The Major League Baseball season is just around the corner! Here are some of me and Austin’s favorite bets for this season by division:
Ryan’s Best Bet: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. home runs leader +800
The Toronto Blue Jays are this year’s offseason darling. They have made a lot of exciting moves to add to an already exciting young team. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is a superstar, and he hit a league-leading 48 home runs last year. If he stays healthy, I don’t see why he can’t do it again. Especially at +800, I think this is one of the safer player prop bets out there.
Austin’s Best Bet: Wander Franco AL MVP + 2200
Yes, I know, Ryan just said that he liked Vlad Guerrero as the HR leader and I have Franco as the AL MVP but hear me out. Ohtani won it last year and no one has repeated as league MVP since Cabrera in 2013-’14. Trout has battled some injuries over the past two years and that could hold him back this year. Guerrero is on a team that will do well, but some of the attention could be dragged away by the rest of the Blue Jays around him. That’s where I find Wander Franco. Rays should be good, Franco will be the leading star and he played well after being called up last year. At +2200, I’ll take my chances.
Ryan’s Best Bet: Detroit Tigers Over 78.5 Wins -110
I am a big fan of the Tigers this year. I don’t see them overtaking the White Sox in the AL Central this year, but their six-year-long rebuild is wrapping up quickly. Spencer Torkelson (pictured above) is the number 4 prospect in all of baseball and made the opening day roster. From all that I have seen, he is the real deal, and they have another top 10 prospects in OF Riley Greene scheduled to come up this season as well. This young talent aside, they added SS Javier Baez and SP Eduardo Rodríguez through free agency and recently traded for OF Austin Meadows from the Rays. All these additions add to a team that won 77 games last year. Considering the significant improvements this roster has made, I think it is pretty easy to see them getting well over 78.5 wins.
Austin’s Best Bet: Detroit Tigers Make Playoffs +370
I’m on the Tigers bandwagon here too and I know making the playoffs is a crazy bet but at +370 I can’t overlook it. It may not be a lock but for all the reasons Ryan said above plus a little bit of luck, you never know. Detroit is an interesting team and have always been that “yeah we play Detroit” but this year, I wouldn’t be shocked to see them in the playoff race come September.
Ryan’s Best Bet: Shohei Ohtani AL MVP +340
Ohtani won the AL MVP last year with a truly historical season, both pitching and hitting. Even with a bit of regression, with the Angels being a better team than last year and if Ohtani can stay healthy, this seems like a given. It would take an all-time great season for someone to overtake him.
Austin’s Best Bet: Seattle Mariners to win the AL West +450
Austin, what are you thinking? I know, picking the Mariners?! Who would do that? An extra year for the farm boys of Jarred Kelenic, Julio Rodriguez, and Emerson Hancock is never a bad thing and while the Mariners were incredibly lucky last year, they weren’t terribly far out from winning the division last year. 5 games. 95 to 90. That was the gap between the Astros and the Mariners last year. With a little luck for a different team as well as continuing to improve their youth, this Mariners team could compete for the division.
Ryan’s Best Bet: Braves Division Winner +125
The World Series Champion Braves lost franchise cornerstone Freddie Freeman but somehow got better. They added 1B Matt Olson from the A’s, who is a similarly elite first baseman to Freeman and is 4 years younger. They also added former Rays pitcher Colin McHugh and longtime Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen to an already exceptional bullpen. Also, the Braves were without MVP candidate Ronald Acuna Jr. for most of the second half of last year, and he will make a big difference once he returns early this season. The Mets and Phillies made some big splashes in free agency, but until they prove it, I don’t see them overtaking the Braves, who have far fewer holes in their roster. The Braves have won this division 4 years in a row, and I don’t see it changing this year.
Austin’s Best Bet: Braves Division Winner +125
I’ll be lazy and just retweet Ryan’s bet. Braves fans won’t like it but Olson produced better numbers than Freeman last year… They get Acuna Jr. back like Ryan mentioned and anytime you add an MVP caliber player, your team should improve. As a Rays fan, I was very sad when the Rays lost McHugh to the Braves because I loved him and I think he’s sneaky good. Give me the Braves and I’ll sleep well tonight.
Ryan’s Best Bet: Seiya Suzuki NL Rookie of the year +350
Seiya Suzuki is a 27-year-old rookie from Japan on the Chicago Cubs. I am a big believer in Suzuki, but this bet is less about Suzuki’s talent and more about his competition. Unlike the American League, the NL ROY pool is pretty weak. Considering Suzuki will get an opportunity to start from day one in the Cubs outfield, it is his award to lose.
Austin’s Best Bet: Nolan Arenado Over 32.5 HR -110
Arenado balls. Since 2015 he has one season under 32.5 Home Runs. Take a wild guess at which season that one was. If you guessed the COVID shortened season, you’d be correct. Yes, he was under pace (30.39/182) but NOT BY MUCH. He hasn’t fallen off yet and barring an injury I think this is as locky as a lock can get.
Ryan’s Best Bet: Los Angeles Dodgers Best record in MLB +220
The Dodgers are loaded again and are poised to make another World Series run. Due to some critical injuries and the rise of the San Francisco Giants, the Dodgers finished one game away from the best record in baseball last year. With the addition of Freddie Freeman this offseason, I think the Dodgers should coast to earn the best regular-season record this season.
San Francisco Giants Best record in MLB +3500:
This is the fun part of this article and this website where I predict the opposite of what Ryan said and then try and find stats that help prove my point (stats can lie people!). Two 2021 starters start the year on the DL, but that happens to everyone. They lost Gausmann to the Blue Jays and that hurts but this team can overcome a lot if they continue to just hit the ball as well as they did last year. I’ll take my odds on a +3500 and hope that some kind of confusion and mayhem comes to the Dodgers, opening the door for the Giants to have the #1 record in MLB.
Odds provided by FanDuel Sportsbook