Discover more from Pointless Exercise
Free for all: A look at some of the best bets in baseball this year
The opening series turned out pretty well for the Cubs, but not as good as it was for this newsletter. A year after originally intended, we went with paid subscriptions, and our first weekend response was really good. Maybe you subscribed, and if you did, thanks! If not, you’re getting this because it’s a free edition of the newsletter. But if you want to read about what went wrong in the Cubs opener and in Marquee’s first game broadcast of their second season, there’s a post on the game over on the pay side of the newsletter and site. And, if you sign up any time before Thursday, April 8 you get 15% off for the entire year. Join in on the fun.
But while we’re here, we might as well have some fun of our own. So let’s take a look at the season ahead with eye on some season long props.
Betting on baseball can be a little confusing at first , but not if you get the best information. That includes live odds for MLB games, one go to source is SportsBettingDime who update the odds in real time. If you’re confused about baseball odds, what the run line is, or you just want to know what percentage of the money is being bet on which side, all of that info is at your fingertips.
Sure, 30 teams are playing again this season, but it really feels like only three of them have real shots at winning the World Series. The Dodgers won the 60-game grabass Supermarket Sprint version last year, and I’m sure they’d like to finally win their first real one since Orel Hershiser and Kirk Gibson’s 1988 team. They are the prohibitive favorite at +350 with good reason, and honestly it’s hard to imagine betting the over on a team with 102.5 over/under, but look around the NL West and tell me there aren’t a lot of wins to be had by both them and the Padres.
Speaking of the Padres (and we just were), they might be the best value bet at +800, because if the Dodgers don’t win it, it’s probably because the Padres took them out in the NL Playoffs. Yeah, the Mets and the Barves and, blah, blah, blah.
The American League team best positioned are the Yankees. They’re +550. But if I’m betting on anybody but the Dodgers, I still think I’d go with the horrible yellow and brown uniforms of the Padres. And it’s alright to kind of like them, again, right? I mean Steve Garvey hasn’t played for them in like 34 years. Man, that guy was the worst. Yeah, he may have beaten Lee Smith in Game Four, but he’s never going to the Hall of Fame. So that’s something.
If I were to throw money on a longshot, and I just might, why not the Kyle Schwarber-Starlin Castro-Jon Lester Nats? Sure, they’re busy licking doorknobs right now, but a slow start to every season is just kind of their brand. If they get in the playoffs you suddenly have to deal with Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin. That worked pretty well the last time they got in. And, true, the Cubs took two thirds of that down in 2017, but you remember who their manager was at the time?
They are +3300 to win it all this year.
The Cubs’ are +4000, but come on, we might as well take our money and just set it on fire as put it down on them. Some of their best players (and our favorites) might not even finish the season with them, and we got a good look at the full extent of the bullpen on Thursday. Yikes.
But you know what’s more fun? Let’s pick on the Cardinals. Even with the addition of Nolan Arenado, this isn’t a very good team. In fact, the NL Central doesn’t seem to be home to any of those. Is there value at the Cardinals at +2200? No! A top heavy offense, a rotation with injury and age issues, and their weird devotion to giving starts to both Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina make them a less than safe bet to go over. Plus, they’re managed by an Energy Vampire:
Not just that. Check out their giveway for the first three games of the season:
Glue a baseball to it and you’re ready to go Halloween as Yadi.
That was a thing that happened in a game and everybody laughed like it was the funniest thing ever. He slathers so much pine tar on his chest protector that a ball bounced up and stuck to it.
Anyway, he’s bad now and he’s still playing. And that’s fine by me. And he’s somehow getting other players suspended by attempting to strangle them. I’ve got to hand it to him, that’s impressive, and the only productive thing he can still do on a baseball field.
Speaking of Dusty (we didn’t really speak of him, we just showed his picture up there), the Astros are also +2200, and that seems like good value for a team that had three chances to win the ALCS last year. But we know how that turned out. Plus their pitching’s hurt (surprise) and George Springer is gone, and Dusty’s still there. Just stay away.
I’m not wild about picking MVPs, but Juan Soto’s going to win one, and if you can get +735 in April, that seems like a pretty good deal. The other favorites all make sense. Mookie Betts (+750), Ronald Acuna (+800), Fernando Tatis Jr. (+850) and Cody Bellinger (+900). I wouldn’t bet a dollar on Arenado (+`1200), and the Cubs’ prospects of winning one are all pretty sad.
In what’s supposed to be the prime of their careers, Kris Bryant (+3000), Anthony Rizzo (+3000), and Javy (+3300) are fairly long longshots, and they even throw Ian Happ (+4000) and Joc Pederson (+4000) a bone. But honestly, it’s because they know Cubs fans will mindlessly blow money on their guys whether they have a shot (none of them do) or not.
In the American League, Mike Trout is always the favorite (+225) probably because he’s won it three times, been runner up four times and has never been outside of the top five in MVP voting in any full season. That leaves a big spread between him and everybody else. Alex Bregman, Aaron Judge and Jose Ramirez are all +1200. Shohei’s kind of a fun bet at +2000 (you can also bet him for Cy Young at +4000).
The Sox have Jose Abreu (+2500), Tim Anderson (+2500), Luis Robert (+2500) and Yasmani Grandal (+3000). If I had to bet any of those (and I won’t) it’d be Anderson. There are four ex-Cubs with decent odds. Gleyber Torres (+2500), DJ LaMahieu (+3300), Josh Donaldson (+4000) and Jorge Soler (+10,000). Donaldson’s already hurt, Jorge could hit 90 homers and not win it as a Royal, but Gleyber might have a shot.
The Mets are going to be pretty good, so if Jacob deGrom stays healthy he’s the clear front-runner, and his odds reflect it at (+425). I wouldn’t bet your money much less my own on Trevor Bauer (+700). I think if anybody but deGrom wins it, it’s either a Padre (Yu or Snell are both +1200) or Walker Buehler at +1000. They don’t think much of a Cub’s chance. Jake is the best odds (really?) at +6000 and Kyle Hendricks is +6600. Maybe they predicted how bad he’d be Thursday?
In the AL, Gerrit Cole is the favorite at +350, and Shane Bieber is +450 to repeat. I like Tyler Glasnow at +950. The White Sox have four guys. Lucas Giolito (+450), Lance Lynn (+1700), Dallas Keuchel (+2200) and get this, Dylan Cease is +4000. I wouldn’t bet any of them, but especially not Lynn or Cease. I think I might take Shohei at +4000. Assuming he survives the season.
Remember “Can Javy tag Javy?”
Well, here’s Can Shohei hit Shohei?”
I promise I won’t blow up your inbox any more, but as we ease into the season, I wanted to share a free post for everyone, and maybe I was just looking for an excuse to share the energy vampire video.