Sports betting is all about finding value in an offered line. Unfortunately for those who like to play it safe, that value is almost never going to be on the favorite. Laying -900 on the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the NL West may seem like a good bet on the surface, but the profitability of betting large favorites long-term is little to none, and usually will drag your bankroll into the red. So, step out of your comfort zone! Take a risk with these MLB futures!
You can get started with my MLB division winner value bets for the 2020 season.
All MLB odds courtesy of MyBookie Sportsbook
AL MLB Futures Bets
AL East: Tampa Bay Rays (+275)
The New York Yankees (-450) will be the principle threat to the Rays claiming a division crown again this season. In what could almost be viewed as a classic David vs. Goliath situation, the small-market Rays will rely on a deep pitching staff, led by ace Blake Snell. Manager Kevin Cash has popularized the “opener” strategy and it is safe to expect more of that in 2020 as the Rays continue to work the analytics. If the offensive output improves, Tampa Bay could exceed expectations.
AL Central: Chicago White Sox (+275)
The Southsiders of the Windy City haven’t had a winning season since 2012 but expect that streak to be broken this year. Offseason signees Dallas Keuchel and Gio Gonzalez join Lucas Giolito to form a three-headed southpaw monster atop the rotation. The White Sox also added a powerful bat to the lineup in Edwin Encarnacion. With the Cleveland Indians (+275) taking a step back, the Sox should find the odds-on favorite Minnesota Twins (-165) to be their toughest competition in the AL Central.
AL West: Oakland Athletics (+275)
After their trash can scandal blew up over the offseason, the Houston Astros (-225) have been all anyone has talked about concerning the AL West. While that saga has been playing out, the small-market Athletics have quietly made moves to keep themselves nipping at the Astros’ heels for another season. They retained All-Star shortstop Marcus Semien, resigned free agent reliever Jake Diekman, and traded for utilityman Tony Kemp. With all of their other big names still under contract, Oakland will once again be in the thick of things in 2020.
NL MLB Futures Bets
NL East: Atlanta Braves (+165)
Ronald Acuna Jr., the 22-year-old sensation, leads a Braves lineup that has no easy out in it. The rotation will again be anchored by Mike Soroka and Max Fried and adds notable newcomers Cole Hamels and Felix Hernandez to the mix. If the Braves have the second-shortest odds in the National League to win the World Series, how are they only 2-1 to win the division? The answer lies in the depth of the NL East, that counts the defending champion Washington Nationals (+260), the improved New York Mets (+275) and the Philadelphia Phillies (+333) as fellow contenders for the crown. But the Braves are simply a tier ahead of all three in my book. Take the plus-money favorite and run!
NL Central: Cincinnati Reds (+250)
Just about any expert will tell you the Chicago Cubs (+250) and St. Louis Cardinals (+200) are the favorites in the NL Central. But with the Milwaukee Brewers (+275) likely to take a step back, the rising Reds have a chance to make some noise. Cincy is built on their pitching, starting with a rotation headlined by Luis Castillo, Trevor Bauer, and Sonny Gray. Raisel Iglesias anchors a formidable bullpen and offseason signee Mike Moustakas joins Joey Votto and Eugenio Suarez in what has become a deep lineup.
NL West: Arizona Diamondbacks (+800)
It’s crazy to think that a team could have division odds at 8-1 and still be the second-favorite. But that is the situation the Diamondbacks find themselves in. While the bookmakers view the Dodgers (-900) as the runaway division winners, Arizona did quietly have a great offseason. They signed Madison Bumgarner to head up the rotation and a pair of veterans in Starling Marte and Kole Calhoun to add offensive firepower. The odds aren’t in their favor, but at 9-1, why not take a flier?