MLB: Play Ball! Opening Day For the Tigers Brings Hope

darren cooper
Darren Cooper
MLB Sports News
  • The Tigers begin their 124th season of Major League Baseball Thursday in Chicago to take on the White Sox. Detroit finished second in the AL Central last year with 78 wins, nine back of the Twins.
  • On Opening Day, the Tigers are 69-54 all-time and 12-3 since 2009. This will be the 21st time they’ve opened the season against the White Sox.
  • Michigan sportsbooks peg the Tigers win total anywhere between 80 and 81 wins.

Sunny skies and temperatures in the 50s are forecast as the White Sox host the Tigers in the official Opening Day of the 2024 MLB season. That’s just how it should be. Every team starts with the belief they will make the World Series and the sunshine is an good omen.

The Tigers are a team expected to contend for the AL Central title and their first playoff berth since 2014. There’s no more Miggy Cabrera, but a young den of Tigers is talented and savvy.

Michigan Sportsbooks will have odds on games each day of MLB season. Both DraftKings and BetMGM have the Tigers as moneyline favorites (-175) to win Thursday. Tigers ace pitcher Tarik Skubal is slated to get the start. Detroit finished second in the Grapefruit League (spring training).

What Do The Oddsmakers Say? 

When looking at the preseason odds for MLB teams, consider last year no one was thinking the Texas Rangers would win the World Series….and they did.

There are a ton of interesting pre-season prop bets. DraftKings Sportsbook has the Tigers +1400 to start the season 5-0 and +5000 to be the first MLB team to 10 wins. The Tigers are second to win the AL Central at +350.

BetRivers and BetMGM each have the Tigers over/under win total at 81.5. BetRivers has the Tigers +150 (Yes) to make the playoffs. BetMGM also has a deep trove of prop bets like most home runs head-to-head for various players.

Tigers On The Prowl, Right? 

Detroit fans hunger for a winner. Last year was all about the Cabrera Farewell Tour. That overshadowed the fact that the Tigers were grooming a lot of young players for this year.

Detroit played good baseball in September and the hope is that it carries over into 2024. The young core is led by Spencer Torkelson, Parker Meadows and Rookie of the Year candidate Colt Keith, who should take over at second base.

Skubal has Cy Young stuff, based on his performance the last two years, and he’s going to be tested now as the Tigers ace. The big drag is Javy Baez continues to struggle since signing that big deal in 2021. Baez batted a chilly .086 in the spring with 13 strikeouts. When is the trade deadline?

Opening Day Questions  

The biggest story in MLB is the gambling scandal involving Dodgers pitcher/outfielder Shohei Ohtani and his interpreter and how much that may impact the Dodgers mojo entering the season.

Should the Dodgers falter, the Braves are lurking to take control of the National League.

In the American League, Yankees ace Gerrit Cole is out for at least a month with an arm injury. That’s never news any team wants to hear. The Yankees traded for former Nationals and Padres slugger Juan Soto and have him for one year (pending an extension). Soto gives coverage for Aaron Judge in the line-up, but are the Yankees destined to play a lot of 10-9 games.

The Astros just keep chugging along, but Justin Verlander can’t pitch at this high level forever, can he? And star shortshop Alex Bregman is entering a contract year.

Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.