New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom throws during the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Sunday, March 21, 2021, in West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
- Major League Baseball’s 2021 regular season gets underway on 15 fronts on Thursday, April 1st
- The New York Mets (.661) are the winningest franchise in Opening Day history
- The Houston Astros have won eight straight openers
For starters, no team in MLB is better than the New York Mets. In fact, when it comes to opening up successfully, no team in North American professional sports can hold a candle to the success rate of the Mets on Opening Day
Over the past 51 years, the Mets are 39-12 in season openers. Through the entire history of the franchise, New York’s National League club owns a .661 Opening-Day winning percentage. That’s not only the best in baseball, it’s the #1 season-opening win rate of any team in the four major North American sports (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL).
When it comes to hot hands, right now, all teams take a back seat to the Houston Astros in the MLB odds. They’ve won eight openers in a row. That’s the longest active winning streak in MLB.
The New York Yankees have won their past three season openers. Surprisingly, the generally woeful Baltimore Orioles are 8-2 on Opening Day over the past decade.
The MLB season gets underway on 15 fronts on Thursday, April 1st. Let’s look at the best bets for Opening Day.
April 1st MLB Opening Day Picks
|Toronto Blue Jays||+155||+1.5 (-144)||O 8.0 (-106)|
|New York Yankees||-188||-1.5 (+122||U 8.0 (-114)|
|Cleveland Indians||-192||-1.5 (+108)||O 7.5 (-110)|
|Detroit Tigers||+158||+1.5 (-126)||U 7.5 (-110)|
|New York Mets||-152||-1.5 (+134)||O 7.0 (-104)|
|Washington Nationals||+126||+1.5 (-158)||U 7.0 (-118)|
Odds as of March 30th at FanDuel.
Mets Are Opening Day Warriors
It’s a rematch of the 2019 Opening Day showdown, as Jacob deGrom and the Mets travel to Nationals Park to face Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals. In 2019, deGrom and the Mets got the better of Scherzer and the Nats in a 2-0 victory.
Overall, the Mets haven’t allowed a run in their last 20 Opening-Day innings. They were 1-0 winners last season over the Atlanta Braves.
Starting the last two season openers, deGrom is 1-0 and hasn’t allowed a run. He’s surrendered six hits and struck out 18 over 11 innings in those two games.
Pick: New York Mets (-152)
Stanton Is Yankees Good Luck Charm
Since trading for Giancarlo Stanton in 2018, the Yankees have never lost on Opening Day. After missing 181 of 222 games over the past two seasons through injury, Stanton, who clouted 59 homers for the Marlins in 2017, is healthy and crushing baseballs again.
Giancarlo Stanton on Opening Day with the Yankees (2018-2020)
6-for-11, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 5 R
— The Short Porch (@short_porch) March 30, 2021
This game matches the two pitchers who finished 3-4 in AL Cy Young Award voting last season – Toronto’s Hyun Jin Ryu and Gerrit Cole of the Yankees. Cole is averaging a 36.6% strikeout rate over the past three seasons.
Pick: New York Yankees (-188)
Believe in Bieber
Using Opening Day 2020 as a launching pad for his AL Cy Young Award win, Cleveland ace Shane Bieber struck out a franchise-record 14 batters. That total was one shy of the MLB Opening-Day mark.
Matthew Boyd also set the tone for his season in the Tigers’ 2020 opener. Taking a 7-1 loss against Cincinnati. Boyd surrendered four earned runs and a homer in five innings. He allowed the most earned runs (45), homers (15) and suffered the most losses (seven) in the AL last season.
Pick: Cleveland -1.5 (+108)
Houston Has a Problem
Zack Greinke will make his fifth career Opening-Day start as he tries to extend Houston’s Game 1 run of success to nine. However, Greinke is winless on Opening Day. He’s 0-1 with an 8.20 ERA.
Zack Greinke gets the Opening Day start in his 18th season.
— MLB Vault (@MLBVault) March 24, 2021
Eventual AL West winners Oakland took its opener last season on a walkoff grand slam by Matt Olson.
Pick: Oakland Athletics (-108)
An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.