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MLB Futures That Currently Have Value

May 19, 2023
Sean Murphy

We’re not even two months into the 2023 MLB season, but the futures market continues to take shape. There have been a few surprises – the entire NL Central, for example – but the biggest thing to note is that there is still some great value available. It starts in the World Series Winner Market.


The NL Central

Everyone and their mother thought the St. Louis Cardinals would rule the NL Central again. The Cards have won five of the last ten division titles, including last season. The team still has reigning NL MVP Paul Goldschmidt, perennial All-Star Nolan Arenado, and a host of others. 

Somehow, by the beginning of May, St. Louis was 10-24 and in last place in the division. The Cards are still in the cellar, but they won nine of 11 to make them a more respectable 19-26 as of May 18. As a result of their poor start, the Cardinals are +4000 to win the World Series.

The bigger story in the division is the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Bucs started the season on a tear, going 20-8 in their first 28 games. They then reverted back to the Pirates of old losing 11 of their next 12. Still, Pittsburgh is in second place in the division. The Pirates lack the pitching to do much damage which is why their World Series odds haven’t changed much and stand at +10000 at BetUS.

Where the value lies in the NL Central is in Milwaukee. The Brewers have won two of the last five division crowns and, as of May 18, have taken over the lead in the division. They aren’t killing it on offense, but their pitching is outstanding. And, they have been without two-time All-Star Brandon Woodruff. When he returns to the lineup, look out. That’s why the Brewers are a bargain at +2000.


Other Best Bets

In the World Series market, the other best bets include Philadelphia and the Texas Rangers, both priced at +2200. The Phillies, of course, won the NL pennant last year. They played without Bryce Harper until recently and they have been without No. 3 starter Taijuan Walker. The combo of Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler and relievers Craig Kimbrel and Jose Alvarado give Philly quality pitching.

The Rangers have led the NL West for most of the new season. They are the top-scoring team in baseball averaging 6.19 runs per game. The lineup is full of power and SS Corey Seager has only played 12 games. Plus, ace pitcher Jacob deGrom has been out and won’t be back until sometime in June or July. The Rangers’ odds have dropped since opening and now is the time to pull the trigger before they continue to fall.


NL Cy Young

After nine starts, Atlanta’s Spencer Strider is starting to set himself apart. He’s 4-1 and just recently suffered his first loss. He gave up one earned run and struck out 12 but still lost to Toronto 3-0. Strider leads the majors in strikeouts with 86. He has had at least seven in every start and has nine or more in seven of the nine starts. 

Strider is currently priced at +225 at BetUS and that number is only going to fall. Where there is nice value on a longshot – if you can call him that – is the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw. A three-time award winner already, Kershaw is proving that he still has it. He’s tied for second in MLB with six wins (6-3) and he has a 2.52 ERA. At +1000, you know the Dodgers will be right in the thick of the World Series hunt. With solid numbers, that gives Kershaw a shot at a fourth Cy Young.


AL Rookie of the Year

All eyes are on Masataka Yoshida of Boston who sits at +110 (BetOnline), but the race is far from over. The Red Sox are going to have a hard time making the playoffs and Yoshida’s numbers aren’t jaw-dropping.

One team that will likely make the playoffs – more on that in a moment – is the Baltimore Orioles. Rookie pitcher Grayson Rodgriguez isn’t even on many betting boards yet. The right-hander is 2-1 and has a 10.7 K/BB ratio. Baltimore is second in the division and Rodriguez has the potential to put up some big numbers. You can find him anywhere from +3300 to +7500. 



Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna Jr. is the favorite at +125 at and it’s easy to see why. He’s second in the majors batting .345 and he has 11 homers and 27 RBIs. He’s on track to hit 41 dingers and drive in 102 runs. The Braves, of course, will likely be in the NL pennant discussion.

While you can still get Acuna at plus-money, the better value is on his teammate, C Sean Murphy. The Braves catcher bats .268 with 10 homers and 34 RBI. He is on pace for a 38-128 season. Murphy is more of a longshot at +1800.

The Mets’ Pete Alonso, a former NL ROTY, also offers plenty of value at +1200. He leads the majors with 16 homers and is on pace to hit 58 for the season. 


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