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Best 2024 MLB Opening Day Betting Guide | American League

Nathan Eovaldi pitches baseball

2024 Opening Day is on Thursday, March 28th. Have you done your homework this offseason? If not, take a look below at news and notes for all 30 teams before the first pitch of MLB Opening Day 2024. This MLB Opening Day Betting Guide consists of notes on each American League team’s lineups, starters, roster changes, and weather around the Majors.

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MLB Opening Day: American League

Los Angeles Angels at Baltimore Orioles
Weather: Cloudy; Mid-50s

MLB Opening Day Starters:
LAA: Patrick Sandoval (LHP)
BAL: Corbin Burnes (RHP)

Key Additions:
LAA: RHP Robert Stephenson, LHP Matt Moore, OF Aaron Hicks
BAL: RHP Corbin Burnes, RHP Craig Kimbrel

Key Losses:
LAA: RHP/DH Shohei Ohtani, INF David Fletcher, C Max Stassi
BAL: 2B Adam Frazier, RHP Kyle Gibson, OF Aaron Hicks

The Angels will start the Shohei Ohtani-less era with veteran lefty Patrick Sandoval taking the bump. Los Angeles could not win with Ohtani, so it’s hard to imagine them doing much better without him. Los Angeles has some good young players on their team, but pitching is a concern for the Halos.

The Orioles made a big splash by signing Corbin Burnes, who is the ace this team needed at the top of its rotation. Baltimore is a young team with more kids in its farm system waiting. The Orioles made the playoffs last year and are a popular pick to do even better this season.

Detroit Tigers at Chicago White Sox
Weather: Mid-30s, low 40s.

MLB Opening Day Starters:
DET: Tarik Skubal (LHP)
CWS: Garrett Crochet (LHP)

Key Additions:
DET: RHP Kenta Maeda, RHP Jack Flaherty, RHP Shelby Miller, LHP Andrew Chafin, OF Mark Canha
CWS: RHP Erick Fedde, RHP Michael Soroka, 2B Nicky Lopez, SS Paul DeJong, RHP John Brebbia, LHP Tim Hill, LHP Shane Drohan, LHP Jared Shuster, C Martín Maldonado, C Max Stassi, OF Dominic Fletcher, RHP Chris Flexen, OF Zach DeLoach, RHP Prelander Berroa, OF Kevin Pillar, INF Braden Shewmake

Key Losses:
DET: DH Miguel Cabrera, LHP Eduardo Rodriguez, RHP José Cisnero
CWS: SS Tim Anderson, RHP Liam Hendriks, RHP Bryan Shaw, RHP Mike Clevinger, C Yasmani Grandal, SS Elvis Andrus, LHP Aaron Bummer, RHP José Ureña, RHP Gregory Santos, INF Romy Gonzalez, RHP Declan Cronin, RHP Luis Patiño, RHP Cristian Mena

Tarik Skubal, the dazzling young lefty, will take the bump for the Tigers to kick off their season. Detroit made pitching a priority this offseason, and they are a popular pick to be one of the most improved teams this season. Their lineup still leaves a lot to be desired, but this team is certainly better on paper than they were last year.

If you never heard of Garrett Crochet, the White Sox Opening Day starter, don’t worry. You are not alone. The White Sox are expected to be one of the worst teams in the Majors this year, as their offense and pitching staff lack significant talent.

Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals
Weather: Low to mid-50s

MLB Opening Day Starters:
MIN: Pablo Lopez (RHP)
KC: Cole Raggans (LHP)

Key Additions:
MIN: 1B/DH Carlos Santana, RHP Anthony DeSclafani, RHP Justin Topa, RHP Jay Jackson, RHP Josh Staumont
KC: RHP Seth Lugo, RHP Michael Wacha, LHP Will Smith, RHP Chris Stratton, RHP Nick Anderson, OF Hunter Renfroe, UTIL Garrett Hampson, 2B/OF Adam Frazier

Key Losses:
MIN: RHP Sonny Gray, RHP Kenta Maeda, RHP Emilio Pagán, 2B Jorge Polanco, CF Michael A. Taylor, INF Donovan Solano, 1B/OF Joey Gallo
KC: RHP Zack Greinke, INF Matt Duffy

Pablo Lopez, an absolute stud, will take the mound for the Twins on Opening Day. Minnesota won the AL Central last year, and they are the favorites to repeat again this year. Their rotation may be slightly worse this year, but their bullpen is loaded, and they have a solid lineup from top to bottom.

Cole Raggans is a name to get familiar with. The young lefty took the league by storm when he was called up last year, and he gets the nod for the Royal’s first game of the year. Kansas City addressed all parts of their team in free agency, and this team, on paper, looks to be much improved.

New York Yankees at Houston Astros
Weather: Dome

MLB Opening Day Starters:
NYY: Nestor Cortes (LHP)
HOU: Framber Valdez (LHP)

Key Additions:
NYY: OF Juan Soto, OF Alex Verdugo, RHP Marcus Stroman, OF Trent Grisham, LHP Caleb Ferguson, LHP Victor González
HOU: LHP Josh Hader, C Victor Caratini

Key Losses:
NYY: RHP Luis Severino, RHP Michael King, LHP Wandy Peralta, C Kyle Higashioka, INF/OF Isiah Kiner-Falefa
HOU: OF Michael Brantley, C Martín Maldonado, RHP Hector Neris, RHP Phil Maton, RHP Ryne Stanek, RHP Kendall Graveman (injury)

Gerrit Cole will start the season on the IL, so lefty Nestor Cortes will take the bump for the Yankees on Opening Day. Cortes has had his moments, but the Yankees rotation is much different without Cole pitching every 5th day. New York added Juan Soto, one of the best players in the sport, and this lineup should improve upon a lackluster 2023.

