The 2018 Major League Baseball Season starts on Thursday, March 29th.
My MLB Opening Day expert picks start with the Chicago Cubs at the Miami Marlins. Can the new look Marlins beat one of the top teams in the NL?
Another game I like has the Yankees battling Toronto. Can the Yankees start their season with a win?
The final game on my expert picks list is Milwaukee at San Diego. Has San Diego improved at all? Or, will Milwaukee squash the Padres?
2018 MLB Opening Day Expert Picks
Chicago Cubs at Miami
When: Thursday, March 29 at 12:30 pm ET
Where: Marlins Park, Miami, FL
Analysis: The Cubs have stated that Jon Lester is their opening day pitcher. Lester had a 4.33 ERA to go along with a 13 and 8 record last season. He’s only faced Miami batters 44 times. That’s not enough at-bats for me to conclude how well Lester will pitch versus Miami.
One thing I do know is that the Marlins went through serious changes over the fall and winter. Miami can no longer count on one of the hardest hitting lineups in the NL because they rid themselves of both Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna.
I think the Cubs should come out on fire. Chicago is searching for another World Series win. Lester should have his good stuff going early this season.
Pick: Chicago Cubs
NY Yankees at Toronto
When: Thursday, March 29 at 3:30 pm ET
Where: Rogers Center, Toronto, Ontario, CA
Analysis: At one point during the fall, the Yankees were +550 favorites to win the World Series. Right now, NYY is at +600. They’re the third choice after the Astros and the Dodgers.
NYY said that they’re starting Luis Severino on March 29. That’s a good sign for Yankee fans. If Severino can get off to a hot start, the Yankees should have no trouble making it to the postseason.
Versus Toronto, Severino hasn’t always had success. He’s allowed the Blue Jays to bat .296 against him. That’s from 77 at-bats.
On the flip side, Toronto listed starter A.J. Happ yields a .229 batting average from 153 at-bats. Happ could pitch decently on March 29. I’ll go with Toronto.
Milwaukee at San Diego
When: Thursday, March 29 at 4:10 pm ET
Where: Petco Park, San Diego, CA
Analysis: Milwaukee opening day starter Chase Anderson had an incredibly effective 2017. He went 12 and 4. His ERA came out to 2.74. His WHIP came out to 1.09.
Anderson, like most pitchers that throw at Petco Park, has been great versus the San Diego Padres. The Padres bat .222 versus Chase Anderson.
The Padres will attempt to counter Anderson with Clayton Richard. Milwaukee’s taken Richard to the woodshed in the past. The Brewers bat .317 versus Richard. They have 19 hits from 60 at-bats.
The Brew Crew will beat the Padres by at least 2 runs on March 29.