And just like that, we’re off! The 2023 MLB season got off to a grand start with Opening Day on Thursday, March 30. It won’t be long before the NBA and NHL sign off for the summer and baseball consumes us.
For bettors, they can get in on the action early. There is plenty of value right now in the MLB futures market. Parting ways with your hard-earned cash for six months isn’t all that appealing, but turning a nice profit on it sure is. Here’s where you can find early value on MLB futures.
There is a lot of buzz around both the Texas Rangers and San Diego Padres in 2023, and for good reason. Corey Seager looks to come back from what was his worst season in the majors and the Rangers now have one of the best pitching rotations in baseball with the addition of Jacob deGrom.
The Padres have a ridiculous lineup with Manny Machado, Xander Bogaerts, Juan Soto, and they’ll get Fernando Tatis Jr. back soon. However, both the Padres and Rangers have issues. That’s why bettors should be looking at the Under on both teams’ win totals.
San Diego’s Yu Darvish has seen his strikeout rate decline three years in a row and he’s given up 50 homers over the last two seasons. Joe Musgrove is good, but the rest of the pitching rotation is shaky. With the Dodgers and Giants in the division, the Padres going Over 93.5 wins just isn’t going to happen.
It’s the same for Texas. The Rangers haven’t won more than 78 games since the 2016 season. The defense is so-so and the rest of the pitching rotation doesn’t add up to a 15-game swing to go Over 82.5 wins. Not happening.
The K King
If you don’t know Hunter Greene, you will. Greene was a rookie with the Reds last year and he struggled at times. He did, however, manage to strike out 164 batters in 125.2 innings. Greene improved a lot and was at his best in his last four starts last year. In those, he pitched 29 innings and had an ERA of 0.78. He had two double-digit strikeout games and his K/9 ratio was an astounding 14.5.
With a 100 mph fastball and a whiff rate of 40 percent over the last two months of the season, watch out for Greene to start mowing down hitters in 2023. Barring injury, Greene is an easy pick to go Over 181.5 strikeouts for the season. Where you might also lay a small wager is on Greene to lead MLB in Ks. He’s sitting at +3200 right now.
AL Pennant Winner
The public is all over the Astros (+275) and Yankees (+350). The real value is elsewhere. You can find it in the Tampa Bay Rays pitching staff. Shane McClanahan is one of the best in MLB. Jeffrey Springs moved into the starting rotation from the bullpen last year and Drew Rasmussen and Tyler Glasnow are all guys that are projected to have a 3.50 ERA or better.
The Rays made the playoffs last year with a solid offense – Wander Franco, Randy Arozarena, etc. – and what is one of the top-5 bullpens in baseball. The Rays are a strong value at +1000 to win the AL pennant.
National League MVP
Juan Soto and Mookie Betts are at the top of most sportsbooks’ betting boards in this category. Both are strong contenders as they play for teams that should compete for both division and pennant titles.
The New York Mets fit that category too. Many books have the Mets as the overall betting favorite to win the NL pennant. The MVP award in baseball typically goes to the best player on the best team. In the case of the Mets, that would be 1B Pete Alonso.
If you remember Alonso, he’s the guy that broke the MLB rookie home run record in 2019 by hitting 53. He won the NL ROTY that season. He’s hit at least 37 homers in seasons not shortened by the coronavirus. Don’t forget, the Mets added AL Cy Young winner Justin Verlander to a rotation that already includes three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer.
With a pennant and numbers close to what he put up last year, Alonso is a value at +1600 at BetUS.com.