The Astros were quiet this offseason, but they did add one of the best relievers in baseball, Josh Hader. Framber Valdez, the husky lefty, will unsurprisingly toe the slab for Houston on Opening Day. Houston is expected to contend in the American League just as they have for most of the last eight or so years.

Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays
Weather: Dome

MLB Opening Day Starters:
TOR: Jose Berrios (RHP)
TB: Zach Efflin (RHP)

Key Additions:
TOR: RHP Yariel Rodriguez, 3B Isiah Kiner-Falefa, DH Justin Turner, CF Kevin Kiermaier
TB: RHP Ryan Pepiot, OF Jonny DeLuca, INF José Caballero, OF Richie Palacios, RHP Phil Maton, RHP Chris Devenski (re-signed), LHP Tyler Alexander

Key Losses:
TOR: 3B Matt Chapman, DH Brandon Belt, UTIL Whit Merrifield, LHP Hyun Jin Ryu, RHP Jordan Hicks
TB: RHP Tyler Glasnow, OF Manuel Margot, OF/1B Luke Raley, RHP Robert Stephenson, RHP Andrew Kittredge, C Christian Bethancourt, LHP Jake Diekman

Kevin Gausman will start the season on the IL for the Blue Jays, so Jose Berrios, their No. 2, will get the start. Toronto brings back their stout lineup from last year, and adding Justin Turner to DH gives them a much-needed bat who can produce against lefties.

Tampa Bay is no stranger to roster turnover and doing more with less, and they will be expected to do that again this season. Ryan Pepiot, the key return from the Glassnow deal, is a name to watch; he fits the prototypical mold of a young pitcher Tampa Bay develops into a star. Zach Efflin, their Opening Day starter, had a great 2024 year.

Cleveland Guardians at Oakland Athletics
Weather: Cloud, low to mid-50s

MLB Opening Day Starters:
CLE: Shane Bieber (RHP)
OAK: Alex Wood (LHP)

Key Additions:
CLE: RHP Scott Barlow, OF Estevan Florial, C Austin Hedges, RHP Ben Lively, 3B Deyvison De Los Santos, RHP Carlos Carrasco (Minor League deal)
OAK: LHP Alex Wood, RHP Ross Stripling, RHP Trevor Gott, INF Abraham Toro, OF Miguel Andujar, RHP Mitch Spence, LHP Scott Alexander

Key Losses:
CLE: RHP Cal Quantrill, RHP Enyel De Los Santos, RHP Cody Morris, OF Oscar Gonzalez
OAK: 2B Tony Kemp, RHP Trevor May, RHP James Kaprielian, 3B Jonah Bride

The Guardians will, unsurprisingly, start Shane Bieber on Opening Day. Bieber dealt with injuries last season, so he was not his old self, but he had flashes of vintage Bieber when healthy. The Guardians lineup did not really improve, and that was their biggest issue last year.

The A’s were terrible in 2023 and are not expected to be much better in 2024. They resemble more of an MLB team than a AAA team this year, so that is a start. Lefty Alex Wood, a free agent acquisition, will make the start for the A’s opener.

Boston Red Sox at Seattle Mariners
Weather: Dome

MLB Opening Day Starters:
BOS: Brayan Bello (RHP)
SEA: Luis Castillo (RHP)

Key Additions:
BOS: RHP Lucas Giolito, OF Tyler O’Neill, 2B Vaughn Grissom
SEA: DH Mitch Garver, RF Mitch Haniger, 2B Jorge Polanco, OF Luke Raley, 3B Luis Urías

Key Losses:
BOS: LHP Chris Sale, DH/1B Justin Turner, OF Alex Verdugo, LHP James Paxton, OF Adam Duvall
SEA: INF José Caballero, LHP Marco Gonzales, RF Teoscar Hernández, OF Jarred Kelenic, C Tom Murphy, LHP Robbie Ray, 3B Eugenio Suárez

The Red Sox needed pitching, so what did they do? Add one pitcher who is already out for the 2024 season. Brayan Bello will get the nod on Opening Day after signing an extension with the club this offseason. Bello is a homegrown talent who has been compared to Pedro Martinez, which is a major stretch, but the kid is talented.

Fireballer Luis Castillo will get the nod for the Mariners, who have one of the best rotations in baseball. Seattle’s offense let them down this past season, so they added some bats to bolster their lineup. Seattle is a force to be reckoned with in a strong American League.

MLB Opening Day: Interleague

Chicago Cubs at Texas Rangers
Weather: Dome

MLB Opening Day Starters:
CHI: Justin Steele (LHP)
TEX: Nathan Eovaldi (RHP)

Key Additions:
CHI: RHP Yency Almonte, INF Michael Busch, LHP Shota Imanaga, RHP Hector Neris
TEX: RHP Kirby Yates, RHP David Robertson, RHP Tyler Mahle

Key Losses:
CHI: INF Jeimer Candelario, RHP Marcus Stroman
TEX: C/DH Mitch Garver, LHP Jordan Montgomery, LHP Will Smith, RHP Chris Stratton, LHP Aroldis Chapman

The Cubs are the favorites to win the NL Central, and this team is looking to build on a solid 2023 season. Chicago re-signed Cody Bellinger and added international pitcher Shota Imanaga to bolster their rotation. Justin Steele, who had a great 2023, will take the bump for the Cubs against the defending champs.

Nasty Nate Eovaldi, a Rangers’ postseason legend, will open the season for Texas. The Rangers did not add too many players, mostly because their farm system is great, so they can rely on homegrown talent to build on their World Series-winning 2023 campaign.

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