Finding Value in the MLB Futures Market

May 28, 2021
Tyler Glasnow and Rays could win it all

It’s been an interesting MLB season thus far. It is no surprise that the San Diego Padres have the best record in baseball after 51 games at 32-19. What was surprising was that the defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers were sitting in third place in NL West at one point. That may happen again this season and the Padres, Dodgers, and Giants jockey for the division lead.

While picking an NL West Division leader might be a tough one, there is some serious value to be found in the various MLB futures markets. It all starts with the World Series.

World Series

Yes, the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers are still favored to win it all again and their recent eight-game win streak proves they are capable. Don’t forget though, there hasn’t been a repeat World Series champion since the New York Yankees won three straight from 1998 to 2000. And, with the Dodgers listed at +300, bettors would like a more attractive payout. That brings us to the real value picks in the most recent World Series race.

San Diego (+750) has what it takes to win a World Series. Their pitching staff has the best overall ERA in baseball. Their bats are equally capable with Fernando Tatis Jr. back in the lineup. That’s why the Padres currently have MLB’s best record. The same can be said of the Chicago White Sox (+900) who lead the NL Central and also have MLB’s second-highest run differential.

But, for real value, we must dig further.

City of Champions – Tampa Bay

So, the Buccaneers started the year off with a Super Bowl. The NHL’s Lightning won their first-round Stanley Cup series and are looking to defend their title, and the Rays – not Boston or New York – sit atop the AL East after 52 games.

The AL East was supposed to be all about the Yankees this season. All that power in the lineup, an ace-filled pitching staff. There was no doubt this was New York’s year. Then, guys like Aaron Hicks and Giancarlo Stanton suffered through injuries and D.J. LeMahieu is off to a poor season start. After 50 games, the Yankees aren’t even second in the division, but the Rays … the Rays have been outstanding.

Tampa Bay is batting just .232 but they are ninth in home runs (63) and tied for first in runs scored (259). Their pitching has been solid as well. Led by Tyler Glasnow (4-2, 2.57 ERA), the Rays pitching staff is eighth in MLB in ERA at 3.46 and Tampa Bay pitchers have the fourth-best WHIP (1.12) in the majors.

At +1400, the Rays offer a little more value than the favorites and they surely have the talent – especially the pitching – to get to the World Series … and win it. By the way, you can bet this now at any one of our top rated sportsbooks

Giants Killers

What if you could get a legitimate World Series contender right now at +3300? The San Francisco Giants are right in the thick of the NL West race and have been all season. They are 30-20 after 50 games and have a roster built to win a title. San Francisco may be devoid of a true superstar, but they are solid at every position on the field and their pitching keeps them in games.

Giants pitchers have the sixth-best ERA in the majors (3.28) and the bullpen is tied for the most saves in the majors with 19. The Giants only hit .227 (24th overall), but they are fifth in home runs (69) and 10th in run production. The Giants have won two of three games against San Diego twice already this season. They will have to prove they can beat the Dodgers, but San Francisco at +3300 is bet worth considering. You can bet this now at any one of our top rated sportsbooks

MVP Races

Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna Jr. (+175) is the favorite to win the NL MVP this year. He is followed closely by San Diego’s Tatis (+325). Both teams will play in the postseason and both could win the AL pennant. The likely NL winner seems like it will be one of those two barring injury.

Scanning the NL MVP board, it’s possible but not likely a guy like Cincy’s Nick Castellanos (+1400) sneaks in there. The same holds for his teammate Jesse Winker (+4000) who, like Castellanos, could win the NL batting title.

The AL MVP race is little more interesting. At the moment, the Angels Shohei Ohtani is the favorite at even money. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (+250) is the only other player listed below +1000. The lone player listed at +1000 is Ohtani’s teammate, Mike Trout.

Trout will miss six to eight weeks with a calf injury. He is expected to return at the beginning of August. That would give him just enough time to make a huge impact on his numbers this season. Through 36 games in 2021, Trout was hitting .333 with eight homers and 18 RBI. He was on pace to hit close to 40 homers and 90 RBIs. With three AL MVPs under his belt already, a strong finish to the season will put Trout right in the thick of the race.