The Potential Players Report For MLB Opening Picks

Author: Mansi


Opening picks for the MLB are here to help you make the right bets. This will cover the pitchers who will be playing this season, specifically in the Opening Day games. 

Gerrit Cole (the Yankees) vs. Max Scherzer (the Nationals)

The Opening Day this season will see the Yankees pitted against the reigning World Series Champions, the Washington Nationals.

Scherzer’s over and under bets for strikeouts on most sportsbooks are at 8.5 for this game. He finished the previous season with a good record of 11-7 in 27 games that he started. He managed to strike out 12.69 batters per nine innings and has an impressive FIP of 2.45. 

Max Scherzer also played as a pitcher in three inter-league games where he struck out 33 batters in 74 plate appearances. He also walked two batters. But it is important to note the caveat to these impressive stats - these three games were played against the Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, and Detroit Tigers.

His season in 2019 went smoothly also because he never went up against very strong offensive players throughout the season. However, the Yankees are pretty solid in that department, striking out 8.94 times every game in the last season. This helped them get to 17th in the majors, which is not too shoddy. 

Their average was only slightly lower in 2018 at 8.73 times a game. One of his best stretches came in June and July of the 2019 season when he averaged a much higher 0.88 strikeouts per game. 

But his performance in this game, especially with respect to how long he will be out to pitch, is under question. The last two times he started against the Astros in the World Series, he only went five innings per start and struck out a total of 10 batters. This is relevant because the Yankees and the Astros are comparable concerning their roster. 

Let’s take a look at Gerrit Cole on the other side. He was phenomenal last season when three games ended with Cole striking out double digits against an NL opponent. To look at his total tally of strikeouts, he has struck out 14 Brewers, 12 Cubs, and 10 Rockies. These are just his double-digit strikeouts. He played against a couple of more teams where he was just one or two strikeouts away from a double-digit record. His over/under is now set at 7.5, which I think is grossly underpriced in comparison to Scherzer. 

Hitters Predictions - Johnny Cueto (SF) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers Lineup

The Dodgers will all be up against Cueto on Friday, the full Opening Day with all the teams playing matches. Cueto will be taking the mound, and he’s had a mixed performance over the past few seasons. He only played four starts in 2019 because of an injury for which he needed surgery. This injury was plaguing him in the 2018 season as well when he played only nine games total. He was an all-star back in 2016, but only time will tell how he will play this season. The Dodgers have powerful players in their lineup including superstar Mookie Betts and solid stable performance is expected from Justin Turner. 

Bellinger played an exceptional game last year with his hitting - hitting .317 with 29 home runs against right-handed players. Another left-handed player is Corey Seager who hit .289 against righties with 13 home runs, along with an on-base percentage of .348. 

They also have Joc Pederson, who is esteemed for his 36 home runs from the last season alone, all of which were against right-handed pitching. Pederson has the knack to thrash right-handed pitching. But his weaknesses have shown while up against Cueto, going 2-20. Only one of those hits was a home run after all.

Also, Justin Turner, a right-handed hitter who plays in the middle of the lineup, has a record of hitting .355 against Cueto with 11 hits. Bellinger has only hit .353 against Cueto with six hits which included a home run. Mookie Betts, the star of the team, has played against Cueto four times when he went 3-4 with a double and two singles.

This is finally going to come down to the Dodgers outdoing Cueto. Cueto has to ease into the game, and the Dodgers are more likely to stand tall against his pitching. Bet over for this Dodgers game on the Dodgers, which is what most sportsbooks are offering. Over/under for total hits by the Dodgers is at 9.5, which is also a great bet.  


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