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MLB Opening Day 2020 Betting Picks & Best Odds For Each Game

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 4 mins

MLB Opening Day 2020 Betting Picks & Best Odds For Each Game

After nearly five months of hope and wait, Opening Day of the 2020 MLB season is finally upon us. On Thursday, The Washington Nationals begin their World Series defense by hosting the powerful New York Yankees. That is followed by the team with the lowest 2020 World Series odds, the Los Angeles Dodgers, at home against rival San Francisco Giants.

For fans of MLB betting, the first pitch can’t come soon enough. Here’s how you should bet the opening night of this very unusual season.

CHECK OUT: Our Ultimate Guide To Betting The 2020 MLB Season

Yankees vs. Nationals, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN

One team won 103 games in 2019. The other barely snuck into the postseason — then advanced to and won the first World Series in franchise history. They meet on Thursday in a marquee showdown to begin a frenetic, 60-game MLB season.

Yankees Moneyline

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For the first game of the wacky 2020 season, the best pitcher in baseball is going to get the ball with arguably the best offense in baseball (when healthy) backing him up. On the other side, the Nationals have their own star on the mound, but a lot of question marks otherwise, including who will replace Anthony Rendon’s massive contributions.

Neither starter will likely go more than five innings, and the Nats’ bullpen was among the worst in baseball last year. It didn’t matter last postseason when the starting corps produced big-time, but it’ll matter a lot for the first part of this season, and for Opening Day.

Yankees Run Line

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Gerrit Cole vs Max Scherzer is about as good as it gets for an Opening Day matchup. But you'd better tune in early, because neither team is going to risk an injury due to rust on their high-prized aces. When both starters depart, the Yankees gain a clear advantage. They can build a lead and have the back-end bullpen to close it out.

Run Total: Over

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Typically pitchers have the edge over hitters early in the season. But neither ace starter here is going to go long, and there are some ferocious bats in each lineup. The Yankees, especially, should feast on a Nationals bullpen that was shelled regularly in 2019. I have this at 7.5.

CHECK OUT: Latest MLB Team & Player Futures Odds

Giants vs. Dodgers, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN

The Dodgers have been to two of the last three World Series, but have yet to grab that elusive ring. They’re poised to make another run at it as the odds-on favorites to win the National League and the October Classic. The Giants have gone from 64 wins in 2017, to 73 to 77 as their rebuilding trek continues for a franchise that won three World Series from 2010-2014.

CHECK OUT & COMPARE: Latest World Series Odds

Dodgers Moneyline

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The Dodgers are loaded, and they have Mr. Opening Day, Clayton Kershaw, on the mound at home against a Giants team he’s dominated over the years. Johnny Cueto is in for a long night against this offense after throwing just four outings last season. The final one was a two-inning, five-runs dud vs. these Dodgers. And he was roughed up all spring. The odds are very high here, but L.A. is in a better position for Game 1 across the board.

Dodgers Run Line

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The National League is there for the taking for the Dodgers. It starts right away in this shortened season, and they have the tools to quickly dispatch an outmanned Giants team. Kershaw wants to get off to a strong start this short season. He posted a 2.50 ERA in four appearances vs. San Francisco last year.

Nobody in the Giants’ lineup with more than four at-bats against Kershaw is hitting better than .250 lifetime against him. Cueto, who’s managed just 13 starts the last two seasons combined, probably won’t go a full five innings. The Dodgers are huge favorites, not worth backing on the moneyline. But the run line should hit, too.

Run Total: Under

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The Under is 31-14 when Kershaw takes on San Francisco. We do need to worry about Cueto vs. the Dodgers’ stacked batting order. But Kershaw will be ready to play, and each team returns a top-five bullpen from a year ago. This is a tough number on each side — I like it at 8.5 if you can get it — and not the best bet of the game, but the Under gets the edge here.

About the Author

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com
Adam Thompson
NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined Bookies.com in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and CBSSports.com. He's long been established as one of the nation's premier handicappers, specializing in the NFL where he's hit on more than 60% over the past three years. Adam's NBA, PGA and horse racing picks have also produced major winners over the last 12 months. His customized NFL and NBA odds for players and teams have been picked up by hundreds of websites over the past year.