The Nationals open the day with game one of a three-game series with the Atlanta Braves, and the Orioles open their 2023 campaign with the first of a three-game set against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Who is the worst opening day starter in MLB this year 👎 pic.twitter.com/IoUhknjgkV
— Beerly Baseball (@BeerlyBaseball) March 27, 2023
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Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals
Washington, a +205 underdog, welcomes Atlanta for game one of a three-game series. Atlanta expects southpaw Max Fried to make the start, while Washington has lefty Patrick Corbin slated to make the start.
The Braves are one of the short favorites to win the World Series (+750), and Fried is one of the best young arms in the game. Fried is +1000 to win the NL Cy Young Award and coming off a 14-7 with a 2.48 ERA. Atlanta is trying to replace SS Dansby Swanson, but the Braves have big-time bats in their lineup, and 2022 NL Rookie of the Year Michael Harris is looking for a more robust sophomore campaign.
The Nationals are in rebuilding mode and +50000 World Series longshots. Corbin has had a few rough seasons and surrendered 27 home runs last year–he still has the occasional big strikeout day, but he is far removed from the 2018-2019 days, where he struck out nearly 500 hitters. OF Lane Thomas is coming off his best year as a pro, and 1B Dominic Smith should anchor a rebuilt lineup.
Phil’s Betting Tip: The forecast calls for sunny skies and temps in the mid-50s for the first pitch–Atlanta should win behind Fried, but we have brisk weather and two pitchers who can strike hitters out.
That puts the Nationals run line (+105) in play and the Under as they likely won’t score more than eight runs Thursday at Nationals Park.
Baltimore Orioles vs. Boston Red Sox
Thursday marks game one of a three-game series. The Orioles are +110 underdogs, and righty Kyle Gibson is their expected starter. Boston is a -120 favorite, and right-hander Corey Kluber is the Red Sox’s probable starter.
The Orioles made a huge leap last season and will look to Gibson Thursday to get the season off on the right foot. Gibson surrendered 24 home runs last season, but the strikeouts are still there, and he has failed to yield a negative WAR over his previous 10 MLB seasons.
The Orioles lineup is loaded with young talent and features possible AL MVP Adley Rutschman (+2500) and Rookie of the Year frontrunner Gunnar Henderson (+250).
Boston finished last in the AL East standings but retooled and could make a postseason push. Kluber made 31 starts for Tampa Bay last season but hasn’t been the same since a 2019 UCL injury.
The strikeouts are still there, but he’ll give up the occasional long ball. Boston will look to replace departed SS Xander Boegaerts in the lineup, but Rafael Devers and Justin Turner are expected to be the team’s offensive leaders.
Phil’s Betting Tip: The Orioles’ +110 to win is a good bet. Kluber isn’t the same two-time CY Young pitcher he once was, and the Orioles’ bats can split leather. Baltimore F5 moneyline might fetch a reasonable price. Gibson is serviceable-the chilly Boston weather should slow the Boston bats down, and we could see an Orioles win.