Early betting value in the 2019 World Series

The champagne is barely dry from the 2018 World Series championship celebration, and the Commissioner’s Trophy is currently in the shop for repairs after barely surviving the duck boat parade around the streets of Boston.

Sportsbooks have released futures odds to win the 2019 title and we’re here to talk betting value outside of the top six. The Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox are sitting as favorites for next season at 6/1 followed by the Los Angeles Dodgers (7/1), New York Yankees (7/1), Chicago Cubs (10/1), and Cleveland Indians (10/1).

Without having a full grasp on where the big-name free agents are going to land this offseason, it’s a good time to look a bit further down the odds list.

THE ENTIRE NL EAST (SANS THE MARLINS)

The Atlanta Braves made tremendous strides in 2018, winning 90 games and a division title, and are considered by most to be ahead of schedule in their total rebuild. Can they surpass 90 wins next season? They will definitely have to add some starting pitching to the rotation and a guy like Dallas Keuchel would be a really nice fit. The Braves could be ready to truly take the next step and at 12/1 the price isn’t too steep.

The Philadelphia Phillies are the next team on the futures list from the N.L. East at 14/1. They opened at 16/1 in October and have been bet down based on the rumors that they are all-in on Bryce Harper (potentially both Harper and Manny Machado). The Phillies need bats desperately and Harper appears to be the perfect answer. The Phils will also be in the starting pitching conversation on Patrick Corbin and a potential trade for Zack Greinke (as it appears the Arizona Diamondbacks are going to be selling).

The other two teams in the division worth sprinkling on are the Washington Nationals (16/1) and the New York Mets (30/1). Pessimists will scoff at these suggestions, but teams built around tremendous starting pitching are always tough opponents in a playoff series. No team will want to match up in the postseason against rotations that feature the likes of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard. These two teams just need to figure out a way to get there.

The Miami Marlins are listed at 300/1 to win the 2019 World Series. Do not bet on them.

 

HALO MY OLD FRIEND

One of the more interesting value plays over in the American League are the Los Angeles Angels. This is a team featuring two of the most dynamic talents in all of baseball with Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout. Trout has played only three postseason games in his eight seasons with the Angels and they must get better in free agency if that number is going to increase.

Obviously, not having Ohtani as a pitcher in 2019 is a big blow to their rotation. A No. 1 starting pitcher is their top priority, and if they can land a top arm through free agency or trade they have rotation depth to piece together a solid five – they are just missing a true ace.

Any bet on the Angels solely hinges on them bringing in that top-end starting pitcher, but at 40/1 they are worth a look.

MCCOVEY COVE SPLASH

Giants’ Hall of Famer Willie McCovey passed away on Halloween at the ago of 80. As a tribute to their fallen legend, the 2019 San Francisco Giants will look to add a bat to their lineup that can produce more regular splashdowns into McCovey Cove, beyond the right field boardwalk at AT&T Park.

That bat belongs to Bryce Harper.

The Giants haven’t had a left-handed slugger to pepper the pond since Barry Bonds retired, and Harper would be the perfect fit.

With a starting rotation that features arms like Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, and Dereck Rodriguez the Giants are one or two offensive weapons away from contending in the N.L. West. At a massive 100/1 to win the 2019 World Series, San Francisco’s futures odds will move quickly with each free agent bat added to the lineup.

SOUTH SIDE SHUFFLE

The Chicago White Sox? Yes, the Chicago White Sox.

The ChiSox opened the 2019 futures betting period at 60/1 and have been bet down to 50/1. They play in the worst division in baseball and the clear front-runner in the A.L. Central, the Cleveland Indians, appear to be in limbo as to whether they plan to retool in the offseason.

Top pitching prospect Michael Kopech will miss the 2019 season with a torn UCL, however baseball’s No. 2 overall prospect Eloy Jimenez should be up with the big club next season. Realistically, the Sox are a team to watch in 2020, but the Braves made the postseason a year ahead of schedule this past season.

With the current youth movement across baseball the accelerated rebuild may become a trend. Just get into the playoffs and anything can happen.

Honorable mention

St. Louis Cardinals (16/1)
Colorado Rockies (30/1)
Tampa Bay Rays (40/1)

Betting Strategies: Oddscapper MLB Doubleheader System

It is not a stretch to say that no one in baseball likes doubleheaders.

The players dislike putting forth that much effort in one day. Managers cringe at the thought of having to burn their bullpens. Umpires loathe having to sit out there for a double-dip, especially the guys that have to work the plate in one game and the field in another. The vendors and ballpark employees essentially pull a double-shift with little to nothing to show for it. And studies show that attendance in either game a doubleheader is less than the average for a regular home game, which is enough to drive management crazy.

So, again, I’m sure that 95% percent of people in baseball would probably agree that doubleheaders suck. But as a bettor, you should count yourself in the 5% percent that loves MLB doubleheaders. And if you are a savvy MLB punter you should appreciate and eagerly anticipate them.

