Summer is officially upon us, which means the baseball season is starting to heat up. We’re almost at the halfway point of the season and the All-Star break, so now’s as good a time as ever to take stock on some MLB futures bets. Here are my best 2023 MLB futures bets at the (almost) midway point of the season.
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2023 MLB Futures: (Almost) Mid-Season Update
San Francisco Giants to win the National League West (+340)
They don’t have the star-studded lineup like their divisional rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers, do, but it’s the San Francisco Giants who have been the best team in baseball over the past 30 games, going 21-9 (the Dodgers were 18-12). Going 9-1 over their last 10, the Giants have crept (more like leaped) to within three games of the division-leading Arizona Diamondbacks. We’re getting +340 on a team that won 107 games two seasons ago and is the hottest in baseball. I like.
Atlanta Braves to win the National League (+170) & the World Series (+360)
Similar to the Giants, the Braves have been smoking lately, going 8-2, 15-5 (best in baseball), and 20-10 over the last 10, 20, and 30 games, respectively. Unlike the Giants, they do have a star-studded roster, plus a tendency to always be in the running to win the World Series. Ronald Acuna Jr is back and better than ever, Sean Murphy is excelling in his first year in the ATL, and Spencer Strider is flame-throwing. If you’re betting Atlanta to win the World Series, you’ve got to pair it up with them winning the National League as well.
Houston Astros to win the American League (+550)
When doesn’t Houston win the American League, I ask you?! Sure, at 41-34, five games behind the surprising Texas Rangers, the Astros haven’t been playing up to their normal level. But when the chips are down, this franchise comes through. With four American League pennants in the past six years, I’ll gladly take +550 on their chances of making it five out of the past seven years. It’s the Astros, after all.
Shane McClanahan to win the American League Cy Young (+225)
The best player on the best team in MLB, third-year ace Shane McClanahan is the odds-on favorite to win the American League Cy Young Award – however, we are still getting a decent +225 line on him. He leads the majors in wins (11-1) and ERA (2.12), and at 26 years old and in his athletic prime, there’s no reason why he can’t keep this up.
His WHIP is actually higher than it was last season, so he even has room to improve. The Tampa Bay Rays don’t look like they will slow down at any point this season, and their ace will be rewarded for their success after the season.
Spencer Strider to win the National League Cy Young (+600)
Let’s stick with the Cy Young Award, but get even better odds on the National League award winner. As mentioned above, Spencer Strider throws flames for a living and is running away with the MLB strikeout title. And the Braves should continue to be the best team in baseball, so his wins should also be up there. With his ERA much higher than last year’s, I think he can get that down to a nice level and put himself in the catbird seat come award season.
Elly De La Cruz to win the National League Rookie of the Year (+600)
We’ll go with a fairly big longshot to wrap things up. Speaking of wrapping things up, it appears like Arizona’s Corbin Carroll has the National League Rookie of the Year award wrapped up – maybe even the National League MVP award.
However, since being called up by Cincinnati, Elly De La Cruz has been a revelation and is making a big splash now that he’s made it to the show. In fact, he’s been almost as good as Carroll has been. With the Reds surging and being a big surprise team this season, all it takes is Carroll to slump a bit and De La Cruz to keep it up to put him in the Rookie of the Year race.