Happy MLB Opening Day! The 2021 season kicks off today with 15 games on tap. We also have 7 NBA games and 9 NHL games on the Thursday betting docket. For an updated breakdown of Thursday's betting action, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at 12:30 p.m. ET. I'll be joining The Lombardi Line with Michael Lombardi and Patrick Meagher at 1:45 p.m. ET to offer a market update. I'll also be co-hosting Betting Across America with Mike Pritchard from 3-5 p.m. ET.
In case you missed it, here are my Top 10 tips for betting baseball this season.
In the meantime, let's discuss where the money is flowing for several MLB Opening Day games today...
4:10 p.m. ET: Arizona Diamondbacks vs San Diego Padres
This NL West showdown features a David vs Goliath divisional mismatch. The Diamondbacks finished last in the NL West last season, going 25-35 (.417). Meanwhile, the Padres finished in second behind the Dodgers. finishing 37-23 (.617). Arizona's win total this season is 75.5. San Diego's is 94.5. The Snakes will start veteran lefty Madison Bumgarner (1-4, 6.48 ERA in 2020) while the Padres counter with newly acquired ace Yu Darvish (8-3, 2.01 ERA). This line opened with San Diego listed as a hefty -210 home favorite. Wiseguys have steamed the Padres, driving this line up from -210 to -230. Last season the Padres went 21-11 at home while the D'Backs went 9-21 on the road.
4:10 p.m. ET: Texas Rangers at Kansas City Royals
This American League matchup might be getting overlooked by the public, but not the sharps. The Rangers finished dead last in the AL West last season, going 22-38 (.367). The Royals were only slightly betting, finishing second to last in the AL Central with a 26-34 record (.433). The Rangers' win total is 67.5 this season. The Royals' win total is 74.5, which means oddsmakers predict a better season out of Kansas City than Texas. The Royals seem to have a starting pitching advantage here as the Rangers will start Kyle Gibson (2-6, 5.35 ERA) while the Royals will send out Brad Keller (5-3, 2.47 ERA. This line opened with Kansas City listed as a -149 home favorite. We've seen respected money lay the wood with the Royals, driving this line up to -160 or even -165 at some shops. The Royals were even at home last season (15-15) while the Rangers went 6-24 on the road, the worst road record in baseball. The Royals had the best Spring Training record in the AL, going 16-8.
7:09 p.m. ET: New York Mets vs Washington Nationals
This NL East grudge match features a pair of division rivals looking to bounce back from losing campaigns. Both teams went 26-34 (.433) last season. The Mets loaded up in the offseason, trading for star shortstop Francisco Lindor and signing catcher James McCann. New York's win total is 90.5. Meanwhile, the Nats could be looking at a down year this season. Their win total is 84.5. The Mets will start ace Jacob deGrom (4-2, 2.38 ERA) while the Nats will start veteran Max Scherzer (5-4, 3.74). This line opened with New York listed as a -135 road favorite. Sharps have rushed to the window to lay the chalk with the Mets, pushing this line up to -145. One variable at play here is the health of the Nats. One Washington player tested positive for COVID yesterday and several others are in quarantine. This could leave the Nats a bit shorthanded. This total opened at 7 and sharps hammered the under, dropping the total to 6.5.