It seems like just yesterday that the Houston Astros were getting screwed over by a phoney fan interference call that paved the way to the Boston Red Sox winning the 2018 World Series, but here we are with Sportsbook Day just days away (and a number of top free agents still not signed) and us bettors are presented with an absolute avalanche of betting options for the 2019 season.
I took it upon myself to step away from more pressing work duties and time with my family to dig into those options and came out with 10 bets and some extras that make me very … very … Excited!
Here’s my 10 favorite bets for the 2019 Major League Baseball season. All odds courtesy of Sportsbook using odds from March 22:
Rockies WILL make the playoffs (+185)
This is actually disrespectful to the point that I’m offended. I plan on doing multiple social media posts about how offended I am by this in hopes that other people will become offended as well. For real, though, Colorado has made the playoffs in consecutive seasons and I think the Rockies will only get better as their young starting rotation continues to progress. This is a much more balanced club than people give it credit for — the Rox ranked fifth in fielding percentage in 2018 and posted the 10th-best ERA in the second half of the season. At almost 2-to-1, this bet excites me a great deal despite being offended.
D-backs UNDER 75.5 wins (EVEN)
This is only 6.5 fewer wins than the mark they set in 2018, but this club is A LOT different after losing its two best hitters, Goldschmidt and Pollock, and its best starter from 2018, Patrick Corbin. Those three combined for a 12.5 WAR in 2018 and I do not believe their replacements will be able to make up those wins. There’s also the potential to dump more talent as the losses mount up during the season, which will do OVER bettors no favors whatsoever.
Yankees to win AL East (-135)
The juice here sucks, especially when you’re betting against the defending World Series champs, but the defending champs didn’t do anything to improve and will likely see some regression with both Craig Kimbrel and Joe Kelly no longer in the bullpen. As for the Yanks, they added top reliever Adam Ottavino, giving them the potential to have one of the best pens in the history of the game, and nabbed James Paxton, who will be an excellent front-end starter. Add that to a world-class offense and this has the makings of a monster regular season … which will end with them getting booed off the field when they once again fizzle out in the playoffs.
George Springer to score OVER 95.5 runs (-115)
I think oddsmakers may have fallen asleep with this one. Springer has averaged 110 runs scored over the last three seasons despite missing a total of 44 games over the last two seasons. Hitting atop one of baseball’s most potent offenses, I see no reason for him not to keep pace with previous years’ numbers or even surpass them if Altuve and Correa can stay healthy and collect some easy RBIs with Curious George tearing up the basepaths.
Cubs to NOT make the playoffs (-105)
The Cubbies have some serious competition in the NL Central and as a result of handing out some horrible contracts the past few seasons, their hands were tied in the offseason and they weren’t able to improve an offense that ranked 19th in runs scored in the second half last season. I can’t knock their pitching, but unless Jason Heyward, who’s still owed over $100 million over the next five seasons, can start living up to that contract, I don’t see the Cubs keeping pace with the Cardinals and Brewers.
Dodgers to NOT make the playoffs (+600)
I still kinda think that this might be a typo, but I’ve already taken advantage of this asinine number and I think you should too. It only takes a few things to derail a season (see the 2018 Nationals) and at +600 it’s worth the gamble to assume that the Dodgers could fall victim to an injury-plagued season where some of the top talent underperforms.
Clayton Kershaw’s ERA will be OVER 2.50 (-120)
The writing is on the wall that Kershaw is slowing down, but that’s not to say he still won’t have a strong season. He’s coming off a year where he had a 2.73 ERA and here’s the thing: only four starters in 2018 had an ERA below 2.50. Even if he stays completely healthy, I expect his numbers to be on par with last year’s, which is still really good — so settle down, Dodgers stans!
Team with most losses: Orioles (+220)
Baltimore is the favorite and I love these odds for a team that’s coming off a 47-win season and made no needle-moving roster moves in the offseason. They play in a division with two monsters plus the Rays and Jays, who should hover around .500 ball. What’s a realistic best-case scenario here? Improve by 10 wins? That would bring them to 57 wins, which still would have been the worst record last season. And, MY GOD, Dylan Bundy is still this team’s projected No. 1 starter. That truly is a rough scene.
OVER 23.5 Home Runs for Miguel Andujar (-115)
What gives with the low number? Some might call it a trap, but I’ll call it a gift after watching Andujar hit 27 home runs in his first full season in the bigs. He actually improved as the season went on, hitting 15 home runs with a .575 slugging percentage in the second half vs 12 dingers and a .489 slugging mark in the first half. No need to overthink this one.
Astros to win World Series (+600)
This is the most complete team in the game and if it wasn’t for a few bad breaks with injuries and the aforementioned horrendous fan interference call in the ALCS vs the Red Sox, I believe they would have gone back to back. I could rattle off a bunch of stats for you, but it’s not necessary. There’s no clear-cut second-best team in the AL West, meaning their path to clinching a playoff berth will be easier than that of other top contenders, plus there’s no threat of ending up in a wild-card spot, unlike the Yankees and Red Sox.
Much like us bettors, the Astros’ top two arms will be chasing that paper this season with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole in contract years. The Astros also have one of the top farm systems in the game, allowing for some flexibility at the deadline if they want to make a splash.
In summary, the Astros are stacked with blue-chip personnel, both experienced and young, with an easy path to the playoffs and they got screwed last year.
19 Other Bets that i like
Other bets that excite me that I didn’t have time to do writeups for because I need to get back to my family and more pressing work responsibilities such as mentoring some of the younger members of our content team to ensure they’re staying off the streets and remaining faithful to their life partners: