There are 14 Major League Baseball games scheduled for Opening Day, with all teams expected to play to begin the second year of Covid ball. After a shortened season that featured just 60 games, baseball is back with a full slate of 162 games. The best team won, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and despite a 60-game campaign, nothing can be taken away from them. It still felt a bit weird, and if we played a full season, who knows if things would have played out differently.
Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers weren’t exactly a model of longevity through October before winning the World Series in previous seasons. So, you can’t guarantee that Kershaw and the Dodgers were going to hold up through a full season, and of course, that’s not even including a greater chance of injuries. With all of that said, the Dodgers were the best team and deserved to win the World Series. If they can’t win during a full season, you will certainly see people pointing that out, especially Giants’ fans.
The Tampa Bay Rays open the season in their home state against the Miami Marlins on Thursday. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. EST at Marlins Park. The Rays went to the postseason a season ago for the second straight year. Tampa finished with a record of 40-20 to win the AL East in an upset over the New York Yankees. They defeated the Houston Astros in the ALCS, and then advanced to the World Series for the first time since 2008. It was a valiant fight by the Rays, though ultimately came short in six games. Are the Rays going to build on that season, or are they in for a hangover?
This is still a quality team, but they’re going to need to get back to the World Series without Blake Snell. Snell, who played a big role in getting the Rays to the World Series, is on a stacked Padres team on the west coast now. Tyler Glasnow will receive the Opening Day nod with Snell elsewhere for the first time in his career this year. They take on a Marlins team who turned out to be a great bet in 2020. Often an underdog, the Marlins went 31-29 and reached the postseason against all odds. Expectations are much higher for the Marlins this year, and they no longer have the luxury of being taken lightly by opponents. Head below for our free Rays vs. Marlins pick on April 1, 2021.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Miami Marlins MLB Betting Odds:
Rays vs. Marlins Prediction:
Tyler Glasnow must take on a bigger role for the Rays this season. He has to develop into a consistent ace for the Rays. We know he has the talent to be that guy, but it’s certainly not a given that Glasnow can be a consistent producer on the bump. The former Pirate, who was acquired in the Chris Archer trade, owns a record of 15-18 and 4.43 ERA. Glasnow has posted a WHIP of 1.34. His best season was in 2019 by far.
That’s when we saw Glasnow’s potential blossom in his first season with the Rays, though an injury cut his year short. Glasnow finished with a record of 6-1 and 1.78 ERA through 12 starts. He also recorded 0.89 WHIP. However, that was only 12 games, and in his other seasons in the majors, Glasnow has not recorded an ERA below 4.00.
Glasnow is coming off an up and down campaign in 2020. There were some really great moments, and not so good. He ultimately finished with a 4.08 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. The offense helped him out, though, and Glasnow had a record of 5-1. Through 31 at-bats in his career, Glasnow has allowed 6 runs and a .292 OBP against this Miami roster.
Derek Jeter’s Marlins surprised in a good way last season. They were the breakout team of the season, but we’ll see if the Marlins can improve on what they accomplished. Righty Sandy Alcantara played a pivotal role in helping the Marlins out, and he could be poised for a big 2021. Alcantara posted an ERA of 3.00 and 1.19 WHIP in his fourth season in the major leagues.
It was a career season for Alcantara, who has a 3.71 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in 53 games in his career. The 25-year-old is looking for a big pay bump in the future, and another productive season would point him in that direction. Alcantara looked fantastic in six spring training appearances. He had a 1.33 ERA and 1.18 WHIP through 20.1 innings. Conversely, Glasnow yielded a 3.68 ERA and 1.30 WHIP through 14.2 innings.
Alcantara has been lights out against the Rays in his career. The Rays are hitting just .145 with 3 runs against Alcantara in 32 at-bats. Two home runs, a solo and 2-run shot, are the only runs that Alcantara has conceded to the Rays. I don’t see the value in playing the Rays’ moneyline against a team that the public will continue to overlook in the Marlins, especially with the underrated Alcantara on the bump. Give me the Marlins to win or at least keep this close in a 4-3 or 5-4 game.