MLB Opening Day had it all, snow globe home runs, extra-inning thrillers, several upsets for big moneyline underdogs, and of course, a cornucopia of MLB prop bets. And that was just Day 1 of the 162-game season! What will Day in the MLB prop bet market bring us?
We check out a five-inning total in Colorado where Trevor Bauer makes his debut for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and is Frenando Tatis Jr. in for a big night against the Arizona Diamondbacks? That and more in our favorite MLB free prop bets and predictions for Friday, April 2.
Today’s MLB props and picks
Pablo Lopez Over 5.5 Strikeouts (-135)
Picking on the Tampa Bay Rays with strikeout props may become a theme this season. The Rays continued their free-swinging ways in their 1-0 Opening Day win over the Miami Marlins, striking out 12 times in the game.
The Rays struck out more than anyone in baseball last season, striking out 10.4 times per game last season, which was almost half a strikeout more than the next-closest team.
The next pitcher up with a chance to rack up some K’s is the Marlins’ Pablo Lopez. The right-hander had a solid 2020 campaign, pitching to a 3.86 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. While his strikeouts per nine innings is a little lower than you would like at 9.3, Lopez did face the Rays twice last season, punching out 11 batters in 11 innings.
Lopez also recorded six or more Ks in five of his final six starts (including the postseason), so we’re betting he does so once again.
Dodgers-Rockies Five Inning Under 6.5 (-115)
The sky is falling! The Los Angeles Dodgers lost on Opening Day to the lowly Colorado Rockies! Oh, wait. It’s not. Yes, the Rockies upset the Dodgers 8-5 yesterday, in a game featuring the weirdest non-homerun ever and a Clayton Kershaw that didn’t look sharp.
But that’s the joy of baseball. With a huge sample size of 162 games, results like this every now and then are not uncommon. So, I’m sorry Rockies fans, who had a glimmer of hope after yesterday’s win, the Dodgers will likely still end the regular season as the best team in baseball, while the Rockies will be one of the worst.
Example A of why the Dodgers are so good: Kershaw is, at best, their third-best starter at this point in his career. So, L.A. hands the ball to its new ace to try and notch that first win of the season. The big prize of the offseason, and defending Cy Young Award winner: Trevor Bauer.
Bauer makes his Dodgers’ debut after an outstanding season with the Reds where he led the league in ERA (1.78) and WHIP (0.79) and had punched out 12.3 batters per nine innings.
But the Rockies counter with a strong starter of their own in Antonio Senzatela. The Rockies’ right-hander quietly had his best year in Colorado and was one of the team’s bright spots, pitching to a 3.44 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. And while Senzatela had one bad start against the Dodgers last season, his last two starts against them, he allowed just three runs on 10 hits over 11.2 innings of work.
With this pitching matchup and the elevated O/U thanks to Coors Field, this game is a good bet to stay Under its five-inning total.
Fernando Tatis Jr. Over 1.5 Total Bases (+105)
This is supposed to be the San Diego Padres' year, but the Arizona Diamondbacks gave them all they could handle on Opening Day. The Padres edged the D-backs 8-7 in the opener, behind big days from Eric Hosmer and Victor Caratini. It was a bit of a tougher day for start shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., who went 1-5, but left five men on base and struck out five times.
Things won’t get any easier in Game 2, as the Padres face off against Merrill Kelly. The D-backs starter had a solid 2020 campaign, pitching to a 2.59 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP, but one man Kelly has struggled with has been Tatits.
The Padres’ shortstop has five hits in 11 career at-bats (.455 average) against Kelly, including three dingers. We’re betting Tatis announces his arrival to the 2021 MLB season with a big performance in this game, which makes him a good bet to go Over his total bases prop in this one.
Yesterday's MLB record: 2-1, +0.54 units
Season MLB betting record: 2-1, +0.54 units
MLB betting card for April 2
- Pablo Lopez Over 5.5 Strikeouts (-135)
- LAD-COL Five Inning Under 6.5 (-115)
- Fernando Tatis Jr. Over 1.5 Total Bases (+105)
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