Opening Day is here and Major League Baseball is back!
From the first pitch of the season to the coronation of the 2021 World Series Champion, look no further than SportsTips.com for daily MLB picks and predictions!
Look below to find our free MLB Picks for the five best games on today’s schedule!
Toronto Blue Jays @ New York Yankees – 1.05PM ET
The New York Yankees will host the first game of the 2021 season when the Toronto Blue Jays visit Yankee Stadium on Major League Baseball’s Opening Day.
The Yankees will be looking to improve on a 33-27 2020 season that saw them finish with the second best record in the AL East and fifth best record in the American League. While the Blue Jays will be looking to improve on a 32-28 season that saw them finish third in the AL East and eighth in the American League.
After recording back to back 100+ win seasons in 2018 and 2019, the Yankees will be looking to rediscover that form in 2021. Their rotation depth beyond Gerrit Cole is certainly a big question surrounding New York heading into 2021, however if the recently acquired Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon can stay healthy enough to get through the season, the Yankees will be a hard team to beat in the AL.
Gerrit Cole, 97mph ⛽️
And seems pissed off. Because that’s what he does. pic.twitter.com/ml8OEJe0Oz
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 21, 2021
The addition of 2017 World Series MVP, George Springer, has made the Blue Jays lineups one of the fiercest in not only the AL East but the MLB, joining the likes of Cavan Biggio, Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Toronto’s pitching rotation is probably not up to competing with the Yankees for the No. 1 seed in the AL East come the end of the season, however they will certainly be in the mix for postseason due to their firepower at bat.
These two team’s are undeniably going to be amongst the top seeds in the AL East come the season’s end. However, we can’t go past the rejuvenated Yankees dugout to get their season off to the right start, and win game one of the 2021 MLB season at home.
Baltimore Orioles @ Boston Red Sox – 2.10PM ET
Fenway Park will continue its streak as the oldest active ballpark in MLB, when the Boston Red Sox host the Baltimore Orioles on Opening Day.
Boston fans were put through hell last postseason, as they watched their former MVP, Mookie Betts, win his second World Series Championship, this time with the LA Dodgers.
Although Baltimore did not regress as noticeably as Boston did last year, their record was essentially the same, winning just one more game than the Red Sox, for a 25-35 record.
After revealing that he had stage 3 colon cancer and will begin chemotherapy, Trey Mancini was ruled out of the 2020 MLB season. Now back on the Orioles opening day roster, Baltimore will receive both a talent and morale boost heading into 2021.
However, presuming that J.D. Martinez and Rafael Devers can bounce back from poor 2020 seasons, Boston’s lineup will be too strong when coming up against the Orioles on Thursday, even though neither side’s pitching rotation looks like one that is capable of postseason success. Giving Baltimore a 0-1 start, as they look for their first .500 season since 2016.
Pittsburgh Pirates @ Chicago Cubs – 2.20PM ET
Last year’s worst regular season team will get their 2021 season underway in Chicago, when the Cubs host the Pittsburgh Pirates on Opening Day.
After winning just 19 of their 60 games in the COVID-19 shortened season, the Pirates finished the season with an NL Central and MLB worst record of 19–41 and the team’s worst winning percentage since 1952, .317.
Contrastingly, the Chicago Cubs were the best team in the NL East last season, finishing three games clear of the second placed Cardinals with a 34-26 record at the conclusion of the 2020 season.
Play ball! pic.twitter.com/oBm2jU9IrQ
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) March 28, 2021
Having lost Yu Darvish, Jon Lester and Jose Quintana in the most recent offseason, Chicago’s rotation has a lot to prove. However, expect the Cubs lineup to bounce back in 2021 after Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo struggled during last year’s shortened season.
Whereas the Pirates, who are already the worst team in baseball, somehow got worse over the offseason, trading Josh Bell, Joe Musgrove and Taillon.
Given that Pittsburgh are in shambles and the Cubs are at home, we like Chicago to convincingly win this one on Opening Day, getting their 2020 Central Division title defense off to a strong start.
Los Angeles Dodgers @ Colorado Rockies – 4.10PM ET
The Los Angeles Dodgers will get their quest to be named back to back World Series Championships underway against the Rockies in Colorado on Opening Day of the 2021 MLB season.
The Dodgers have an MLB best 43–17 record at the conclusion of the COVID-19 shortened regular-season, before going on to win their first World Series championship since 1988, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays in six games.
Whether they were coming up against the reigning World Series Champions or not, it would be tough to pick Colorado in this encounter given their offseason changes. To the amazement of most of the league, the Rockies traded away five time All-Star, eight time Golden Glove Award recipient, four time Silver Slugger Award recipient, three time NL home run leader and undeniably their best rostered player in 2020, Nolan Arenado, to the St Louis Cardinals.
However, Colorado are coming up against the reigning World Series Champions, who will still be boasting +350 favoritism to go back to back as champions in 2021. It is near impossible to pick against a lineup that features Mookie Betts, Corey Saeger and Cody Bellinger, as well as a rotation that features Clayton Kershaw. This squad is stacked.
The Rockies playing at home is the only thing that is in their favor in this matchup, however Colorado had a worse record at home last season than they did on the road. Essentially negating their home field advantage.
The Dodgers will get their quest for a second consecutive World Series Championship and a ninth consecutive NL West title, off to a strong start with a win on the road against the Rockies.
New York Mets @ Washington Nationals – 7.09PM ET
Two fringe playoff teams from 2020 will face off on Opening Night, when the Washington Capitals host the New York Mets on Thursday.
Both New York and Washington finished 2020 with a 26-34 record, as the Capitals concluded the season in fourth place in the NL East and the Mets finished last.
However, with both sides finishing just nine wins behind the division leading Braves, the NL East was the tightest top to bottom division in the MLB last season.
Admittedly Washington did have a disappointing 2020 season after winning the 2019 World Series Championship, however the Nationals still boast one of the best rotations in the league with Max Scherzer, Patrick Corbin and Stephen Strasburg.
Francisco Lindor’s last 6 spring training games (21 AB):
1.617 OPS pic.twitter.com/d0RYnh9cVt
— SNY (@SNYtv) March 23, 2021
Whereas a productive offseason will see the Mets enter the season with a roster that has the potential to win the 2021 World Series. The addition of shortstop Francisco Lindor has significantly boosted their lineup, while the return of Noah Syndergaard from surgery has made the rotation that also features Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman as good as any in baseball.
With identical 2020 records that saw Nationals have a superior record at home and the Mets have a superior record on the road, this encounter has the potential to be a nailbiter. However, although the game is in Washington, we like the new look Mets to get their 2021 season off to a strong start with a big win on the road.
If you need more news, information and predictions, head over to our MLB hub page for all your baseball needs!
Want more picks? We have just launched our Premium Picks service, and for a limited time only, it is free! *T&Cs Apply.
*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.