Opening Day Odds, MLB Picks Thursday

The New York Yankees will begin their 2023 campaign with a rare trip to the San Francisco Giants on Thursday afternoon.

With Gerrit Cole on the mound, it’s no surprise that the Bronx Bombers are a big favorite over the Giants, who will square off with Logan Webb.

While the Yankees are slated as one of the favorites to win the World Series and the second choice in the American League, the Giants are projected to be in battle for a wild card spot in the National League.

San Francisco is the +5000 favorite to win the World Series and the eighth-favorite to win the pennant at +2500 on BetMGM.

Yankees Vs. Prophecy of Giants

(1:05 ​​p.m. ET. YES NETWORK)

A trend that always comes up in betting circles around this time of year is that Opening Day has been chalk in Major League Baseball over the past two decades.

According to Action Labs, MLB favorites have gone 169–103 for a 62.1% win rate in season-openers since 2005.

If you bet $100 on the chalk on each of these contests, you would receive $1,497, which is a 5.5% return on investment.

Gerrit Cole #45 of the New York Yankees
Getty Images

Even with that trend in your back pocket, this price looks to be close to Thursday’s midday low.

Cole is coming down in 2022, but his numbers were still great, and projection models predicted we would trend toward the kind of pitcher we saw in his salad days, should he stay healthy.

He should match up very well with the Giants, who finished 2022 with the ninth-highest strikeout rate and were average in home runs hit last season.

Those numbers play to Cole’s strength and away from his weakness.

Likewise, Logan Webb should match up well against a Yankees team that is built to hit dingers.

Only three pitchers did a better job of suppressing longballs than Webb in 2022, and only one (Framber Valdez) boasted a higher groundball rate than the Giants’ ace.

The recipe for stopping this Yankee offense is to keep the ball in the yard, and Webb is well set up to do that.

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Logan Webb #62
San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Logan Webb #62
Getty Images

Everything You Need to Know About MLB Betting

The weather and pitching matchup should provide a decent path to success for bettors, but instead of returning complete-game totals, I’ll split Cole and Webb with first-five-inning play under 3.5.

Yankees Vs. Giants choose

F5 Under 3.5 (+100, BetMGM)

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