MLB Odds – Final Preview Before First Pitch

Bryce_Harper_on_July_10,_2015I’ve done more than enough previewing of the upcoming MLB season in the past month, so I meet the imminent start of baseball with both a sense of excitement and relief. Finally, all the speculation can come to an end and the best of the best will sort everything out over 162 games.

But before I can truly enjoy the six straight months of meaningful baseball on the horizon, it’s time to do one more round of forecasting. Here is my take on who are the favorites for some baseball’s biggest hardware, including the biggest one of all, the title of World Series Champs.

 

2016 MLB Odds

AL MVP Odds:

Mike Trout (LA Angels): 5/4
Josh Donaldson (Toronto Blue Jays): 4/1
Manny Machado (Baltimore Orioles): 6/1
Carlos Correa (Houston Astros): 7/1
Miguel Cabrera (Detroit Tigers): 8/1

It’s no secret Mike Trout is the most valuable player to his team in the AL: without him, the Angels are a last-place team. But making the playoffs is a huge boost to any player’s candidacy, which is why he only has one MVP in his last four seasons.

NL MVP Odds:

Bryce Harper (Washington Nationals): 2/1
Paul Goldschmidt (Arizona Diamondbacks): 9/2
Andrew McCutchen (Pittsburgh Pirates): 9/2
Kris Bryant (Chicago Cubs): 8/1
Buster Posey (San Francisco Giants): 9/1

Reigning champ Bryce Harper will be hard to knock off, especially if the Nationals have the resurgence that many are predicting. But Paul Goldschmidt was a consensus runner up last season, and could have a strong case if the D-Backs take a big step forward.

AL Cy Young Odds:7884765350_1e31651206_z

Chris Sale (Chicago White Sox): 11/4
David Price (Boston Red Sox): 7/2
Corey Kluber (Cleveland Indians): 4/1
Sonny Gray (Oakland Athletics): 7/1
Chris Archer (Tampa Bay Rays): 7/1

This award has been a total crap-shoot over the past decade: 11 different players have won since 2005. With any player capable of rising up to claim it, Chris Sale is a popular choice. Throwing some of the nastiest stuff in the game right now, he should be in line for more production on a rebuilt White Sox team.

NL Cy Young Odds:

Clayton Kershaw (LA Dodgers): 3/2
Jake Arrieta (Chicago Cubs): 7/1
Zack Greinke (Arizona Diamondbacks): 9/1
Stephen Strasburg (Washington Nationals): 10/1
Madison Bumgarner (San Francisco Giants): 10/1

Statistical regression would suggest neither Jake Arrieta nor Zack Greinke can repeat last year’s production. Those same models don’t question Clayton Kershaw, who has been dominant for the last seven seasons.

AL Rookie of the Year Odds:

Byron Buxton (Minnesota Twins): 5/2
Byung Ho Park (Minnesota Twins): 11/4
Jose Berrios (Minnesota Twins): 6/1
Joey Gallo (Texas Rangers): 9/1
Blake Snell (Tampa Bay Rays): 10/1

The Twins will likely be in a clubhouse competition for AL ROY, as youngsters Byron Buxton and Jose Berrios compete with South Korean slugger Byung Ho-Park.

NL Rookie of the Year Odds:

Corey Seager (LA Dodgers): 1/1
Stephen Matz (NY Mets): 4/1
Kenta Maeda (LA Dodgers): 7/1
Trea Turner (Washington Nationals): 7/1
JP Crawford (Philadelphia Phillies): 12/1

Corey Seager set some pretty high expectations during his September call ups last season and should be in line to meet – or exceed – them. Even if he’s not as impressive, there’s doesn’t appear to be much competition in the NL outside a pair of pitchers.

John_Gibbons_2014AL Manager of the Year Odds:

A.J. Hinch (Houston Astros): 2/1
Terry Francona (Cleveland Indians): 5/1
Ned Yost (Kansas City Royals): 6/1
John Gibbons (Toronto Blue Jays): 9/1
John Farrell (Boston Red Sox): 9/1

Hinch made a good case to win last year, but was edged out by the amazing turnaround orchestrated by fellow statesman Jeff Bannister. If the Astros are as good as I expect they should be (see below), Hinch should get the call this year.

