Jul 11, 2017
Jul 11, 2017

MLB Betting: All-Star break Futures betting

Analysing the main contenders for the Divisional titles and World Series

MLB Futures betting: Finding the value

The importance of Wild Card standings

MLB Betting: All-Star break Futures betting

Credit: Getty Images

During the All-Star break in the Major League Baseball season, Pinnacle reposts its MLB Futures markets. This is a crucial part of the season for both teams and bettors. What have we learnt in the first half of the season? Is there value on offer in the MLB futures? Read on for some expert betting insight.

The favourites: Analysing the main contenders

At the midway point in the MLB season, we have a remarkably clear picture of proceedings in most playoff races and four teams have emerged as virtual divisional champion locks. Here’s an overview of the standout teams who currently find themselves at the top of the betting markets:

Houston Astros – Unquestionably the stacked American League’s best team in the first half, the Astros boast baseball’s best offence, remarkable depth and maybe the majors’ best bullpen. Houston are currently 3.15* to win the AL pennant and 5.20* to win the World Series.

  • Do Houston's odds offer value? Bet now.

L.A. Dodgers – You’d be hard-pressed to find a weakness here. LA’s Achilles heel a year ago was facing left-handed pitching, but the financial powerhouse has fixed that issue this year. The Dodgers (3.03* to win the NL pennant) have paired upstart Alex Wood with mainstay Clayton Kershaw for a strong starting staff and have a premiere bullpen at their disposal. If you think the LA will win the World Series, 4.90* is currently available.

Washington Nationals – Unlike other teams on this list, the Nats have a potentially fatal flaw in their bullpen. The silver lining to that is, with Bryce Harper now just 15 months from free agency, an aggressive approach to the trade market is expected.

Unlike other teams on this list, the Washington Nationals have a potentially fatal flaw in their bullpen.

Names such as David Robertson, Raisel Iglesias and Roberto Osuna are likely to be connected with Washington and these kinds of players, if traded, could make a difference to Washington’s odds to win the NL pennant (4.31*) and World Series (7.50*).

Boston Red Sox – On the shakiest ground of these four, Boston didn’t make the greatest of starts to the season in the absence of former clubhouse leader David Ortiz. That said, they have come on strong in the summer and have started putting distance between themselves and the rest of the AL East.

Boston’s hold on first place isn’t as assured as the other three teams on this list; odds of 4.10* to win the AL pennant and 7.30* to win the World Series mean there could be better value elsewhere.

MLB Futures betting: Finding the value

Not many expected this kind of season from the Milwaukee Brewers - they are 4.5 games ahead of the Cubs at the time of writing. What everyone expected after a fast start was the inevitable collapse and consumption by the Cubs, but Milwaukee’s young lineup has maintained performance and their pitching has held up to pressure (all despite losing April-closer Neftali Feliz to ineffectiveness).

Everyone expected the inevitable collapse, but Milwaukee’s young lineup has maintained performance and their pitching has held up to pressure.

The Brewer’s pitching still looks shaky, but rumours are circling that they are ready to bolster their staff in the trade market. The Brewers are currently 17.05* to win the NL pennant and 36.00* for the World Series. 

In contrast to Milwaukee who appear to be holding strong, the Colorado Rockies are on the verge of wilting in the summer heat. Division leaders a month ago, Colorado is now 9.5 back of the Dodgers and are beginning to falter on all fronts. Rumours persist that Colorado will be aggressive in trading to bolster its Wild Card chances, but one has to think at some point, the team gets burnt in its trade efforts by the limitations of its potential return on investment.

At odds of 12.03* to win the NL pennant and 25.00* to win the World Series, the Rockies recent decline in performance is highlighted in the betting.

Owners of the third-best record in MLB at the all-star break, The Arizona Diamondbacks are most likely resigned to a Wild Card birth because of the mighty Dodgers. If that’s the case, no matter how good this team is, its odds should be heavily penalised by the Wild Card format, with a single game-deciding survival in a sport where excellence is only truly recognisable in larger samples.

Experts have treated the Chicago Cubs’ eventual emergence from the doldrums as a “when” proposition, not an “if”. However, we’re now at the halfway point and there are no trends suggesting the turnaround is imminent. With just 75 games to play, the Cubs are 4.5 back of Milwaukee and seemingly out of contention for a Wild Card spot (though the Rockies’ recent play could put Chicago back in the hunt).

We’re now at the halfway point of the MLB season and there are no trends suggesting a Cubs turnaround is imminent.

There’s a real question now about whether Chicago will even make an appearance in the playoffs. If Cubs fans are moving the market in a way that in any way paints the Cubbies as serious contenders, you’d be best advised to invest your bets on teams with less media exposure and resulting popularity; odds of 4.81* to win the NL pennant and 8.70* for the World Series certainly seem short.

