MLB Bets for Friday, April 2 - Back the Dodgers and White Sox to Bounce Back

SI Gambling analyst Roy Larking previews Friday's MLB betting action and shares his two top picks on his baseball betting card.
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MLB Opening Day Betting Recap

MLB 2021 Opening Day action featured several close contests as eight of 13 games were decided by just one run. That helped underdogs dominate with a staggering 12–1 record on run line bets. 

Kansas City was the lone favorite to cover the spread as they posted a 14–10 win at home against Texas. Underdogs posted a profit taking 8–5 record on moneyline wagers as well. There were several high scoring contests as 13 or more runs were scored in five games, while nine or more runs were scored in seven games. That led to OVER bets having an 8–5 edge on run total tickets.

The Rockies (+185) defeating the Dodgers, plus the Pirates (+180) win against the Cubs, were the two biggest upsets. The Bluejays and Tigers both won outright as (+160) underdogs against the Yankees and Indians. The Washington Nationals vs. New York Mets game was canceled due to COVID-19 issues. As long as neither team has another positive test, that series will start on Saturday. The Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles contest was canceled due to rain so that series will begin today. Opening Day of the most important baseball season since 1994, was exiting and entertaining.

Bet on MLB game lines, props and futures all season at DraftKings

Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies

Playing the second contest of a three-game series, Colorado hosts Los Angeles tonight. Game time for the Rockies vs. Dodgers matchup is slated for 8:40 p.m. ET at Coors Field in Denver, Colo. 

Posting the biggest upset on Opening Day, Colorado defeated Los Angeles 8–5 yesterday. Clayton Kershaw allowed five earned runs, on 10 hits over 5.2 innings, and took the loss. The Dodgers stranded 14 base runners and were 3-for-16 with runners in scoring position. Colorado was up 2­–1, after four innings, and padded their lead with two runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.

Trevor Bauer makes his debut on the mound for Los Angeles tonight. One of the biggest names on the offseason free agent list, Bauer and the Dodgers agreed to a three-year, $102 million deal in February. Bauer won the 2020 NL Cy Young Award after posting a 1.73 ERA and striking out 100 batters over 73 innings pitched. He allowed two earned runs or less during 10-of-12 starts for the Cincinnati Reds last season. Antonio Senzatela heads to the hill for Colorado. He allowed nine earned runs, on 17 hits over 17 innings pitched, and was 1–1 during three starts against the Dodgers last year.

Dating back to the final meeting last season, Los Angeles has lost two straight games to Colorado. The Dodgers have not lost three in a row to the Rockies since Aug. 12, 2018. Los Angeles is 5–2 straight up and against the spread during the last seven games in Denver. The Rockies averaged 9.05 strikeouts per game last season, which was the ninth highest team total in the league. The gives Bauer an edge as he averaged 12.3 strikeouts per nine innings pitched last year. Expecting a strong outing from Bauer, plus more production from the LA offense, lay the run line and back the Dodgers.

Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5 (-175) ATS at DraftKings

Betting Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook – Game Time 8:40 p.m. ET

Betting Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook – Game Time 8:40 p.m. ET

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Chicago White Sox at Los Angeles Angels

Following a 4–3 loss to Los Angeles last night, Chicago looks to bounce back in the second of a four-game series tonight. First pitch for the White Sox vs. Angels matchup is scheduled for 9:38 p.m. ET at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif. Chicago was up 3–2 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning last night. Mike Trout had an RBI single to tie the score, and Albert Pujols drove in the winning run with a bases loaded ground out. Chicago committed a throwing error, plus a passed ball, to help fuel the Angels’ eighth inning rally. Los Angeles (+100) won as a slight underdog at home.

Now in his second season with Chicago, Dallas Keuchel gets the start for the White Sox . He was 6–2 with a 1.99 ERA over 11 starts last season. Keuchel last faced the Angeles twice back in 2018 when he was with Houston. He won both games as Los Angeles scored just two earned runs, on seven hits, over 14.2 innings. Andrew Heaney is the starter for Los Angeles. He went 4–3 with a 4.46 ERA over 12 starts last season. The Angles have won four straight against the White Sox when Heaney starts. One run decided all four games, including a pair of 8–7 wins by Los Angeles back in 2019.

Chicago enters the season with high-expectations. They are currently ranked as the fourth favorite to win the World Series with a +850 futures price at DraftKings. Losing slugger Eloy Jimenez, for five to six months due to a pectoral injury, has tempered expectations slightly. Jimenez had a .296 batting average, and hit 14 home runs, over 55 games last season. The Angeles rank 17th overall with a +4000 MLB championship moneyline. Expecting more offense from Chicago, plus a strong start from Keuchel, avoid the expensive run line odds and bet on the White Sox moneyline price.

Pick: Chicago White Sox (+108) moneyline at DraftKings

Betting Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook – Game Time 9:38 p.m. ET

Betting Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook – Game Time 9:38 p.m. ET

2021 MLB Regular Season Betting Record: 0–2