NL Manager of the Year Odds:

Dusty Baker (Washington Nationals): 7/3
Bruce Bochy (San Francisco Giants): 7/2
Chip Hale (Arizona Diamondbacks): 6/1
Dave Roberts (LA Dodgers): 6/1
Joe Maddon (Chicago Cubs): 7/1

Walking into the most dysfunctional clubhouse in the bigs, Baker will get bonus marks for any improvements he can make with the Nats (even though, on paper, this is a playoff team).

Odds to be the first manager fired:

Fredi Gonzalez (Atlanta Braves): 4/1
Mike Scioscia (LA Angels): 13/2
Robin Ventura (Chicago White Sox): 13/2
Brad Ausmus (Detroit Tigers): 7/1
Bob Melvin (Oakland Athletics): 8/1

Fredi Gonzalez has been on the job a while now, and the Braves don’t appear headed towards any miracle turnarounds. However, he could get beaten to the unemployment line by some AL franchises who actually have expectations for this season and won’t wait around if their teams start poorly.

Odds to lead the MLB in home runs:

Detroit Tigers at Baltimore Orioles June 2, 2013

Bryce Harper (Washington Nationals): 19/2
Mike Trout (LA Angels): 19/2
Chris Davis (Baltimore Orioles): 10/1
Giancarlo Stanton (Miami Marlins): 11/1
Jose Bautista (Toronto Blue Jays): 12/1

Giancarlo Stanton is probably the best power hitter on this list, but until he plays a full season, it’s hard to trust him to get it done.

Odds a player gets suspended 50 games for PEDs: 4/9

Odds a player gets suspended 100 games for PEDs: 13/1

Odds a player gets suspended for life for PEDs: 80/1

Odds to meet in the World Series: 

Cubs vs Astros: 16/1
Giants vs Astros: 18/1
Mets vs Astros: 18/1
Cubs vs Red Sox: 20/1
Cubs vs Royals: 24/1

Odds to win the World Series:

Chicago Cubs: 8/1
Houston Astros: 17/2
San Francisco Giants: 10/1
New York Mets: 10/1
Boston Red Sox: 11/1
Kansas City Royals: 12/1
St Louis Cardinals: 12/1
Toronto Blue Jays: 14/1
Washington Nationals: 14/1
Los Angeles Dodgers: 16/1
Pittsburgh Pirates: 16/1
Texas Rangers: 18/1
Arizona Diamondbacks: 22/1
New York Yankees: 25/1
Cleveland Indians: 28/1
Detroit Tigers: 30/1
Seattle Mariners: 35/1
Baltimore Orioles: 40/1
Chicago White Sox: 40/1
Los Angeles Angels: 45/1
Miami Marlins: 45/1
Minnesota Twins: 50/1
Tampa Bay Rays: 70/1
Oakland Athletics: 90/1
San Diego Padres: 110/1
Cincinnati Reds: 150/1
Colorado Rockies: 200/1
Milwaukee Brewers: 200/1
Atlanta Braves: 500/1
Philadelphia Phillies: 500/1

(Photo credits:

  • Bryce Harper: Keith Allison on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons;
  • Chris Sale: Keith Allison (Originally posted to Flickr)[https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/];
  • John Gibbons: Keith Allison on Flickr (Original) Trut-h-urts_man (Crop) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons;
  • Chris Davis: Keith Allison (Originally posted to Flickr)[https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/].)
Boris

Hockey may be a wildly unpopular sport in the U.S., but where no one is paying attention, there's a ton of value for Boris to mine. An avid NHL fan of over 20 years, Malloy made his first bet against a friend during the 2001 Stanley Cup Finals (going against Ray Bourque) and has been hooked ever since. He has yet to pay off that debt of $2, but he's made plenty back since. In between worrying about the league's next lockout, he regularly contributes to MTS and is also fluent in football, basketball, baseball and French (sort of).