MLB Thursday Odds: Opening Day Arrives

Major League Baseball is finally back, as the shortened season begins Thursday night with a pair of games on the schedule.

First up is the New York Yankees at the Washington Nationals. At the Bovada Sportsbook the Yankees are a -145 road favorite and the Nationals are a +125 home underdog.

This will also be the Yankees debut for starter Gerrit Cole. He signed with the Yankees in the offseason after going 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA with the Houston Astros last season. He faced Washington twice in last year’s World Series, going 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA.

The Nationals will counter with their ace Max Scherzer. Last season during an injury-shortened year Scherzer was 11-7 with a 2.92 ERA. In seven career starts against the Yankees Scherzer is 4-3 with a 4.04 ERA.

The Yankees and Nationals last met in 2018 when they split a four-game series 2-2. In their last 13 road games against Washington the Yankees are 7-6.

The Nationals are expected to field their regular lineup Thursday night, minus opt-outs Ryan Zimmerman, Joe Ross and Wellington Castillo.

The Yankees expect Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and D.J. LeMahieu to all play Thursday despite previous injury concerns. However, closer Aroldis Chapman isn’t expected to be available after testing positive for coronavirus earlier this month.

Dodgers heavy favorites hosting the rival Giants

In Thursday night’s other game, the Los Angeles Dodgers play host to the San Francisco Giants. At Bovada the Dodgers are -310 favorites and the Giants are a +255 underdog.

Getting the start for the Dodgers will be Clayton Kershaw. Last season he posted an ERA over three for the first time since his rookie season, going 16-5 with a 3.03 ERA. In 49 career starts against the Giants he is 23-12 with a 1.74 ERA.

Veteran Johnny Cueto is scheduled to start for San Francisco. After returning from a year layoff due to Tommy John surgery he went 1-2 with a 5.06 ERA in four starts last season. His final start last season was against the Dodgers in which he took the loss after surrendering five runs on five hits in two innings.

In 2019 the Dodgers were 12-7 in 19 games against the Giants, which included going 7-2 in their last nine matchups.

The Giants will be a little shorthanded Thursday night. Catcher Buster Posey has opted out for the season, while Evan Longoria and Brandon Belt will begin the season on the injured list, and Hunter Pence is questionable with a foot injury.