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MLB Opening Night, White Sox-Astros, Mariners-Guardians: Best Picks for March 30

Astros Cardinals Baseball

Houston Astros pitcher Framber Valdez throws during the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Thursday, March 2, 2023, in Jupiter, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

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Each day, one of our experts will offer up a best pick (or two or three) that mobile sportsbooks are offering. It might be a traditional spread pick, a player prop or one of the various odds boosts that books offer.

Here are our best picks for Thursday, March 30:


The play: MLB, Astros money line over White Sox

The odds/wager: -135 ($40.50 to win $30)

The book: Caesars Sportsbook

Time/TV: 7 p.m. (ESPN)

Our take: The defending champs open up at home with a crowd that should be hyped up, albeit against a tough opponent. The White Sox are a better team than they showed last season, and they have a starting pitching staff that could make them a serious contender in the American League Central.

However, this is not the best Opening Day matchup for Chicago’s Dylan Cease, to say the least. He has not fared well against the Astros in his career with a 6.30 ERA and a 0-3 record.

Conversely, Houston’s No. 1 starter (they have a few of them), Framber Valdez, has pitched very well against the White Sox, going 3-1 with a 3.41 ERA in 29 innings pitched.

Considering there’s not nearly as much juice on this one for the Astros at home as we might have thought going in, we’ll take what we think could be one of the value plays of the evening.


The play: MLB total, under 6.5 runs scored in Guardians at Mariners

The odds/wager: -110 ($11 to win $10)

The book: Caesars Sportsbook

Time/TV: 10:10 p.m. (MLB TV)

Our take: Two guys who are among the top of the line in potential Cy Young futures in 2023 take the hill in the opener for two teams that likely will be contending for division titles through September.

Both also have fantastic starters at the top of the rotation (and the Mariners are deep throughout). And while one loves to see offense on Opening Day, there’s a good chance fans will be disappointed tonight in the Emerald City.

With Seattle’s Luis Castillo and Cleveland’s Shane Bieber out there, it would be no surprise to see a 1-1 game at the end of 5, and both teams have a good enough bullpen to keep it close through the end.


Wednesday’s best picks

PGA: Si Woo Kim to finish in the top 20 at the Valero Texas Open (PENDING)

NBA: Nets -10.5 over Rockets (LOST $11)

Wednesday’s profit/loss: -$11 (0-1, 1 pending)

Total for the week: -$14.50 (2-3, 1 pending)

Total for March: +$137.40 (31-27, 1 pending)

Total for 2023: +$8.40 (63-67, 1 pending)

NOTE: If a line or odds are minus, it considers the juice one must lay to place the ticket. Ex: Team A is -160 on the money line, one would have to wager $160 to win $100 (or $16 to win $10). OR Team B is a 5-point favorite at -110, one would have to wager $110 to win $100 (or $11 to win $10.)

Conversely, on positive lines, if Team C is +140 on the money line, $100 would bring in $140 (or $10 to win $14).

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