Odds capper premier sports capper Tom Hatfield speaks about THIS doubleheader MLB strategy

When betting a doubleheader you would bet $100 on an underdog to win Game 1. If your team wins, you are done for the day, and congrats on your profit. If your team loses then you come back and bet $100, again on the underdog, in Game 2. If your team wins the second game you will still earn a small profit on the day. If your team gets swept then, well, you have played two dogs it is not that bad situation. Just start counting the days until the next double-dip.

The thing is that historically only 26.2 percent of doubleheaders end in a sweep. That means that if you play the dog you will win money in three out of four doubleheaders. There aren’t many systems in any sport where you can win 75 percent of the time.

Use the dobuleheader betting system as ofter as possible because the Powers in Major League Baseball are doing everything they can to ensure the doubleheader’s extinction. Or at the very least ensure its permanent place on the endangered species list. Back in 1945 doubleheaders accounted for a whopping 48 percent of all MLB games played and from 1926 to 1967 at least 20 percent of the total games were played as part of doubleheaders. However, since 1986 doubleheaders have made up less than five percent of all games and currently they represent slightly less than two percent of all games.

2018 season double-dip situations will present themselves around 25 times which would allow even a relatively modest gambler to play it for $500+ per game. So if you have a couple of thousand in your account and you don’t like the daily grind of MLB betting, but you still want an opportunity to pad your stack between the end of basketball and the start of football, then betting on doubleheaders is a surefire way to achieve your goals.

Fading MLB traveling teams

The circus life of Major League Baseball is unlike any other pro sport. Teams play a game, rush to the airport to fly across the county that night, and are back on the field the next day staring down a new opponent.

Only four American League clubs have a winning record in this situation – Baltimore, Oakland, Seattle and Texas – while six National League teams are above .500 when coming off a game and travel the night before – Atlanta, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, St. Louis and San Francisco.

Just the AL East (29-28) and NL Central (29-26) have a collective winning record in this situation. American League clubs are 76-93 coming off a game and travel while the National League boasts a 76-86 record when going field-runway-field. That’s an MLB-wide 45.9 winning percentage for teams playing and traveling the night before.

“(Travel) does play into (the odds) for sure,” Peter Korner, founder of the Nevada-based odds service The Sports Club, told Covers. “It’s a long season and clubs have to rest some people. We consider it more in extreme cases.”

Korner notes that oddsmakers send out the overnight MLB odds for the next day before that day’s schedule is even played, and says bettors can find value scouting those teams traveling that night especially if that day’s contest goes long.

“If we put the line out for the next day and that night’s game goes long or into extras, (bettors) play it. And it’s up to the bookmakers to make the change, but usually by that point (bettors) have already made their play,” he says. “It’s an angle bettors should play. There are so many games and it’s such a long tough season.”

A perfect example of finding value fading a team with a busy travel sked are the Pittsburgh Pirates, who enter Tuesday’s action as the best bet in the majors at +15.10 units (41-29). However, the Bucs would be even more profitable if they weren’t 2-10 in outings when coming off a game and travel the day before.

Analysing potential favourites for 2018 MLB title

Who could offer value in the 2018 MLB odds?

Analysing potential favourites for 2018

Odds to Win 2018 World Series

Team Odds
Houston Astros +550
Los Angeles Dodgers +550
New York Yankees +650
Chicago Cubs +750
Cleveland Indians +750
Washington Nationals +950
Boston Red Sox +1200
St. Louis Cardinals +2000
Minnesota Twins +2500
Los Angeles Angels +2500
Milwaukee Brewers +3000
San Francisco Giants +3000
Arizona Diamondbacks +3000
New York Mets +3500
Toronto Blue Jays +3500

MLB’s long offseason is close to an end so it is time to look ahead to this year’s MLB futures market. Read on for an analysis of those who could offer value in the above 2018 MLB odds.

Houston Astros

2017 finish: World Series Champions

2017 Reg. Season record: 101-61

Projected to win more games in 2018 than any other team, Houston’s 2017 success was built on a dynamo offence whose production ranked with the best historically.

While there is generally a sense that year-to-year offensive success offers more stability than pitching success, you only need to look at the twin collapses of 2015’s (Toronto) and 2016’s (Boston) best offences in the seasons that followed to see that there are no sure things.

That said, Houston certainly looks primed. That offence succeeded despite injuries to stars Carlos Correa and George Springer, whilst Alex Bregman was still improving.

Throw in a full year of Justin Verlander and you have a team that looks primed to make a run at a World Series repeat. Be careful to not pay too much attention to that World Series-earned reputation however.

Los Angeles Dodgers

2017 finish: World Series loser, NL West champion

2017 Reg. Season record: 104-58

Coming off a 104 win season, Los Angeles has all the pieces to make the run to first place once again. Don’t forget that the Dodgers entered the playoffs after an inexplicable 1-16 run near the end of the season, which is a massive statistical outlier that seems unlikely to happen again.

Cody Bellinger was a revelation with 39 HRs and 97 RBI in just 132 games with Los Angeles. Clayton Kershaw is just over 30 years old and is still as good as ever. Kenley Jansen is probably the best closer in baseball.

