2018 MLB Futures & Props: Astros Soaring; Giants Tumbling

  • Will the 2018 World Series be a rematch between the Astros and Dodgers?
  • Can Giancarlo Stanton win his second straight MVP, but this time in the AL?
  • Is the NL Cy Young more than a two-horse race between Kershaw and Scherzer?

Even though no regular-season games have been played in the meantime, the state of the MLB is markedly different today than it was a month ago, when many of the biggest free agents were still on the market, Shohei Ohtani was all the rage, and superstars like Madison Bumgarner and Justin Turner were healthy.

Before the 2018 season kicks off this afternoon with the Marlins hosting the Cubs (12:40 PM ET), get acquainted with the new forecast and odds for the year’s biggest storylines. 

World Series & Playoff Odds

The Cubs celebrating their 2016 World Series title.
The Cubs are just two years removed from winning the World Series. Can they shake off a mediocre 2017 and get back to the Fall Classic? (Photo: Arturo Pardavila III (flickr) (Photo: Keith Allison CC License.)

The biggest movers since our last look are the Phillies and Twins, who both made nice free agent acquisitions (Phillies: Jake Arrieta; Twins: Lance Lynn). The Astros also climbed a little because, dear lord, do they look impressive in Spring Training.

The Angels and Giants are both down some. Ohtani does not look like a top-end starter, as many hoped, leaving the Angels pitching situation almost as bleak as last year. On the Giants side, Bumgarner is out for the foreseeable future, and Jeff Samardzija and Mark Melancon will both start the year on the 10-day DL. Injury luck tends to balance out year-to-year, but San Francisco looks like it may buck that trend in 2018.

2018 World Series odds

  • Houston Astros: 11/2
  • Los Angeles Dodgers: 6/1
  • Chicago Cubs: 10/1
  • New York Yankees: 10/1
  • Cleveland Indians: 12/1
  • Washington Nationals: 12/1
  • Boston Red Sox: 15/1
  • Arizona Diamondbacks: 25/1
  • Milwaukee Brewers: 35/1
  • Los Angeles Angels: 40/1
  • St. Louis Cardinals: 40/1
  • Minnesota Twins: 45/1
  • New York Mets: 45/1
  • San Francisco Giants: 50/1
  • Seattle Mariners: 50/1
  • Colorado Rockies: 55/1
  • Toronto Blue Jays: 60/1
  • Philadelphia Phillies: 65/1
  • Tampa Bay Rays: 70/1
  • Baltimore Orioles: 100/1
  • Pittsburgh Pirates: 125/1
  • Atlanta Braves: 150/1
  • Texas Rangers: 150/1
  • Chicago White Sox: 150/1
  • Oakland A’s: 150/1
  • Cincinnati Reds: 200/1
  • San Diego Padres: 200/1
  • Kansas City Royals: 250/1
  • Detroit Tigers: 350/1
  • Miami Marlins: 1000/1

2018 World Series matchup odds

  • Dodgers vs Astros: 12/1
  • Cubs vs Astros: 17/1
  • Dodgers vs Yankees: 37/2
  • Nationals vs Astros: 21/1
  • Cubs vs Yankees: 25/1
  • Cubs vs Indians: 34/1
  • Nationals vs Yankees: 34/1

AL East title odds

  • New York Yankees: 5/4
  • Boston Red Sox: 2/1
  • Toronto Blue Jays: 10/1
  • Baltimore Orioles: 16/1
  • Tampa Bay Rays: 16/1

AL Central title odds

  • Cleveland Indians: 3/7
  • Minnesota Twins: 7/2
  • Chicago White Sox: 25/1
  • Kansas City Royals: 50/1
  • Detroit Tigers: 70/1

AL West title odds

  • Houston Astros: 1/3
  • Los Angeles Angels: 5/1
  • Seattle Mariners: 15/1
  • Oakland Athletics: 55/1
  • Texas Rangers: 55/1

NL East title odds

  • Washington Nationals: 2/3
  • New York Mets: 5/1
  • Philadelphia Phillies: 6/1
  • Atlanta Braves: 11/1
  • Miami Marlins: 200/1

NL Central title odds

  • Chicago Cubs: 9/11
  • Milwaukee Brewers: 4/1
  • St. Louis Cardinals: 5/1
  • Pittsburgh Pirates: 15/1
  • Cincinnati Reds: 35/1

NL West title odds

  • Los Angeles Dodgers: 1/2
  • Arizona Diamondbacks: 4/1
  • San Francisco Giants: 8/1
  • Colorado Rockies: 12/1
  • San Diego Padres: 75/1

Odds to make AL playoff odds/Wild Card game (excluding projected division-winners)

  • Boston Red Sox: 2/5
  • Los Angeles Angels: 5/3
  • Minnesota Twins: 5/2
  • Toronto Blue Jays: 6/1
  • Seattle Mariners: 6/1
  • FIELD: 15/1

Odds to make NL playoffs/Wild Card game (excluding projected division-winners)

  • Arizona Diamondbacks: 5/6
  • Milwaukee Brewers: 4/3
  • St. Louis Cardinals: 2/1
  • New York Mets: 3/1
  • San Francisco Giants: 3/1
  • Colorado Rockies: 7/2
  • Philadelphia Phillies: 4/1

Player Award Odds

Angels manager Mike Scioscia (R) is expecting another huge season from two-time MVP and baseball’s best player, Mike Trout (L). (Photo: Keith Allison CC License.)

