clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Media picks for Opening Day of the 2021 MLB season

We’ve got media locks for Opening Day!

Atmosphere at the Grand Opening of DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts November 20, 2018 at Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Photo by Bill McCay/Getty Images for Draft Kings

Opening Day is upon us! The 2021 MLB season gets underway Thursday afternoon and we will begin the road to the World Series. The first day of the season opens with the New York Yankees hosting the Toronto Blue Jays and closes with the Seattle Mariners hosting the San Francisco Giants.

DraftKings is offering numerous free-to-play contests for Opening Day. We’ve brought together a group of media members to provide some picks for winners on the first day of the season. Below is a list of each person and their lock predictions for the first day of the season.

Reporter: Bill Gelman
Outlet: PlayNJ
Twitter: @bill_gelman
Lock Pick: New York Mets
Rationale: Jacob deGrom is still one of the top pitchers in all of MLB, and you just don’t bet against him.

Reporter: Grant Lucas
Outlet: PlayNY
Twitter: @GrantDLucas
Lock Pick: San Diego Padres
Rationale: Who WOULD you want to face in this lineup? They’ve got three guys who bashed at least 15 homers last season (only the Dodgers matched that feat) and added firepower to a rotation that anchored a top-10 ERA staff in 2020. Despite his rocky finish to Spring Training, I’ll gladly take Yu Darvish in this showdown. Especially since San Diego is going to put up a 10-spot.

Reporter: Eric Ball
Outlet: Bleacher Report
Twitter: @EBall_BR
Lock Pick: San Diego Padres

Reporter: Lou Monaco
Outlet: Gambling.com
Twitter: @loumonaco
Lock Pick: New York Yankees
Rationale: They have something to prove this year, why not start it on Opening Day!

Reporter: Matt Rybaltowski
Outlet: USBets
Twitter: @MattRybaltowski
Lock Pick: Chicago White Sox
Rationale: After reaching the playoffs last season for the first time since 2008, the White Sox have emerged as a chic pick to win the World Series. On Thursday, White Sox ace Lucas Giolito takes the mound against an Angels’ team that finished fourth last year in the AL West. Giolito finished 2020 by fanning at least nine batters in six of his last 10 regular-season outings. Giolito has refined his slider in the offseason, a pitch he likens to a “12-to-6 curveball,” with additional movement. I’m taking the White Sox here, straight up.

Reporter: David Fucillo
Outlet: DraftKings Nation
Twitter: @davidfucillo
Lock Pick: San Diego Padres
Rationale: The Padres are loaded to compete for a World Series while the Diamondbacks are competing to avoid the bottom of the NL West. I have a lot more faith in Yu Darvish against the DBacks lineup than in Madison Bumgarner against this Padres lineup.

Reporter: Sean Zerillo
Outlet: The Action Network
Twitter: @SeanZerillo
Lock Pick: Oakland Athletics
Rationale: This game is essentially listed as a coin-flip in the betting markets, and while I have a bunch of Astros futures this season, I make the A’s a 55% favorite on opening day. Chris Bassitt (.299 xWOBA) was just as effective of a starter as Zack Greinke (.300 xwOBA) in 2020 and might be getting undervalued on name-brand value alone.

Reporter: Marco Cerino
Outlet: PlayNJ
Twitter: @CerinoRoyale
Lock Pick: San Diego Padres
Rationale: I’m bullish on the Padres this season and it’ll be a good start to the season at home

Reporter: David Salturo
Outlet: FanSided
Twitter: @DavidSalituro
Lock Pick: Atlanta Braves
Rationale: One reason: Max Fried. Fried was simply unbeatable in 2020, going 7-0. He gave up only one run in 10 innings against the Phillies and carried the Braves rotation after the loss of Mike Soroka, pitching to a 2.23 ERA (5th in the NL) after the injury. And with Marcell Ozuna back alongside reigning MVP Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuna Jr., the Braves lineup is just as dangerous as it was last year when they came a win away from the World Series.

Reporter: Dave Bontempo
Outlet: PlayNJ
Twitter: @bontempomedia
Lock Pick: New York Yankees
Rationale: If Cole is not a lock, there is no such thing. He was everything they advertised last year. Win or lose, you play this one with utmost confidence.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL). Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA/MI), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (NH/CO), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-888-532-3500 (VA) or call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN). 21+ (18+ NH). CO/IL/IN/IA/NH/NJ/PA/TN/VA/WV/MI only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.