Last Updated on July 20, 2020

The 2020 MLB season is almost upon us and Opening Day will give bettors their first chance to win some money on baseball since the 2019 World Series. With the long delay to the season due to COVID-19, fans are chomping at the bit for baseball.

The 2020 MLB betting season will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen. People generally describe a typical 162-game MLB season as a marathon. This year’s 60-game schedule is closer to a 60-yard sprint rather than a marathon. The margin for error is so small for teams and every game counts. That includes Opening Day.

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Opening Day (Night) Features World Series Contenders

The first night of baseball will feature a doubleheader with plenty of star power. On Thursday night, the New York Yankees will travel south to face the reigning World Series champion Washington Nationals in the first game of the season. Gerrit Cole and Max Scherzer will face off in an epic battle of power pitchers. Cole and the Yankees open as slight favorites and most of the cash put down on the game is on the pinstripes.

Over on the west coast, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants are set to square off. The Dodgers are significant favorites and that should come as no surprise. Clayton Kershaw will take the ball for Los Angeles and he’ll duel with Giants starter Johnny Cueto. Although only 55% of the total handle is on the Dodgers, 82% of all tickets placed are on LA.


The Public Loves The Favorites

The Thursday night games are no outlier. The public is going in heavy on the favorites on Friday’s slate as well. The most jarring betting splits are between the Philadelphia Phillies and Miami Marlins. Philly accounts for 87% of all tickets placed on that matchup, but that’s nothing compared to the 96% of the total handle that the Phillies are bringing in.

That massive disparity between favorite and underdog is par for the course. The New York Mets, Tampa Bay Rays, Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, San Diego Padres, and Houston Astros are all bringing in a majority of the money on their games.

An interleague matchup between West division foes is the one game that shatters this trend. The Colorado Rockies are the one clear outlier on Opening Day. Despite opening as a +123 underdog, Colorado accounts for 93% of the total handle in their matchup with the Texas Rangers. Clearly, MLB bettors aren’t sold on the Rangers yet.


2020 MLB Opening Day Public Picks

Teams Odds % Handle % Bets
NY Yankees -139 77% 76%
WAS Nationals +120 23% 24%
SF Giants +275 45% 18%
LA Dodgers -335 55% 82%
ATL Braves +114 37% 44%
NY Mets -129 63% 56%
DET Tigers +160 13% 37%
CIN Reds -182 87% 63%
TOR Blue Jays +148 21% 30%
TB Rays -167 79% 70%
MIA Marlins +175 4% 13%
PHI Phillies -205 96% 87%
KC Royals +195 15% 20%
CLE Indians -230 85% 80%
MIL Brewers +110 38% 69%
CHI Cubs -124 62% 31%
BAL Orioles +170 12% 15%
BOS Red Sox -195 88% 85%
COL Rockies +123 93% 64%
TEX Rangers -139 7% 36%
MIN Twins -115 51% 45%
CHI White Sox +102 49% 55%
PIT Pirates +155 26% 21%
STL Cardinals -177 74% 79%
ARI Diamondbacks +114 29% 75%
SD Padres -129 71% 25%
SEA Mariners +245 45% 14%
HOU Astros -286 55% 86%
LA Angels +114 50% 46%
OAK Athletics -129 50% 54%

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