While LA lost Darvish and setup man Brandon Morrow they may have full, healthy seasons from Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger, Clayton Kershaw and Justin Turner. Cody Bellinger was a revelation with 39 HRs and 97 RBI in just 132 games with Los Angeles. Clayton Kershaw is just over 30 years old and is still as good as ever. Kenley Jansen is probably the best closer in baseball.

It’s tough to upgrade on that strong team and LA has little potential to do so if they wish to avoid paying the 2018 luxury tax.

With major rivals the Astros’ and Indians’ likely to face each other, the Dodgers are probably the current World Series favourite.

Cleveland Indians

2017 finish: ALDS loser, AL Central champion

2017 Reg. Season record: 102-60

Whilst the finish to Cleveland’s 2017 was disappointing, they surpassed expectations before losing to the Yankees.

Jose Ramirez’s emergence and the generally good health enjoyed by the roster were large factors in the team exceeding pre-season projections – they will be challenged to duplicate their 2017 success this time around.

Cleveland has lost middle-of-the-order threat Carlos Santana and replacing his bat will be a difficult task. You can expect the Indians to win the AL Central again. but this doesn’t speak much as it is the worst division in baseball this year. Indians potential for upgrades is limited compared to the rest of the American League teams that will be seen as World Series contenders. It appears that their their odds as fifth best contender are just at the right spot.

Washington Nationals

2017 finish: NLDS loser, NL East champion

2017 Reg. Season record: 97-65

There seems to be little standing between the Nationals and a repeat of 2017’s NL East crown. The question is whether the team will be able to improve to the point where it can overcome the Dodgers and Cubs.

In what is likely to be Bryce Harper’s last season in DC, bettors can expect the club to take an all-or-nothing approach. That, combined somewhat unwarranted suggestion that the team can’t get past the divisional series may leave the Nats underpriced in the betting market.

New York Yankees

2017 finish: ALCS loser, 2nd place, AL East

2017 Reg. Season record: 91-71

After acquiring Giancarlo Stanton, one of the premier talents in the game, the inclination in some corners is to hand the Yankees the championship now.

New York put up the second-most runs in MLB a year ago and adding Stanton to a lineup that includes Aaron Judge (52 HRs in 2017), Gary Sanchez (53 HRs in 756 career plate appearances) and a deep cast of solid to strong hitters that runs deep makes for a strong offence. Does it really make New York the presumptive favourite though?

The acquisitions of Sonny Grey, Tommy Kahnle and David Robertson in 2017 bolstered the pitching staff, but the starting rotation is still a strong arm away from supremacy with the Yankees having little money left to spend.

That said, the Yankees have a lot of reason for optimism. The lineup was baseball’s second-most potent a year ago. This was despite being one of its youngest, suggesting further development is plausible.

While bettors shouldn’t expect improved numbers from Aaron Judge, his partner in crime Gary Sanchez can hope for a fully healthy season. Players like Aaron Hicks should also continue to improve behind a suddenly dangerous pitching staff.

Chicago Cubs

2017 finish: NLCS loser, NL East champion

2017 Reg. Season record: 92-70

Chicago hopefully has finally recovered from the season-long World Series hangover that seemed to loom over the team last year. That should allow the Cubs to re-focus and fulfil their potential, which is another World Series title.

The lineup is the same (you know all the names) and absolutely loaded. The pitching staff lost starter Jake Arrieta and closer Wade Davis and did an OK job of replacing them with Yu Darvish and Brandon Morrow. At +750, the Cubs currently have the fourth-best odds to win the World Series

Boston Red Sox

2017 finish: ALDS loser, AL East champion

2017 Reg. Season record: 93-69

Boston is rumoured to be in on just about every major bat available this offseason, thanks largely to the massive backwards step its offence took in 2017.

Like the Cubs, the Red Sox are priced to reputation more than its actual roster (as evidenced by Boston being the odds-on favourite heading into 2017) and bettors should be careful to price check before forecasting a championship. Especially after arrival of J. D. Martinez when odds have slightly dropped and anything below +1000 will probably does not worth a shot.

The New York Yankees’ improvement, however, hurts their chances for one simple reason. The potential for a wildcard spot instead of the security of a division win means progress is not guaranteed.

Fading MLB traveling teams betting strategy

St. Louis Cardinals

2017 finish: 3rd place, NL East

2017 Reg. Season record: 83-79

The only team to fail to make the 2017 playoffs on this list, St. Louis is here because management is making it clear it’s looking to spend to return one of the NL’s most successful franchises to its past glory.

While the National League doesn’t look quite as bleak for those on the outside looking in (the LA Dodgers, Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals look poised to win their respective divisions, but the wildcards are murkier), St. Louis’ playoff chances were dealt a serious blow with Stanton’s rejection.

The Cardinals trade for Marcel Ozuna does cushion the blow somewhat though, and if they’re finally able to convince the Blue Jays to part with Josh Donaldson, St Louis will put itself in prime playoff position. Even then though, they will only be projected to claim a wildcard spot.