Another glorious baseball season is upon us. With that in mind, Las Vegas tempts more people in with another array of betting options. Companies like DraftKings and Fanduel offer extra incentive for you Fantasy Baseball nuts. If that doesn’t tickle the fancy, betting will be available on the grand total of 2,430 Regular Season games.
Outrights dominate the off-season as you would expect with the big movers being the Chicago White Sox who were 66/1 at the end of the 2019 season and now at 33/1. Also when you look at their revamped roster, you can see why with the additions of Yasmani Grandal, Dallas Keuchel, Edwin Encarnacion, Nomar Mazara and Gio Gonzalez. All experienced veterans who will lead from the front while the youthful core of their team (Yoan Moncada, Tim Anderson, Luis Robert, Eloy Jimenez & Lucas Giolito) flourish in the background. Although they won’t go under the radar for long if they manage to live up to the hype. Obviously the addition of Josh Donaldson to the division puts the breaks on the hype train going into overdrive but that’s exactly what a youthful team wants. All the pressure will be on Minnesota after their acquisition of Josh Donaldson and time will tell whether they can cope being top dogs in that division.
Naturally the top of the AL market is dominated by the New York Yankees and Houston Astros at odds of 13/8 & 2/1 respectfully. A matchup made in heaven with the controversial off-season that Houston has endured and one Gerrit Cole now pitching in the Bronx adds a certain tale of intrigue. Both rosters are filled with so much talent, power, speed, you would be hard pressed to look beyond those two teams playing in the ALCS come October time. But this is baseball…
When we get into the NL, things start to get a lot more intriguing from a betting point of view. The Cincinnati Reds have followed the same path as the White Sox from a betting perspective, opening at 66’s and now at 33/1. Another team who have decided to spend some dollars and put bums (bottoms, not failed players) in seats by signing Nick Castellanos, Mike Moustakas and their first ever Japanese player in Shogo Akiyama. Add those players to an offence that already has star power in the form of Joey Votto and Eugenio Suarez and they begin to look very dangerous.
As for their rotation, Luis Castillo, Trevor Bauer and Sonny Gray are a dynamite 1-2-3 and all potential CY Young contenders. The NL Central is by far the most competitive division and the prices reflect that with the favourites (St Louis Cardinals) being priced at 2/1. Discounting the Pittsburgh Pirates chances (Sorry Pirates fans), the division is easily the one to watch when you consider the Cardinals youthful approach, the Chicago Cubs new era post Joe Maddon and the Milwaukee Brewers who because of Christian Yelich garner national attention on a nightly basis.
The LA Dodgers sit atop the betting for the NL and with the signing of Mookie Betts (Boston misses you), that is to be expected. However the Dodgers have been here before and haven’t gotten over the line. While their division may be the easiest (famous last words), when they come up against teams in the Post Season with similar if not better pitching such as the Washington Nationals or the New York Mets, they may be found out. I think the value sits in that middle tier of teams and wouldn’t be in a hurry to back the clear and obvious favourites in either league.
The Super Bowl may be the pinnacle when it comes to Prop betting but baseball does offer its fair share in the form of Most Regular Season HR’s and CY Young Winners. If following a team doesn’t interest you, perhaps following a specific player from game to game or start to start may be better at a much more generous price.
In the HR’s market, Pete Alonso is favourite along with the powerful Bronx Bombers in Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. However at prices of 8/1, 9/1 and 11/1, I think it’s best to give those selections a swerve. Plenty of value rests in the middle tier of that market especially when you factor in the stats.
A couple of selections I have singled out are as follows: George Springer (66/1), Josh Donaldson (75/1) and Nelson Cruz (66/1). You may think why and I will tell you! The Minnesota Twins hit 307 HR’s last year, more than any other team. They also hit the most fly balls last year with 2,712. This team swings the bat and they swing it hard. Cruz hit 41 HR’s last year while playing only 120 games. If he stays healthy, you could potentially see him hitting close to 50 HR’s. Same can be said for Josh Donaldson who is going to a more hitter friendly park in Minnesota after leaving Atlanta where he hit 37 HR’s last year. Moving out of the NL may give him the odd day of DH’ing and I feel the price is much too high considering the output that both players will provide.
As for the CY Young markets, Gerrit Cole leads the way in the AL side of things as expected after his stellar year. However a come down may be on the cards with a change of surroundings. Personally I like the look of Zack Greinke in that market at 25/1. Experienced veteran, 18 wins last season with a 2.93 ERA. In the NL, Jacob deGrom is favourite and rightfully so. However my pick for the NL CY Young is Walker Buehler. The Dodgers are going to make headlines every night with their All-Star calibre lineup and if Buehler can start the season well, he’ll become a household name.
This was a guest post by Scott McDonnell, Scott contacted us via twitter (Our DMs are always open) and asked if he could write for us. Want to do the same? Why not go via the “Contribute”button above, or contact us on Twitter, like Scott.