Three MLB futures bets to make right now

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As somebody constantly scouring the futures markets for good buy points on players, it seems like we have some of those around the 40-game mark right now. Here are three futures bets that you should consider making:

Mookie Betts NL MVP 25/1 at Westgate (20/1 at BetMGM/Draftkings/Fanduel)

Last 15 Days

Machado: 13/40, 7 runs, 3 HR, 7 RBIs, 2 stolen bases, .449 OBP

Betts: 15/52, 9 runs, 4 HR, 12 RBIs, 0 stolen bases, .333 OBP

Analysis: Early in the season, you often see the most fragmentation in the MLB Player Awards markets. This season is no different and we are currently seeing Mookie Betts MVP odds drift out to as high as 25/1, with 20/1 widely available. Manny Machado currently leads MLB in fWAR, and he has the inside track at winning his first career MVP if he can keep this pace up all season, but 30 games into the season I don’t see any reason why Machado has been shortened to + 350 across the board and Mookie Betts trades at 20/1+ . 

Oneil Cruz NL Rookie of the Year 25/1 (25/1 at BetMGM/Draftkings/Fanduel/Kambi, 12/1 at Superbook).

Analysis: Oneil Cruz has been struggling in AAA after not breaking camp with the Pirates. In 30 games for AAA Indianapolis, Cruz has 22 hits in 119 at bats, 18 runs scored, 3 home runs, 20 RBIs, 8 stolen bases and a 38/18 K/BB rate, and a slash line of .185/.302/.630. Those numbers at face value don’t deserve a major league call-up, but closer observation has shown that Cruz is definitely playing disinterested at times, and not trying 100%, likely as a form of protest with his demotion to AAA. This past weekend, Cruz had exit velocities of 114, 116 and 121.7 MPH.

Cruz was 10/1 to win NL Rookie of the Year before the season started when he was projected to get 500+  at bats in Pittsburgh, he’ll likely get closer to 400 at bats when he does eventually get called up, and even with a substandard batting average, he should get the call sooner than later, likely right after the Super Two deadline in late May. When he gets called up this line will drop again, and with nobody really taking control of the NL Rookie of the Year race, Cruz will have an excellent chance to contend even if he ends up with 250-400 at bats. 

Justin Verlander AL Cy Young 5/1 (5/1 at BetMGM/Fanduel, + 450 at Superbook)

Analysis: When I bet my AL Cy Young winners preseason I had no intention of betting Verlander,  as 37-year-old pitchers who have missed two years don’t have great track records when it comes to returning at ace-level. I probably should have known better to pass on Justin Verlander at 20/1 odds. 

I bet Ohtani before the season at 40/1 and 30/1 and again at 15/1 after the season started. I also have money on Shane McClanahan at 40/1 and 25/1. If Kevin Gausman or Gerrit Cole or Dylan Cease beat me I’m ok with that. The main front-runner I am concerned about losing to is Verlander.

Verlander has pitched 45.2 innings this season and given up 7 ER with a 41/9 K/BB rate. A 1.38 ERA and 0.68 WHIP round out Verlander’s front-runner status. I would like to see Verlander falter a bit, but in the event he doesn’t, I am betting some Verlander here at 5/1 to hedge some of my risk on Ohtani and McClanahan. But, I hope I lose this bet. 

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