Much like I wrote about for the NCAA Tournament, taking some time off to regroup is usually the first step that leads to a bounce back for bettors. I am hoping the same can be said for me as I laid low over the weekend and need a solid performance today to get me on the right track moving forward.
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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 inning.
The third prop I love to wager on are team totals. You can make a lot of money fading gas-cans and 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
Baltimore Orioles @ Boston Red Sox
Total Hits/Runs/Errors in First Inning
"Over" 3 +105, "Under" 3 -135
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.
We all saw what happened yesterday with two much better pitchers on the hill for both teams. Five first-inning hits, three first-inning runs, both teams went over their team total and a run in the first inning cashed at a nice price.
Today, we get to bet against two much worse starters and hope the offense can continue smashing the ball like it did yesterday. Mike Wright gets the start for Baltimore and should be on a very short leash should Baltimore want to improve to 7-0 on the season. Wright went 0-5 with a 10.88 ERA over his final six starts last year. Boston has scored at least six runs in five of their first six games, which bodes well for the "over" backers.
On the flip side, Baltimore will get to bat first against Clay Buchholz, who got shelled in his first start of the season by giving up four first inning runs and only lasting four innings against a weaker-hitting Cleveland lineup.
Offensively, for both teams there should be little to no changes in the batting order as these two teams have been able to put up runs in bunches.
I'd recommend a play to the "Over" on the total as well, which currently sits at 9 -110.
Pick: "Over" 3 +105
San Diego Padres @ Philadelphia Phillies
Team Total: San Diego Padres
"Over"4 +110, "Under" 4 -140
It's hard to imagine what gets said in the clubhouse of a team that gets shut out three straight games to start the year. Sure, they were going up against some top-quality pitching in Clayton Kershaw, Scott Kazmir and rookie phenom Kenta Maeda, but that is still an embarrassing defeat.
Fortunately for the Padres, they got their groove back by lighting up the scoreboard in Colorado and took two of three from the Rockies. They then proceeded to ruin the Phillies home-opener and win that game by a score of 4-3. I think this team has figured out its hitting woes for now and I would be stupid to not continue to ride their hot lineup.
They will be facing off against Charlie Morton, who sports a 14.73 ERA and 1.91 WHIP in one game this season - a 10-6 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.
Morton was in trouble more often than not throughout his rocky four-inning debut, and the same should be expected when he takes to the rubber today.
This Phillies rotation/bullpen scares nobody, and at such a low total the over is definitely the play.
Pick: Team Total "Over" 4 +110
San Francisco Giants @ Colorado Rockies
Will There Be A Run Scored In The First Inning
Hear me out for a second. The San Diego Padres were shut out in three straight games to start the season. They arrived at Coors Field and proceeded to put up 16 and 13 runs in back to back games. If that lineup can do it, the San Francisco Giants sure as hell can.
Coors Field is a hitter's paradise, and I expect both teams to get on the board early in the first inning. We are wagering against two mediocre pitchers who should fall victim to the hitting barrage Coors Field is home to.
On the bump for the Rockies is Tyler Chatwood, who gave up three home runs and walked four batters the last time he faced SF. I like my chances for history to repeat itself early and often in this game.
Conversely, any time you can bet against Jeff Samardzija, you should run with the opportunity. He was a decent pitcher a few years back but has bounced around a few different teams lately and is a shell of his former self. In his Giants debut he gave up three runs and walked three through five-and-one-third innings.
The total is set at 11 for a reason. The party gets started early in this one. Take the "Yes" option.
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