All bets are risking one unit unless specified. For the purpose of this column, one unit is equal to $500.
Anthony Rizzo Under 11.5 home runs -115 at BetMGM:
Some early reports have mentioned that Rizzo came into training camp with a sore back. While there is no indication it will prevent him from being ready for opening day, this type of injury can linger all season. A quick DL trip or periodically having to sit out for extra rest would swing this toward the Under.
Trevor Bauer Over 83.5 strikeouts -125 at BetMGM:
Another early report out of training camp has Bauer asking to pitch every four days, which would put him in line for 15 or 16 starts and over 100 innings. If this plan happens, he will easily fly over 83.5 strikeouts. This would also very much put Bauer in play to have the most wins in the National League as well as go Over his personal win total. I am also betting Trevor Bauer Over 4.5 wins -120 and Trevor Bauer most wins in the National League at 25/1.
Washington Nationals to win NL East + 300 at Circa:
I think this price is too high for the best team in the NL East and defending World Series champion. Extra rest is helpful coming off a long postseason run. The Nationals have two of the three best starting pitchers in their division. I think the Mets and Braves will fight for second place and a wild-card spot, while the Phillies will have some struggles with Aaron Nola potentially not being stretched out early and Zack Wheeler stepping away at some point for the birth of his child.
Most strikeouts Max Scherzer + 550 at BetMGM .5x unit bet:
I already bet this. I’m just adding to it because I liked it so much. The main competition will be Gerrit Cole and potentially Trevor Bauer if he’s really going to pitch every four days.
Most home runs Luis Robert 100/1 at DraftKings for $200:
I tried to bet this at DraftKings, which approved me for $11.30 and made me send the rest for approval. I’d like to bet more on this number, but I can’t. Last year rookie Peter Alonso led MLB in home runs. Robert starts the season batting second for the White Sox and will get to beat up on pitchers from the Pirates, Tigers and Royals. I can see him contending for the home run title, and I like 100/1 most home runs better than laying a short price at 3/1 or 4/1 on the AL favorite for rookie of the year.
I will do a deeper dive next week on markets for AL and NL rookies of the year. I am still waiting for more places to put up odds, and I’d like to request some unlisted players. But for now I’ll bet some of the better numbers on a few non-favorites I’ve seen just to get it out of the way. More thorough explanations for all ROY bets next week. Remember when betting ROY markets, the most important thing isn’t talent — it’s opportunity.
AL Rookie of the Year Evan White 16/1 at BetMGM:
Everyday first baseman for the Seattle Mariners. First-round pick in 2017. Currently projected for the bottom of the batting order, but the Mariners are committed to him, having already signed him to a six-year major-league contract with a buyout of his arbitration years.
AL Rookie of the Year Nate Pearson 25/1 at Bet MGM:
Has the potential to be the ace of the Toronto Blue Jays’ staff. As the 28th pick in the 2017 draft, he’s a 6-foot-6 right-hander who flew through the minors and finished last year with 119 strikeouts in 101.2 innings across three minor-league levels. He needs to stay in the minors seven or eight more days for the Blue Jays to gain one more year of team control. Worst case, the Jays will keep Pearson down for the required amount of time and he will miss one start. Best case, they realize the collective bargaining agreement is being renegotiated after the 2021 season and service-time rules will change, so they bring him up Day 1. Pearson is my preseason pick for AL rookie of the year.
NL Rookie of the Year Alec Bohm 60/1 at Westgate .5x unit bet:
The Phillies might decide to move Bryce Harper to third base to get Bohm into the lineup every day at first or DH. Bohm was the third overall pick in the 2018 draft out of Wichita State. He’s a solid hitter and is vying for playing time against Jean Segura, Jay Bruce and Adam Haseley. He’s a better baseball player than those guys.
NL Rookie of the Year Dustin May 11/1 at BetMGM:
I like May’s odds at 11/1 better than his teammate and National League rookie of the year favorite, Gavin Lux, at 3/1. The Dodgers have taken some hits to their pitching with David Price opting to sit out the season and their two most reliable relievers, Kenley Jansen and Pedro Baez, late to training camp due to the coronavirus. Jansen expects to be ready for the start of the season, but I have a hard time trusting him. May will have the opportunity to contribute this season. I’m not sure if he’ll start or pitch in high-leverage relief situations, but he will pitch meaningful innings and I’ll take a shot on May at 11/1 to start the season.
$575 to win $500 on Anthony Rizzo hitting under 11.5 home runs
$625 to win $500 on Trevor Bauer having over 83.5 strikeouts
$600 to win $500 on Trevor Bauer Over 4.5 wins
$500 to win $12,500 on Trevor Bauer having the most wins in the National League
$500 to win $1,500 on the Washington Nationals winning the NL East
$250 to win $1,375 on Max Scherzer leading MLB in strikeouts
$200 to win $20,000 on Luis Robert hitting the most home runs
$500 to win $8,000 on Evan White winning American League rookie of the year
$500 to win $12,500 on Nate Pearson winning American League rookie of the year
$250 to win $15,000 on Alec Bohm winning National League rookie of the year
$500 to win $5,500 on Dustin May winning National League rookie of the year
This week I bet $4,500 on MLB futures for a new running total of $10,600.