No surprises here. Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Kris Bryant, Clayton Kershaw, Corey Kluber: the best players from a season ago are favored to take home the 2018 hardware. Don’t get me wrong, we’re still buying stock in young studs like Rhys Hoskins and Rafael Devers, but not to be among the very upper crust just yet.

AL MVP

  • Mike Trout (Angels): 5/3
  • Jose Altuve (Astros): 8/1
  • Carlos Correa (Astros): 12/1
  • Giancarlo Stanton (Yankees): 12/1
  • Francisco Lindor (Indians): 15/1

NL MVP

  • Bryce Harper (Nationals): 5/1
  • Kris Bryant (Cubs): 11/2
  • Paul Goldschmidt (Diamondbacks): 11/1
  • Cody Bellinger (Dodgers): 14/1
  • Nolan Arenado (Rockies): 15/1

AL Cy Young

  • Corey Kluber (Indians): 4/1
  • Chris Sale (Red Sox): 4/1
  • Justin Verlander (Astros): 6/1
  • Carlos Carrasco (Indians): 9/1
  • Aaron Sanchez (Blue Jays): 15/1

NL Cy Young

  • Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers): 2/1
  • Max Scherzer (Nationals): 7/3
  • Noah Syndergaard (Mets): 7/1
  • Stephen Strasburg (Nationals):12/1
  • Zack Greinke (Diamondbacks): 15/1

Managerial Odds

Orioles manager Buck Showalter talking to an umpire
The Orioles are likely to bring up the rear in the AL East, and Buck Showalter (L) may pay the price. (Photo: Keith Allison CC License.)

The first manager fired is almost always from a terrible team that had moderate expectations. That sure sounds like the Orioles and Giants.

The Manager of the Year awards, on the other hand, often go to the managers of teams that had huge turnarounds compared to the season prior. (Phillies, anyone?) Of course, sometimes posting a ludicrous is enough.

Odds to be the first manager fired 

  • Buck Showalter (Orioles): 9/1
  • Bruce Bochy (Giants): 10/1
  • Brian Snitker (Braves): 10/1
  • Bryan Price (Reds): 11/1
  • Bob Melvin (A’s): 12/1
  • Clint Hurdle (Pirates): 12/1
  • Mike Matheny (Cardinals): 14/1
  • John Gibbons (Blue Jays): 15/1
  • Andy Green (Padres): 15/1
  • Don Mattingly (Marlins): 18/1

Odds to win AL Manager of the Year

  • Aaron Boone (Yankees): 8/1
  • Alex Cora (Red Sox): 8/1
  • Terry Francona (Indians): 10/1
  • A.J. Hinch (Astros): 10/1
  • Mike Scioscia (Angels): 11/1

Odds to win NL Manager of the Year

  • Gabe Kapler (Phillies): 7/1
  • Joe Maddon (Cubs): 9/1
  • Dave Roberts (Dodgers): 9/1
  • Dave Martinez (Nationals): 11/1
  • Craig Counsell (Brewers): 12/1

 

Pitching Odds

Yankees reliever Aroldis Chapman mid-pitch
When it comes to lighting-up the radar gun, there’s still no one better than the Yankees’ Aroldis Chapman. (Photo: Keith Allison CC License.)

Power pitching is all the rage these days, and there is no shortage of hurlers who can hit triple-digits on the radar gun. Aroldis Chapman remains king, though.

Aroldis Chapman Over/Unders

  • Speed of fastest pitch: 103.9
  • Saves: 33.5
  • Strikeouts/nine innings: 12.9

Shohei Ohtani Over/Unders

  • Wins: 8.5
  • Innings pitched: 135.5
  • Home runs: 7.5
  • Batting average: .265

Clayton Kershaw Over/Unders

  • Wins: 16.5
  • Innings pitched: 180.5
  • ERA: 2.39
  • Strikeouts: 209.5

Max Scherzer Over/Unders

  • Wins: 15.5
  • Innings pitched: 199.5
  • ERA: 2.49
  • Strikeouts: 252.5

Jake Arrieta Over/Unders

  • Wins: 14.5
  • Innings pitched: 175.5
  • Strikeouts: 170.5
  • ERA: 3.15

Madison Bumgarner Over/Unders

  • Date of first start: May 21
  • Games started: 20.5
  • Wins: 10.5
  • ERA: 3.05

Minors to Majors Odds

Tim Tebow donning his Mets uniform
Tim Tebow will start the 2018 season in Double A. Could he possibly see big-league action this year?
(Photo credit: Sport Spectrum (Wikimedia Commons) CC License.)

The spring has seen a some highly touted rookies sent back to the minors. In the case of Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna, it wasn’t because he needs more time to develop. It’s because the Braves can postpone his free agency by keeping him in Triple A for the first few weeks of the season.

Tim Tebow was not sent to Double A for the same reasons.

Odds to be called up by MLB club in 2018

  • Ronald Acuna (Braves): 1/9
  • Willie Calhoun (Rangers): 1/8
  • Walker Buehler (Dodgers): 1/5
  • Victor Robles (Nationals): 1/5
  • Gleyber Torres (Yankees): 1/5
  • Miguel Andujar (Yankees): 1/2
  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr (Blue Jays): 1/1
  • Tim Tebow (Mets): 90/1
AlexanderP

Alexander is the MTS editor-in-chief. Frank, Alex, and Geoff brought him in when they realized that their betting expertise far surpassed their grammatical abilities. He loves overanalyzing college basketball trends. Talking to him during the first weekend of March Madness is like talking to a wall. A very focused wall, but a wall nonetheless.