnati Reds

      • Signed 3B Jeimer Candelario

    • Pittsburgh Pirates

      • Minor moves

    • Chicago Cubs

      • Signed SP Shota Imanaga

    • Milwaukee Brewers

      • Signed 1B Rhys Hoskins

    • St. Louis Cardinals

      • Signed SP Sonny Gray

      • Signed SP Lance Lynn

      • Signed SP Kyle Gibson

  • NL West

    • Los Angeles Dodgers

      • Signed DH Shohei Ohtani

      • Signed OF Teoscar Hernandez

      • Signed SP Yoshinobu Yamamoto

      • Traded for SP Tyler Glasnow

    • San Diego Padres

      • Traded for SP Dylan Cease

    • San Francisco Giants

      • Signed SP Blake Snell

      • Traded for SP Robbie Ray

    • Arizona Diamondbacks

      • Signed SP Eduardo Rodriguez

      • Traded for 3B Eugenio Suarez

    • Colorado Rockies

      • Minor moves

Rule Changes that will Influence Betting

  • Last year was the season of change in the MLB. We had pace of play rules put into effect that saw the fastest average pace of play in games since 1985 at 2 hours and 40 minutes. In addition, bases were enlarged to avoid injuries and pitchers were limited on their pick off attempts. Both of these showed us how much easier it was to steal bases with over 1,000 more than 2022 and the most bases stolen since 1987. In addition, this is the second most stolen bases in the last 100 years.

  • This year there was only one made rule change. Fielders interference will be strictly enforced. Basically if a fielder even has his foot in front of the bag you are attempting to get to, the runner will automatically be called safe due to interference.

  • How this affects our betting strategies?

    • Main way it will affect it is even more of an increase in stolen bases. In spring training, this is where it is seen the most called. Runners stealing second base have the shortstop step in front of the base and are automatically ruled safe, crediting them with a stolen base.

Picks for Opening Day

  • BOS Masataka Yoshida 2+ Total Bases @ 10:10pm EST vs SEA (+150 on DK)

    • Coming off a stellar rookie campaign batting .289 and reaching this 2+ total bases in 65 games last season in 133 games started. On opening day, he is facing off against Luis Castillo and the Seattle Mariners. Last season, he went 2-3 against him with a double, a triple, and 2 RBIs while his only out was a line out to right field. He did all this in only 5 innings. In addition, 6 of his 11 hits this spring training have been extra base hits and he has 19 total bases recorded. Lastly, last season when facing right handed pitchers on the road, he batted .282 with 19 extra base hits and 62 total hits.

  • BAL Orioles First 5 Innings -0.5 @ 3:05 pm EST vs LAA (-125 on DK, -130 on FD)

    • The Baltimore Orioles are a young and strong team that is coming off their first playoff birth since 2016. They are young and posed for another strong year and added a key ace in Corbin Burnes. Burnes is a former Cy Young winner, ERA title winner, and a 3 time all-star. He was disgruntled after arbitration before last season with the Milwaukee Brewers. This Angels team is banged up already, is in a rebuilding mode, and just lost Shohei Ohtani this offseason. Patrick Sandoval will be on the bump for them Opening Day and he is coming off a 7-13 season with a 4.11 ERA. He has allowed this Orioles roster to bat .277 against him in his career with a .393 OBP. Burnes has only had 16 ABs faced against this current Angels roster but they only hit .188 off him with no extra base hits. I see the O's winning this game outright and to beat the juice, this is the way I will be playing it.

  • MIL William Contreras 2+ Total Bases @ 1:10pm vs NYM (+155 on DK, +125 on FD)

    • Catcher William Contreras is coming off his first year of fully starting and proved to be an offensive weapon. With a .291 average and a .828 OPS last season, Contreras has 6 extra base hits, 3 of which are home runs, and has 25 total bases. He is facing off against left handed pitcher Jose Quintana for the Mets. In his career, he is 3-4 against Quintana with a double and a home run. In addition, Contreras batted .357 versus left handed pitchers last season and batted .351 on the road versus left handers.

  • Josh Bell Over 1.5 Hits+Runs+RBIs @ 4:10 pm EST vs PIT (-105 on DK, on PrizePicks)

    • Josh Bell is a switch hitting power bat this Miami lineup needed when they traded for him last season. Bell has struggled to hit for average but i like this spot for him versus Mitch Keller. He is 4-5 against Keller and with 1 double, 1 home run, and 3 RBIs. Last season he had 179 hits, runs, and RBIs vs right handed pitchers which was a 1.3 average per game. With this number being at 1.5 and his production versus Keller, this is one of the only times I will pitch him this season.

1+ Hit Parlay

  • For this season, I want to build my form of a ladder program that is not hard for bettors to follow. My idea is I will start with 3 players, pick them to get 1 or more hits, and ride with all of you. The way I brought the ladder form into it is every day we hit the parlay, we will add another player growing the size of the parlay. Every time we lose the parlay, we reset back to 3 players. My goal is to get to hit a 10 person parlay by the end of the season. It is a very lofty goal but we can achieve it.

    • Opening Day 1+ Hit Parlay (+207 on DK)

      • BOS Masataka Yoshida

      • MIL William Contreras

      • TX Corey Seager

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