Major League Baseball Opening Day…does it get any better? As always, opening day in MLB should yield its fair share of upsets. I like Texas to upset Justin Verlander and the Houston Astros. Why? You must keep reading to find out! A couple of other upsets I like on MLB Opening Day March 29 has Tampa Bay taking down Boston, and Seattle beating Cleveland. Keep reading to find out why I’m all over all 3 Major League Baseball Opening Day upsets!
2018 MLB Opening Day Upset Picks
Houston at Texas
When: Thursday, March 29 at 3:30 pm ET
Where: Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, TX
Analysis: World Series defending champion Houston Astros have stated that Verlander is their MLB Opening Day pitcher. Verlander has faced Ranger batters a total of 236 times. He’s yielded 59 hits, 9 being home runs, for a .250 batting average.
Texas sends ace Cole Hamels to the mound to keep the Stros in check. Hamels’ 4.20 ERA last season wasn’t spectacular. It wasn’t that bad either. More importantly, he went 11 and 6.
Verlander and the Astros should be favored. That means my money will land on Hamels and the Rangers. It’s tough to come out firing after winning a World Series. I like Texas on March 29.
Boston at Tampa Bay
When: Thursday, March 29 at 4:00 pm ET
Where: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL
Analysis: Two aces face-off when the Red Sox and Rays battle on opening day. Boston sends the great Chris Sale to take on the rival Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays counter with their ace, Chris Archer.
Sale was brilliant last season. He struck out 308 batters on his way to a 2.98 ERA. Archer only struck out 409 batters. His ERA was 4.07.
Still, I like Archer and Tampa Bay in this matchup. I’m not sure what to make of the Boston Red Sox just yet while I believe the Rays, and Archer, are better in 2018 than they were in 2017. Archer also displayed brilliance in his last Spring Training start.
Pick: Tampa Bay
Cleveland at Seattle
When: Thursday, March 29 at 10:00 pm ET
Where: Safeco Field, Seattle, WA
Analysis: There’s a great chance that Cleveland sends ace Corey Kluber to the mound to pitch on opening day. If they do, Seattle will be a huge underdog. But, I’m not ready to write off the Mariners yet.
Robinson Cano bats .286 versus Kluber. Nelson Cruz bats .283 against Kluber. Ichiro Suzuki bats .500 versus Cleveland’s ace. That gives me confidence that if Kluber does get the start, the Mariners can find a way to pull off the upset.
If Kluber doesn’t get the start, and Seattle becomes the favorite, I might back the Mariners on the run line. Seattle’s likely opening day starter, James Paxton, had a fantastic 2.98 ERA last season. He went 12 and 5.
The Tribe bats .194 versus Paxton. He could dominate Cleveland on March 29.