MLB Opening Day is vastly approaching, with managers all over the league naming their starters for the first game of the season. The Washington Nationals appear headed for another rebuilding season, with limited options to choose from when deciding who will head their rotation in 2023. The team announced Friday that it will be veteran left-hander Patrick Corbin who will oppose the Atlanta Braves on Thursday.
Our 2023 Opening Day starter…
Patrick Corbin⁰⁰#NATITUDE pic.twitter.com/Ycmb8VLyNA
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) March 24, 2023
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MLB Opening Day Bets: Bettors Looking to Fade Patrick Corbin
Almost immediately after the Nationals announced they were going with Corbin, sports betting social media erupted with bettors reveling in the opportunity to fade Patrick Corbin on Opening Day. Corbin was a big target in free agency before choosing the Nats prior to the 2019 season. He has had some moments in the nation’s capital, but it has come off the rails in recent years.
The 33-year-old has had over a 5.50 ERA in each of the past two seasons, going a dismal 6-19 with a 6.31 in the 2022 season. However, he has had a solid Spring Training, owning a 3.86 ERA in his four starts.
“You know what, he’s come to spring training a different guy,” manager Davey Martinez said, per MASN. “He’s got a lot of confidence. He knows that he can do this. He’s had success before. He wants to put everything that happened the last two years behind him and just move forward. … I love where he’s at right now.”
Still, Corbin will have his work cut out for him when facing an Atlanta Braves team that is looking to win the NL East for the fifth consecutive year and appears to be a contender again in 2023. The Braves will be setting up a battle of southpaws by going with Max Fried to oppose Corbin.
Fried, the Cy Young runner-up in 2022, finished 14-7 with a career-best 2.48 ERA last season. He has yet to allow an earned run in three Spring Training appearances. This will mark the third straight year that Fried will take the ball on Opening Day.
“I was fortunate enough to start opening day for the last couple years, and I think the first time, it was definitely emotional, kind of had a lot of those feelings,” Fried said, per SI. “I feel like every time you take that first start of the season, you have those feelings no matter what, whether it’s the first game or the fifth game. You get those butterflies again because you know baseball’s back.”
The Braves-Nationals Opening Day game will undoubtedly open as a highly lopsided affair on sportsbooks given the vastly different outlooks of the two teams competing. Even so, look for most of the money to come in on the Braves with bettors looking to fade Patrick Corbin right off the jump.
MLB bettors should be sure to check out OddsShopper tools for the best value on MLB bets throughout the season.