It’s Opening Day 2021 for Major League Baseball, and the first true Opening Day since wagering became legal in Illinois. With that said, I will be trying to take a conservative approach when betting baseball this season.
It can be too easy to take too many favorites, therefore paying much more juice than you typically would when spread-betting. And with baseball being an unpredictable sport from game to game, betting solely on favorites is a losing proposition.
So, of course, the plays you see below still are peppered with favorites. This will be a transition for me. However, the favorites I’m playing on below I believe are all mis-priced, giving us value and a playable edge.
But in an effort to unlock the power of playing on underdogs in baseball, I will be selecting one underdog each morning as the Dog of the Day. This will always be a 1-unit play. So, if the team is +150 the play will be bet 1 unit to win 1.5 units. I’ll track this throughout the season and see how profitable or unprofitable it can be to be selective and just play on one underdog each day.
With that said, I’ll be betting on both dogs and favorites. But I think the dog of the day will be an interesting experiment.
MLB 2021 Opening Day Plays
-New York Yankees -157 vs. Toronto Blue Jays, Cole vs. Ryu
Going to start the MLB betting season off going with the chalk Yankees at -157 hosting the Blue Jays. This will likely be one of the lowest prices available to play on Cole, and while Ryu is also an upper-tier pitcher, he’s not on the level of Cole. Also no Springer for the Jays.— Kyle Johansen (@kylejohansen) April 1, 2021
-Cleveland Indians -164 vs. Detroit Tigers, Bieber vs. Boyd
Third play is Rays -136 vs Marlins. I love Miami for over 71 wins on the season, but I don’t think it starts tomorrow vs Glasnow. This is a total mismatch at every level and -136 feels like a short price to pay on the Rays. Tampa Bay is also +110 to make the playoffs at FanDuel.— Kyle Johansen (@kylejohansen) April 1, 2021
-Tampa Bay Rays -136 vs. Miami Marlins, Glasnow vs. Alcantara
Fourth play is on another top 15 starting pitcher, backing Lucas Giolito and the White Sox at -112. Dylan Bundy is nice, but he’s not on the level of Giolito. Likewise, the Angels have a nice competitive lineup, but the White Sox bring just as much firepower to the field.— Kyle Johansen (@kylejohansen) April 1, 2021
-Chicago White Sox -112 vs. Los Angeles Angels, Giolito vs. Bundy
Dog of the Day
-Rangers +136 vs. Royals, Gibson vs. Keller
The pitching matchup of Kyle Gibson vs Brad Keller does not move the needle either direction. And while Kansas City rightfully has a little helium heading into the season, there is no compelling reason for them to be favorites at this number. When you can find a coin flip game at +136, you take the value.