It’s Opening Day!
The MLB season is here, but that doesn’t mean you’ve run out of time to place your MLB futures bets. There is still plenty of time to get in on the action, and one of our favorite ways is with team win totals. Early on in the season, there are a few places where you can find value on bets for teams to go over or under their projected win total, so today we’ll walk you through some of our favorites.
All odds are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook, and you can find up-to-the-minute odds here.
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Arizona Diamondbacks OVER 75.5 wins (-110)
This is a young Diamondbacks team that is on the upswing, and I’m not sure the sportsbooks are fully caught up. There’s some disagreement in the models on Arizona this season. ZiPS has them with 81 wins and FanGraphs has them at 77, but I think something around 78-80 makes a lot of sense.
This team is young, athletic, and super fast, which will be great with the new stolen base rules. Stolen base attempts are up 20% in spring training this season compared to last year’s spring training, and the Diamondbacks have a few real burners in Corbin Carroll, Jake McCarthy, Josh Rojas, and Alek Thomas. They are going to put a ton of pressure on opposing defenses, which is something that could steal them a few wins (pun intended).
They also play solid defense and have even upside once they turn the page on veteran starters like Madison Bumgarner and Zach Davies and find spots for Ryne Nelson, Drey Jameson, and spring training star Brandon Pfaadt. Nelson registered a 117.8 Stuff+, per Eno Sarris’ model from The Athletic, and Pfaadt was electric this spring and will likely be up by the summer.
The Diamondbacks bullpen continues to be an issue, but I would bet them as high at 77 wins.
Miami Marlins OVER 75.5 Wins (-110)
Miami’s offseason additions were boring, but getting guys like Jean Segura, Luis Arraez, Joey Wendle, and Yuli Gurriel just raises the floor for this team since they are proven veterans who are plus-contact hitters who don’t hit for power, but rarely give up easy outs.
When you add safe, boring veterans like that to exciting young players like Bryan de la Cruz and Jazz Chisholm, who was putting up MVP-level numbers until he missed the final 100 games of the season, you have a relatively intriguing lineup. That’s even before you bake in any potential bounceback from veterans Jorge Soler and Avisail Garcia.
However, Miami’s bread is buttered with their rotation, which remains one of the best in baseball. Sandy Alcantara was last year’s NL Cy Young, Jesus Luzardo is a former top prospect who looks like a stud this spring, Edward Cabrera had a breakout 2022 and Trevor Rogers should be better than his poor 2022 and pitch closer to his breakout 2021.
Plus, they have one of the three best pitching prospects in MLB with Eury Pérez, along with the reliable Braxton Garrett, who pitched solid innings in 2022. That’s a deep and talented rotation.
With 18 fewer games against the Braves, Mets, and Phillies, you can see why PECOTA has the Marlins projected for 80.2 wins and FanGraphs has them at 79. That makes them good value here at 75.5
Detroit Tiger UNDER 69.5 wins (-110)
We can’t be all sunshine and rainbows here, so let’s mix in an under bet.
Detroit won 66 games last year but will now be without two of their best young pitchers in Tarik Skubal and Casey Mize and didn’t really make any improvements to their lineup. They acquired Nick Maton and Matt Vierling from the Phillies, but those are MLB replacement-level players or slightly better.
Yes, they should get better years from Austin Meadows and Spencer Torkelson, and Matthew Boyd looks good this spring, but this is a weak lineup and a starting rotation without any real ace or consistently solid performers. What’s more is that the Tigers relied heavily upon the shift last year and they don’t really steal bases, so the new rules aren’t set up to help them much, if at all.
I think it could be a long year in Detroit.
Boston Red Sox over 78.5 Wins (-115)
I know things were bad in Boston last year, but the sportsbooks are really insulting this team that made the MLB playoffs two years ago.
Chris Sale is back and fully healthy (for now), and the Red Sox should get full years from Garrett Whitlock and Brayan Bello, who are both set to return to the starting rotation in late April. They also made a solid depth signing with Corey Kluber, who they believe they can improve by optimizing his pitch mix, the same way they did last year when they signed Michael Wacha and saw him win 11 games and post a 3.32 ERA after two consecutive years with over a 5.05 ERA.
The bullpen is now a strength too with the additions of Kenley Jansen, Chris Martin, and Richard Bleier to go along with last year’s breakout John Schreiber.
Plus, the lineup is not as bad as many think. The bottom will be a bit weak until Trevor Story comes back in the second half, but a top six that features Alex Verdugo, Rafael Devers, Justin Turner, Adam Duvall, Triston Casas, and World Baseball Classic stud Masataka Yoshida is one that is going to score runs.
This team could easily win 85 games this year.
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