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Just 10 teams are in action around Major League Baseball after Thursday's jampacked Opening Day slate. Read on for our top MLB prop picks and best bets for Friday based on the best MLB odds.

Some achievements in baseball are overblown simply because they happened on Opening Day. However, Baltimore Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman (the first catcher with five hits on Opening Day since 1900, per ESPN Stats & Info) and San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees starters Logan Webb and Gerrit Cole (each set franchise records for strikeouts on Opening Day with 12) had historic debuts. Whose statistics will jump off the page Friday?

Here are our top MLB prop picks and best bets for Friday (odds via MLB betting sites, DraftKings Sportsbook, BetMGM; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Friday’s MLB schedule and odds

(odds via DraftKings)

  • New York Mets (-115) vs. Miami Marlins (-105)
  • Chicago White Sox (+140) vs. Houston Astros (-165)
  • Colorado Rockies (+150) vs. San Diego Padres (-175)
  • Arizona Diamondbacks (+160) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (-190)
  • Cleveland Guardians (+140) vs. Seattle Mariners (-165)

Friday’s MLB best bets

  • Player prop: Jesus Luzardo Over 1.5 earned runs allowed vs. Mets (-160 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐
  • Player prop: Pete Alonso Over 0.5 RBIs vs. Marlins (+165 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Player prop: Merrill Kelly Over 2.5 earned runs allowed vs. Dodgers (+115 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Moneyline: Astros ML vs. White Sox (-155 via BetMGM) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Friday’s MLB prop picks

Player prop: Jesus Luzardo Over 1.5 earned runs allowed vs. Mets (-160 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐

Miami Marlins starter Jesus Luzardo had a tale of two halves last year. At the end of May, Luzardo had a 4.03 ERA and 3.73 FIP. However, from August on, Luzardo pitched to a 3.17 ERA over his final 12 starts, which lowered his ERA to 3.32 at the season's end. The problem is that one of those end-of-the-year starts was against the New York Mets and was his worst outing of the year, as he allowed five earned runs over 3 1/3 innings.

In addition, in two starts against New York, he allowed 20 fly balls to just nine ground balls. That is troubling for a pitcher whose career first-half ERA is 5.64 compared to 4.29 in the second half and whose HR/9 rate is nearly a full home run higher early in the season.

Considering DraftKings has Luzardo at -145 moneyline odds to allow an earned run before his counterpart, New York's David Peterson, we consider it a steal to have to pay slightly more in juice for him to allow two or more earned runs in general.

Player prop: Pete Alonso Over 0.5 RBI vs. Marlins (+165 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Mets first baseman Pete Alonso tied Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge for most RBIs in baseball last season (131), and he also set a franchise record. Alonso also figures to benefit from the lack of shifts as the season wears on, as he was shifted against 40% of the time last year, the most of any exclusively right-handed batters in the Mets lineup last season.

Alonso is just 2-for-11 in his career against Luzardo, but one of those hits was a home run. In addition, he should have men on base to drive in, as table-setters like Brandon Nimmo have a .667 wOBA against the Marlins southpaw.

The value for this wager is incredible at DraftKings compared to other sportsbooks, as FanDuel is at +110 while Caesars offers +156.

Player prop: Merrill Kelly Over 2.5 earned runs allowed vs. Dodgers (+115 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Last season was a breakout year for Merrill Kelly, as his winning percentage (.619), FIP (3.65), and HR/9 rate (0.9) were all career bests despite leading the league with 33 starts and throwing more than 200 innings for the first time. However, the Dodgers have always been a thorn in his side, as he is 0-9 with a 5.97 ERA in 12 career starts against them. That includes an 0-5 record and an 8.25 ERA in five starts last year (his best statistical year) with an eye-popping 1.958 WHIP. In addition, Kelly's 6.97 ERA at Dodger Stadium is his worst at any visiting stadium where he has made more than one start.

The following is the list of Dodgers who have hit better than .300 against Kelly with a minimum of 16 at-bats against him: Freddie Freeman, Mookie Betts, Max Muncy, and Will Smith. In addition, the first three players on that list all have an OPS of 1.124 or better against Kelly in their careers. Thus, history suggests the Dodgers are in for an offensive explosion.

Caesars and BetMGM are also offering plus-money for these odds, but at slightly worse value at +111 and +110, respectively.

Friday’s MLB game picks

Moneyline: Astros ML vs. White Sox (-155 via BetMGM) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Justin Verlander's departure to New York created a void at the top of the Houston Astros' rotation, which Cristian Javier is expected to fill. Javier is ready for the jump to a full-time starter (he came out of the bullpen at the start of last season) after posting career highs in nearly every statistical category in 2022.

Javier's 11.74 K/9 rate was third behind Shohei Ohtani and Carlos Rodon last year, and his 19% hard contact rate allowed was fourth in the league. The 26-year-old has never thrown more than 148.2 innings in his short three-year career, but we are not concerned about fatigue or an innings limit this early in the season.

While the Chicago White Sox had the seventh-lowest strikeout rate last year (20.7%) and ranked fourth in BABIP (.304), they were 26th in ISO and hit the sixth-fewest home runs in the American League.

Meanwhile, Chicago starter Lance Lynn is coming off a season with his worst ERA, WHIP, hits per nine innings, and strikeout per nine innings rate of the last three seasons. In addition, his 4.30 ERA through spring training does not inspire confidence when facing the current Astros he has allowed a .338/.410/.610 slash line to in 68 career at-bats.  

This is a confident four-star play, considering Chicago's leader in wOBA, wRC+, and WAR (Jose Abreu) is now playing for Houston. In addition, we don't expect the defending champions to start 0-2 at Minute Maid Park.

MLB best bets made 3/31/2023 at 6:18 a.m. ET.

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* Bonuses not applicable in Ontario.

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