There are a handful of matinees around Major League Baseball on Thursday, which is usually the case as it's often a getaway day for teams. Winning MLB bets is about finding even the smallest advantage, which often can mean when a top player is out of the lineup. That's the case today with Boston All-Star shortstop Xander Bogaerts and Arizona All-Star second baseman Ketel Marte.
The Baltimore Orioles swept the Red Sox three games at Fenway Park to open the season, and the Birds host Boston in their home opener today at 3:05 p.m. ET. Bogaerts is out of the lineup simply for rest. The two-time All-Star and three-time Silver Slugger Award winner is batting .375 with two RBIs on the season. He was just 1-for-12 in the first series vs. the Orioles, however. Utilityman Marwin Gonzalez is starting at shortstop Thursday.
Boston is a -153 favorite on the William Hill Sportsbook MLB odds behind lefty Eduardo Rodriguez. He missed all of last season due to myocarditis but was spectacular in 2019 with a 19-6 record, 3.81 ERA and 213 strikeouts. He is 5-2 with a 2.60 ERA in nine career road starts against the Orioles. Baltimore starts Matt Harvey, who allowed two runs over 4.2 innings in a no-decision last week vs. the Red Sox.
Marte injured his hamstring running to first base on Wednesday in Arizona's 8-0 loss at Coors Field against the Rockies. It's being called a cramp for now, but it sure looked worse than that. Marte is off to a red-hot start, leading the team in average (.452), homers (two), RBIs (five) and OBP (.500). His 1.346 OPS is sixth in the majors.
No Marte is a nice boost for Rockies starter Jon Gray (0-0, 1.80). He was excellent in his season debut at home vs. the Dodgers, allowing one run and striking out seven in five innings – taking a no-decision. Gray had to leave with cramps but is apparently fine. The Diamondbacks counter with Merrill Kelly (0-1, 6.75). He allowed three runs over four innings in an opening loss at San Diego.
The Rockies are -125 favorites for the 3:10 p.m. ET start.
The SportsLine Projection Model, which simulates every pitch of every MLB game 10,000 times, had a banner 2019 season, the league's last full schedule. The model returned more than $1,400 on its top-rated money-line and run-line picks, and anyone who followed it saw HUGE rewards.