Losing any wager always seems to hurt the most when the results end up in the complete opposite direction of what you had originally predicted. That's what happened to me on Tuesday with my prop selections.
Unfortunately for me, I went 1-2 which sits me below .500 with a 4-5 record for the first week of the MLB season.
Thursday's MLB slate is a getaway day type schedule with several afternoon games that I had no interest in incorporating into this article. There are five games to cap off the night heading into the weekend, and I don't want to jinx myself by saying I love the board, but I'm not uncertain about my picks.
For those new to my articles, my approach to betting MLB games differs from most, but I am no stranger to picking sides as well. I tend to focus on first inning props as I feel this is a great opportunity to play a team based on emotion, a hunch, the starting pitcher or the conditions.
These three props were my bread and butter last season, and I thoroughly enjoy reaping the rewards of a quick win rather than sitting through a three-and-a-half-hour snooze fest of a game.
The first inning props I will be focusing on are as follows: Will there be a run in the first inning? Yes/No. & Total Hits/Runs/Errors in the first
The third prop I love to wager on are team totals. You can make a lot of money fading gas-cans or riding a hot pitcher.
Let's take a look at three of my favorite prop options that are on the board tonight. As always, odds and lines are courtesy of bovada.lv
Cincinnati Reds @ Chicago Cubs
Total Hits/Runs/Errors in First Inning
"Over" 3 +145, "Under" 3 -175
The first thing you must understand is that this prop takes into account both the top and bottom of the first innings. Three is a winner, not a push.
If you told me before the season began that the Reds were going to be above .500 in their first eight games of the season, I would have laughed at you and tried to convince you to fade them every game.
They are 10th in runs scored per game at 4.5 and sixth overall with six stolen bases early on in the year. It seems as if they are getting the clutch hits at just the right time and are closing games out despite losing fireball closer Aroldis Chapman.
They will be facing off against Jason Hammel, who, in his last start gave up a couple of hits in the first inning and got himself into a jam. I expect more of the same against the Reds in this contest as I don't believe Hammel is that good of a pitcher.
On the flip side of the coin is a solid-hitting Cubs squad that comes into this game 7-1 on the season and is looking for their best franchise start since 1969. The Cubbies are averaging seven runs per game, nine hits per game and boast a .381 on-base percentage, which his best in the major leagues. They should be able to continue that production at home against a mediocre-at-best pitcher.
For whatever it's worth, the Astros exacted a little revenge on the Royals in the first game of the series taking that game by a score of 8-2. In the next two games that has followed, they have scored two runs each contest and are in danger of losing another series early on in the season.
Whether it's a post-season hangover or just finding themselves up against some great pitching, the Astro bats have struggled to the tune of a .249 batting percentage.
It doesn't get any easier in the finale as they will go up against right-hander Ian Kennedy, who is aiming to open up with back-to-back wins for the first time since 2012. Kennedy is coming off a solid showing in his debut, allowing only five hits while striking out seven in six and two third shutout baseball.
I like this matchup for Kennedy as he has fared well against Houston in the past by allowing a single earned run in 12 and two thirds inning and winning both starts.
I like history to repeat itself in a low-scoring Kansas City style game.
Pick: Team Total "Under" 4 -110
Baltimore Orioles @ Texas Rangers
Will There Be A Run Scored In The First Inning
"Yes" EVEN "No" -130
The Orioles scored 40 runs in recording the franchise's first 7-0 start since moving to Baltimore in 1954, but their bats could only generate two runs in Wednesdays 4-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox.
The Orioles might be in for another frustrating night when they go up against Texas' ace Cole Hamels. The south-paw is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA this season alone, but he has not lost dating back to August 23, 2015 (9-0, 2.96 ERA).
They key to this prop is fading the bats of either team as they are both coming off lengthy flights. The Orioles are coming off a long flight and a short turnaround for this contest, and I expect them to sleep walk through the first inning against one of the better pitchers in the American League.
On the flip side, Texas is coming home after completing a lengthy six-game trip on the west coast and should take a few innings to get re-acclimated to their home grounds.
Pick: "No" -130
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