MLB First Five Innings Bets Odds, Picks & Predictions: Friday (3/31)

Mar 31, 2023 - 1:30 PM

Opening Day 2023 was an exciting day across the league with all 30 teams hitting the diamond to play their first games of the year. We’re back at it again tonight; however, it’s just a thin five-game slate in the MLB. 

Regardless of the low number of games, there is no shortage of wagering options available. Let’s dive into my top three first-five innings bets in the MLB tonight. 

Also, take a look at our other best bets for Friday:


Friday’s MLB First Five Innings Bets

Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook

Chicago White Sox vs. Houston Astros 

The White Sox took the opening game of their four-game set with the Astros last night, beating the reigning World Series Champions 3-2. Houston will look to break into the win column for the first time tonight when they turn to Cristian Javier. Chicago counters with Lance Lynn in this American League showdown. First pitch is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. ET from Minute Maid Park in Houston, TX. 

I’m going to ride with the Astros on the F5 run line in this spot. While I’m high on Lance Lynn overall this year, this is a terrible matchup for the burly right-hander. Houston has been one of the best fastball-hitting teams in baseball in recent history. That does not bode well for Lynn, who relies on three different types of fastballs for 82.7% of his pitches. 

The theory plays out statistically as well considering Houston is slashing .338/.407/.571 against the 35-year-old. That includes Yordan Alvarez who is 6-12 (.500) with a home run and Alex Bregman at 6-17 (.353) with two homers and two more extra-base hits. Look for the Astros’ offense to come alive tonight and hold a lead after five innings. 

Bet: Astros -0.5 in F5 (-106)

Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles took care of business in the home opener last night, winning the divisional matchup over Arizona 8-2. They’ll look to keep things rolling tonight when they hand the ball to Dustin May. The Diamondbacks counter with Merrill Kelly in this N.L. West tilt from California. This one gets underway at 10:10 p.m. ET from Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA. 

With two recognizable names like Kelly and May getting the nods for their respective teams, your first thought would typically be leaning toward the under. However, the stats suggest otherwise and we’ll likely see some runs early in this one. I’m locking in the over in the first five innings between the Diamondbacks and Dodgers. 

Los Angeles’ current roster has seen Kelly well over his career, slashing .312/.375/.565 over 138 at-bats. The team has launched eight long balls and racked up 11 additional extra-base hits. Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman are a combined 13-39 (.333) with four homers and five doubles. On the flip side, the Snakes are hitting .438 (7-16) over a limited sample size against May. Look for there to be plenty of runs early in this one. 

Bet: Over 4.5 Runs in F5 (+128)

Cleveland Guardians vs. Seattle Mariners 

The Mariners picked up a 3-0 victory over the Guardians last night, limiting Cleveland to just four hits over the nine innings of action. The Guardians will look to turn things around tonight when Hunter Gaddis toes the rubber. Robbie Ray will oppose the 24-year-old righty, making his season debut. First pitch is slated for 9:10 p.m. ET from T-Mobile Park in Seattle, WA. 

Based on the head-to-head stats, the Guardians will have a great opportunity to scratch across their first runs of the year tonight. They’ve seen Ray well throughout his career, going 21-80 (.263) as a team with five home runs and six doubles. Amed Rosario stands out at 5-10 (.500) with a trio of two-baggers while Mike Zunino has four of the home runs at 5-22 (.227).

Gaddis, on the other hand, will make just his third appearance in the big leagues tonight. The only head-to-head matchup that he has is holding AJ Pollock to 0-2 (.000). The righty was 0-2 last season with an 18.41 ERA and 2.45 WHIP – yikes. But, whether it’s something in Cleveland’s water or their elite coaching staff, this franchise is constantly turning out quality young arms. I’m not sure if Gaddis will turn into the next Shane Bieber, but I think it’s worth a shot to back the Guardians with a plus-money payout in this spot. 

Bet: Guardians F5 Moneyline (+132)

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