Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout hits against the Oakland Athletics during the third inning of a spring training baseball game, Friday, March 5, 2021, in Mesa, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
- The 2021 MLB season starts today with a full 15-game slate
- Player props have only been posted for the three earliest games as of Thursday morning
- See the available player props plus best bets for the first day of the 162-game season
As the 2021 MLB season kicks off today, sportsbooks are offering their first slate of player prop bets for the year.
Oddsmakers appear to be hesitant to offer too much too quickly. Early-season games tend to be high-risk areas for sportsbooks. Roughly 12 hours before first pitch, player props are available for just three games (the three earliest).
The table below outlines the main hitter and pitcher props available at FanDuel early on April 1st. It will be updated as more games are added to the board.
MLB Player Props for Opening Day
|Blue Jays vs Yankees||1+ Home Runs||1+ Hits at FanDuel||No Hits||Pitcher Strikeouts|
|Teoscar Hernandez (TOR)||+300||-180||+140||N/A|
|Vlad Guerrero Jr (TOR)||+360||-280||+210||N/A|
|Bo Bichette (TOR)||+440||-310||+230||N/A|
|Hyun-Jin Ryu (TOR)||N/A||N/A||N/A||5.5 (+116o/-148u)|
|Aaron Judge (NYY)||+240||-240||+180||N/A|
|Giancarlo Stanton (NYY)||+210||-230||+172||N/A|
|DJ LeMahieu (NYY)||+470||-350||+250||N/A|
|Gerrit Cole (NYY)||N/A||N/A||N/A||8.5 (-106o/-122u)|
|Cleveland vs Tigers||1+ Home Runs||1+ Hits at FanDuel||No Hits||Pitcher Strikeouts|
|Jose Ramirez (CLE)||+420||-260||+190||N/A|
|Eddie Rosario (CLE)||+500||-280||+210||N/A|
|Shane Bieber (CLE)||N/A||N/A||N/A||O/U 8.5 (-102o/-126u)|
|Jeimer Candelario (DET)||+550||-185||+140||N/A|
|Miguel Cabrera (DET)||+700||-195||+144||N/A|
|Matthew Boyd (DET)||N/A||N/A||N/A||5.5 (+132o/-168u)|
|Orioles vs Red Sox||1+ Home Runs||1+ Hits at FanDuel||No Hits||Pitcher Strikeouts|
|Ryan Mountcastle (BAL)||+700||-420||OFF||N/A|
|Trey Mancini (BAL)||+400||-280||OFF||N/AD|
|John Means (BAL)||N/A||N/A||N/A||4.5 (+114o/-146u)|
|Rafael Devers (BOS)||+360||-500||OFF||N/A|
|JD Martinez (BOS)||+420||-470||OFF||N/A|
|Nathan Eovaldi (BOS)||N/A||N/A||N/A||5.5 (+128o/-164u)|
Odds as of 1:37 am ET, April 1st.
Cole’s Ks Are Too High
For all intents and purposes, Gerrit Cole has been “Gerrit Cole” for three seasons. During his first five seasons with Pittsburgh, his best strikeout-per-nine number was 9.0. In two years with Houston and one in the Bronx, he’s been at 11.6 or higher.
His three Opening Day starts in that time have all be excellent. He’s averaged 6.0 IP and 8.67 Ks per game. Those numbers would be even higher if not for a weather delay last season, which sent him to the dugout with five Ks after just five one-hit, one-run innings.
That said, last year he started 15 games and only had a K total over 8.5 in seven of them. In his two starts against the Jays, he had eight and seven, both over seven innings of work.
Against the roster the Blue Jays will field this season (minus George Springer, who’s on the IL), he has recorded a strikeout on roughly 45% of his outs. At that rate, he would need to record 20 outs to reach at least nine Ks.
I’m not banking on Cole going past the sixth in the first start of a very long season, especially against a solid Toronto lineup that made him work last year.
2021 World Series Odds Tracker
Bieber Is Too Good for the Tigers
The second game of the day is a complete pitching mismatch between Shane Bieber, the reigning Cy Young-winner, and Matthew Boyd, the worst starting pitcher in baseball.
But I’m not here to pick on poor old Matty. I’m here to pick on the Tiger hitters, in particular, Jeimer Candelario. The best batter in the Detroit lineup (actually, make that second-best; hat-tip to the young Willi Castro) is 2-for-15 in his career versus Bieber with seven Ks and no extra-base hits.
He also doesn’t have a hit off of Cleveland’s trio of late-inning relievers Nick Wittgren (0-for-3), James Karinchak (0-for-1), and Emmanuel Clase (0-for-1). At +140, there needs to be a 42% chance of Candelario going hitless for this bet to have positive expected value.
Candelario has averaged 3.65 at-bats per game over the past three seasons. He has two career in 19 at-bats against the four pitchers he’s most likely to face (10.5%). If those rates continue, there is only a 38.4% chance Candelario records a hit tomorrow.
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Sascha was a hockey player in his youth, a lawyer in his capricious mid-20s, and has now been an assigning editor, writer, and lead oddsmaker for SBD for over five years. He covers everything you can possibly put odds on, but specializes in football, baseball, hockey, and basketball.