Believe it or not, Major League Baseball is back. A week later than was originally scheduled, it’s Opening Day in Ohio for Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Guardians fans.
The Reds face the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves in a featured prime-time Opening Day game. DraftKings and FanDuel both have the Reds as 1.5-run underdogs to the Braves, with juice at -130 on the Reds side at DraftKings. To win outright, the Reds are +158 at FanDuel on the moneyline.
The Cleveland franchise, playing for the first time under its new name, starts the season on the road at Kansas City as a small favorite (between -120 and -128 on the moneyline) to spoil the Royals’ home opener.
Sports betting in Ohio became legal on Dec. 22 when Gov. Mike DeWine signed HB29, but the mobile sportsbooks are not cleared for launch yet. The law states that sports betting must be launched by Jan. 1, 2023. So, Ohioans interested in placing legal bets on the Reds and Guardians still need to travel outside the Buckeye State.
Modest expectations for Reds
Right-hander Tyler Mahle is on the mound on Opening Day for the Reds, who enter the season with odds of +13000 (FanDuel) and +15000 (DraftKings) to win the World Series. Mahle stepped up last year to post a 13-6 record in his first full season for Cincinnati. He recorded 210 strikeouts on his way to a 3.75 ERA. Mahle appeared ready to go during the spring, fanning 14 batters during 10 2/3 innings of work.
Starting on #OpeningDay for your Cincinnati Reds… Tyler Mahle❗️ pic.twitter.com/4vdw3KsGUL
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) March 23, 2022
Mahle’s elevation to Opening Day starter is due in part to veteran right-hander Luis Castillo being put on the 10-day injured list with a sore right shoulder. Castillo, last year’s Opening Day starter, struck out 192 and walked 75 on his way to a disappointing 8-16 record last season. Will he bounce back this season? DraftKings has odds of +2500 on Castillo finishing as Major League Baseball’s wins leader. The sportsbook also has odds of +3000 on Castillo finishing the season as the league’s strikeout leader.
Left-hander Max Fried is the Thursday starter for the Braves, who are again considered among the favorites to contend for the National League pennant. DraftKings has odds of +950 on the Braves repeating as champs, while FanDuel offers odds of +1200.
Right-hander Shane Bieber is the Opening Day starter for the Guardians, while right-hander Zack Greinke takes the mound for the Royals.