Before the start of the season, the Cleveland Indians would have been a popular World Series bet. The Indians still sit atop the AL Central, albeit by a slimmer margin than might have been expected. Francisco Lindor, Carlos Santana and Jason Kipnis have seen their offensive production drop in a year where league-wide offence is up. Danny Salazar, Josh Tomlin and Trevor Bauer have also felt the impact of that league-wide offensive surge.

The Indians is a team that showed itself to be well-constructed for playoff baseball and could provide betting value - odds of 4.80* to win the AL pennant and 8.60* for the World Series could make the Indians one of the most popular Futures bets during the All-Star break.

Despite all the attention Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez have earned, the New York Yankees are playing just .529 baseball and are trending the wrong way towards a tightly-grouped pack of Wild Card contenders. The injury bug hit the Yanks in June, and that was unlucky. The regression for the young sluggers as the league gets to know them better is also to be expected.

Despite all the attention Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez have earned, the New York Yankees are playing just .529 baseball.

The Yanks have repeatedly shown an unwillingness to mortgage their future for the now, especially when that future seemingly includes a focus on 2019 and beyond. That said, bettors may be tempted by 9.00* AL pennant and 17.00* World Series odds.

The Minnesota Twins were highlighted as one of the surprise packages earlier in the season and bettors might be waiting for them to falter, something that hasn’t happened yet. Behind their youth and a strong defence, the Twins are holding firm and have the greatest potential for improvement due to a starting staff that could be added to during the trade market.

Minnesota are high odds to win both the AL pennant (31.00*) and World Series (69.00*) but could offer an interesting outsider bet.

  • Think Minnesota can cause an upset? Bet now.

Year after year, it looks like the Tampa Bay Rays are in danger of falling off a cliff; year after year, they retool with spare parts and produce in unexpected ways. Unfortunately for Tampa Bay fans, the Rays don’t have a lot in the way of expendable assets to help bolster the existing club, nor the recklessness to ignore those realities. That ultimately means that, in this very tight Wild Card race, one should probably expect Tampa to finish on the outside looking in - something reflected in their odds to win the AL pennant  (29.00*) and World Series (67.00*).

In this very tight Wild Card race, one should probably expect Tampa to finish on the outside looking in.

The Kansas City Royals are the Rays’ antithesis. While the Rays will see little reason to invest in 2017, the Royals are three months from losing half their lineup to free agency and are heading to the All-Star break within an eyelash of both a Wild Card spot and the divisional lead, so you can bet on the Royals with the expectation GM Dayton Moore will mortgage some degree of future success for one last shot at a title with a group who went all the way in 2015.

If the Royals do make that investment, taking odds of 22.00* for them to win the AL pennant and 44.00* to claim the World Series could prove to be a smart move.

Much like the Cubs, the reason the Toronto Blue Jays will most likely gain some betting interest is due to past glory, but 2017 has been an ugly year. Still just five games out of the Wild Card, Toronto could have a run coming in the weeks ahead, but President Mark Shapiro has clearly put an onus on developing the farm system for the future; don’t look for the Jays to sell its prospects for a glimmer of hope.

The big outsiders: No chance at all?

With odds ranging between 50.00-2501.00* to win the World Series, it’s hard to find any reasoning as to why bettors would follow any of the below:

  • San Diego Padres
  • San Francisco Giants
  • Cincinnati Reds
  • Philadelphia Phillies
  • Oakland A’s
  • Detroit Tigers
  • Chicago White Sox
  • Atlanta Braves
  • St. Louis Cardinals
  • Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Miami Marlins
  • New York Mets

The reality is that the National League clubs are too far back to expect a rebound, while the American League clubs just have too many teams between them and the Wild Card spots.

American League Wild Card standings

American League Wild Card standings

Team

Record

Games behind WC

New York Yankees

45-41

-

Tampa Bay Rays

47-43

-

Minnesota Twins

45-43

1

KC Royals

44-43

1.5

LA Angels

45-47

3

Texas Rangers

43-45

3

Seattle Mariners

43-47

4

Baltimore Orioles

42-46

4

Toronto Blue Jays

41-47

5

National League Wild Card standings

National League Wild Card standings

Team

Record

Games behind WC

Arizona Diamondbacks

53-36

-

Colorado Rockies

52-39

-

Chicago Cubs

43-45

7.5

St. Louis Cardinals

43-45

7.5

Atlanta Braves

42-45

8

Pittsburgh Pirates

42-47

9

Miami Marlins

41-46

9

New York Mets

39-47

10.5

Cincinnati Reds

39-49

11.5

San Diego Padres

38-50

12.5

San Francisco Giants

34-56

17.5

Philadelphia Phillies

29-58

21

The All-Start break is the perfect time to make your move and bet on MLB Futures. Get best odds and highest limits for MLB betting at Pinnacle.

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Odds subject to change

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