Baseball is back! Major League Baseball makes its 2022 debut following a 156-day hiatus, which included a heart-palpitating 99-day lockout that was mere days away from vitally threatening the season’s entirety. Today there is a seven-game schedule (with two early rainouts postponed until Friday), beginning with a National League Central rivalry between the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Midday, the Atlanta Braves host the Cincinnati Reds as they unveil their 2021 championship banner. Concluding the inaugural season’s start out west includes an intriguing duel between Shohei Ohtani and the reigning American League champion Houston Astros. So, there are plenty of great teams and players to make our expert MLB picks and predictions from for the best MLB bets today.
Each day in this article we’ll seek out the best expert MLB bets today based on the potentially most profitable, according to xROI%. Utilizing the groundbreaking tools at OddsShopper to identify outstanding value with optimal returns on investment, parsing and prioritizing our daily wagers is made as easy as filter, sort and bet. OddsShopper not only provides up-to-date odds featured across all major stateside sportsbooks but also the capability of creating a Prop Party Parlay, combining your choice of top picks to maximize on returns.
Best MLB Bets Today: Opening Day Picks & Predictions
New York Mets Moneyline (-128) vs. Washington Nationals
Opening Day’s early evening action convenes with a National League East faceoff between the New York Mets and Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mets right-handed pitcher Tylor Megill receives his first career Opening Day start, going up against veteran lefty Patrick Corbin. Last season the Mets won the regular season series against the Nationals 11-8. The chance of rain hovers at 43% for the 7:05 ET start and forecasts to dissipate over the course of the evening. There is also 86% humidity that will aid in carrying balls further. The Mets offseason featured significant roster additions to both their pitching and offense, including Max Scherzer, Eduardo Escobar and Starling Marte. Washington’s additions since last season pale by comparison, though the addition of Nelson Cruz lends power to their order and Cesar Hernandez provides some versatile talent.
Taking advantage of the tools at Awesemo and OddsShopper, the Mets are mild favorites by the moneyline at -128 odds, with a 55% xWin and a 21.1% return on investment. With a current game total of nine runs and a projected run total of 8.9, both sides are slated to manufacture on offense, while both Corbin and the Nationals bullpen remain suspect following a rough 2021 season. Corbin is due to face five right-handed hitters, two lefties and two switch-hitters (and now a universal designated hitter included in both leagues). Last season Corbin (9-16) had a 17.2% strikeout rate, 1.56 WHIP, 2.4 home runs per nine innings, 6.53 ERA and .302 average against righty hitters. To a similar tune, the Nationals bullpen allowed a 5.08 ERA (second highest in MLB) and a 1.45 HR/9 (third highest) while stranding baserunners at a 67.7% (third worst). Given the circumstance of heavy humidity this evening, Corbin’s glaring 22.6% home run to fly ball rate also stands out. Though the Mets offered meager power hitting against left-handed pitching (.138 ISO) last season, their new-look offense may have something to say about that.
Megill is scheduled to face five right-handed bats, three switch-hitters and one lefty in the lethal Juan Soto. In Megill’s (4-6) rookie year last season, he had some bright spots to celebrate, including a 28.2% strikeout rate and 1.07 HR/9 against righties and 26.7% strikeouts against all hitters. The Mets bullpen also had some mild positives to embrace from 2021, including a 3.90 ERA and 25.8% strikeout rate. Washington’s offense churned out a 21.4% strikeout rate, .252 batting average, .156 ISO and a sub-average 96 wRC+ against righties last season. With the moneyline opening at a modest -125, movement thus far has just inched to the -128 where it remains for the Mets. With one of Opening Day’s higher projected returns on investment, the slight juice on New York’s moneyline is one of Thursday’s best MLB bets.
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Houston Astros Moneyline (+110) vs. Los Angeles Angels
Following a World Series loss to Atlanta, the Houston Astros roll out a similarly potent roster when heading to Anaheim to face their American League West Angels. Houston re-signed veteran Justin Verlander while landing value at shortstop in Niko Goodrum in hopes of alleviating some of the loss in Carlos Correa‘s departure. The Angels have made noticeable waves during the offseason as well, such as the addition of right-handed pitcher Noah Syndergaard. Houston’s Framber Valdez (11-6) will make the Astros’ Opening Day debut on the mound while going toe-to-toe with reigning Most Valuable Player Shohei Ohtani (9-2). Last year the Astros won the season series with the Angeles 13-6. Angels Stadium forecasts as clear skies with no humidity for the 9:38 ET start, though a West Coast heat wave escalating temperatures over 82 degrees around time of first pitch won’t look to cool off until the end of the game.
OddsShopper project the Astros moneyline at +110 odds as the most potentially rewarding of the best MLB bets for Opening Day. It has a 53.8% return on investment and a 73% xWin, and 8.5 total and 9.7 projected runs point to favorable returns on investment as well. Left-handed Valdez is in line to face a daunting seven righty hitters and two lefties in the Angels order. Last year against righties he had a 20.7% strikeout rate, 1.22 WHIP, 3.02 ERA, .219 average and an impressive 0.71 HR/9. The Astros bullpen produced a 25.7% strikeout rate, 4.05 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 1.18 HR/9 in 2021, while the Angels offense against left-handed pitching was also middling. Against the lefty split Los Angeles managed a 21.2% strikeout rate, .318 wOBA and 101 wRC+ in 2021, and Mike Trout is due to return from a lingering calf injury.
Ohtani draws the Angels’ Opening Day mound start on the heels of an impressive 2021 season in all facets. Ohtani is slated to face six right-handed hitters and three lefties. Ohtani’s pitching season was underlined by an outstanding 29.3% strikeout rate, 1.09 WHIP, .205 average against and 1.04 HR/9. When facing right-handed hitters Ohtani manufactured a staggering 33.2% strikeout rate, 0.41 HR/9, 0.90 WHIP and 7.3% walk rate. However, the Angels bullpen wasn’t quite the gauntlet, allowing a 4.59 ERA and 1.40 WHIP, although standing firmly by just a 1.07 HR/9 and 23.5% strikeout rate. Houston’s offense when facing righty pitchers last year manufactured one of the league’s best offenses, producing a 116 wRC+, .176 ISO and .336 wOBA while striking out 19.4% against the split. With respect to a heightened projected run total at 9.7, getting plus-money odds on the Astros at a lofty 73% expected win rate is the most rewarding bet on the day. Lock in the Astros moneyline before the odds shift.
More Quick MLB Picks & Predictions Today
- San Diego Padres Moneyline (-158), 30.4% xROI
- Kansas City Royals Moneyline (+110), 19.2% xROI
- Houston Astros Team Total Over (-120), 24% xROI
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