Betting Splits and Sharp Money Picks for MLB Awards

July 12, 2023 07:05 AM

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In the meantime, let's make the most of the MLB All Star break by examining the futures market for some sharp player award opportunities (odds and percentages via BetMGM).



Shohei Ohtani (.302, 32 homers, 71 RBis) is running away with this award. The Angels' two-way star opened as the favorite at +200 and now sits as a massive -750 favorite. Ohtani is receiving 18% of bets and 43% of money, by far the most bets and dollars of any player. The next closest player is Rangers' shortstop Corey Seager (.353, 12 homers, 52 RBis) at +1600. Barring an injury or trade to the National League, Ohtani will be taking home this award. However, at -750 the price is so high that there isn't much value to playing the number. You have to risk so much to win so little, which makes it largely unbettable at this point. Ohtani (7-4, 3.32 ERA) is also in play for the AL Cy Young. He is currently +1200, the 6th best odds overall. 



Much like Ohtani in the AL, Braves' outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr is a big favorite to take home the NL MVP. Acuna opened at +1200 and now sits at -350. He is receiving 19% of bets and 44% of money, by far the most bets and dollars of any player. The next closest competitor is Dodgers' outfielder Mookie Betts (.276, 26 homers, 62 RBIs) at +650. Acuna is hitting .331 with 21 home runs and 55 RBIs and hits leadoff for the best team in MLB. Acuna is half the price of Ohtani, which makes him a more appealing bet if you have to choose between the two. 


AL Cy Young

This award lacks a favorite at minus money, which provides a plus-money opportunity for value-driven bettors. Rays' lefty Shane McClanahan (11-1, 2.53 ERA) had been the favorite but has fallen off due to injury and now sits at +800. Astros' lefty Framber Valdez (7-6, 2.51 ERA) is the favorite at +200. However, he is receiving just 4% of bets and 5% of money. The value play might be Yankees' ace Gerrit Cole. He has the 2nd-best odds at +300. He is also receiving the sharpest bet split, taking in 8% of bets but 18% of money, the largest handle of any pitcher. Cole has gone 9-2 with a 2.85 ERA and leads AL pitchers in WAR (3.8). He is also a durable veteran who has gone over 200 innings five times in his career. 


NL Cy Young

This award is currently a three-pitcher race. The current favorite is Diamondbacks' RHP Zac Gallen (11-3, 3.04 ERA) at +240. He is receiving 18% of bets and 23% of money. Dodgers' southpaw Clayton Kershaw (10-4, 2.55 ERA) is second at +325 but is only receiving 3% of bets and 4% of money. The value play here might be Braves righty Spencer Strider (11-2, 3.44 ERA). He has the 3rd-best odds at +400 but is receiving the sharpest bet discrepancy, taking in 17% of bets but 23% of money. Strider pitches for the best team in MLB, which means he is liable to rake in many second half wins due to the loaded lineup behind him. 


AL Rookie of the Year

Red Sox outfielder Masataka Yoshida (.316, 10 homers, 44 RBIs) was the favorite for much of the first half but has recently slipped to +275. Yoshida is still the popular bet, taking into account 25% of bets and 28% of money. However, the favorite (and likely value play) is Rangers' infielder Josh Jung. Jung is +125 and currently receiving 10% of bets but 16% of money. Jung (.280, 19 homers, 56 RBIs) leads all AL Rookies in homers, RBIs, totals bases and hits. He also plays for the best offense in baseball, with the Rangers leading MLB in runs scored (531). Jung also plays at Globe Life Field, a hitter friendly ballpark that is currently the 3rd-best park for overs (26-16, 62%). Gunnar Henderson (.246, 13 homers, 37 RBIs) of the Orioles could also be worth a look. He has the 3rd best odds at +300 and is currently receiving 17% of bets and 20% of money. 


NL Rookie of the Year

A month ago, Diamondbacks' outfielder Corbin Carroll looked like a lay up to win this award. He opened at +400 and peaked at -400. Carroll is currently receiving 18% of bets and 33% of money, the largest handle of any player. However, Reds' phenom Elly De La Cruz has made this award interesting. Cruz has the 2nd best odds at +275 and is raking in 27% of bets and 21% of money. Cruz's stats have been incredible (.325, 4 homers, 16 RBIs) but he was called up late and will need to play catch up to Carroll (.289, 18 homers, 48 RBIs). Carroll has been dealing with a shoulder injury at times this season. This award is likely to go down to the wire. 

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