It’s a little late, but Major League Baseball starts Thursday.
The lockdown delay also gave us an extra week to review some future bets. Yahoo Sports’ Scott Pianowski and Frank Schwab reviewed their best bets for the 2022 MLB season at BetMGM:
Who do you like as MVP?
MS: I hope you give me an NL MVP pick that I like, because nothing really stands out for me. It’s not that fun to bet on MVP chalk and that’s all I love about NL so far.
I see some value on the AL side. Houston Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker and Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette are each +2500 and I love them both. If I had to bet just one, it would be Bichette. He’s a proven .300 hitter in the majors and last season he hit 29 homers and 25 interceptions. If he hits .300 with a 30-30 season on a good Toronto Blue Jays team? You will love having this 25 to 1 ticket.
SP: I’ll sign your two MVP picks. I like Bichette enough to have placed him second overall in some fantastic drafts. One problem he might have is that the Toronto team is full of talent, and sometimes players can cannibalize their teammates when voting if the team is successful. But I’m here for the whole Bichette pub.
On Tucker, I just hope he doesn’t spend the year again in the second half of command. Right now, it looks like slot #6, as Dusty Baker wants to balance laterality in his lineup. But why not put Tucker in position two and keep Yordan Alvarez at position four? Either way, you’re betting on talent and you’re betting on a player still on the escalator. It’s definitely Tucker.
What other award tickets are you hitting?
MS: The one I’ve been on (and drafted all over fantasy) is Joe Musgrove at 25 to 1. He had a breakout last season, he just turned 29, he’s been playing for a good San Diego Padres team and I think there is another level for him to come. I also want Shohei Ohtani at +2000 for AL Cy Young because we all know his talent, and giving him Cy Young a year after MVP seems like a cheeky thing voters would love. And give me Julio Rodriguez for AL Rookie of the Year at +400 in what should be a great run.
SP: I messed it up with Julio Rodriguez, I should have punched that ROY ticket when the tea leaves suggested he’d do the sailors right now. Of course, the great event of last year was Jarred Kelenic and his first time was a flop. But J-Rod seems ready to me. I think it’s going to be great right away.
Why not Julio Urias at 25-1? It’s funny that he won 20 games last year and didn’t win the Cy Young — in the old days, that’s how guys like Bob Welch beat Roger Clemens. The risk with Dodger games is that the team could run away with the division (or at least consider themselves already in the playoffs) and rest every marquee player for a case of hiccups. You may not see the volume you prefer. But I still like to bet on this infrastructure. And Urias has already shown what he is capable of.
My two super long Cy Young games in the AL are John means (80-1) and Sonny Gray (66-1). Means has already shown he can beat Baltimore Park (although he fell in the second half) and the yard is considerably bigger now. I love everything Minnesota has done this offseason. The defense looks healthy in key areas and this team could steal the division from Chicago. Gray plays well in this narrative.
MS: I can put myself behind this choice of Urias. He always had the talent to fight for a Cy Young. Before entering the teams, I wanted to throw some love for Kyle Schwarber, who I take over 30.5 home runs and +2000 to win the home run title. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if he turned 50. Josh Hader leading the majors in stops at +1600 seems like a value, but I’ll get to my Brewers love a little.
SP: I love this Schwarber bet. I wish the Red Sox would have resigned him. Another plus for Schwarber is that he likely bats first or second, which leads to plenty of extra plate appearances. You have to get the upper hand for his home run total, whatever it is. If he is healthy, he breaks it.
The Phillies are a softball team, swing their heels and don’t care about defense. That’s why you can’t bet any of their pitchers for any of their props.
What season win total bets you like?
MS: I’ve already caught the least on Oakland’s A’s, which is now 68.5. I would probably take the least if it was 58.5. A friend of mine described the A’s situation well, saying their star rep will likely be Stephen Piscotty. Rough but probably true. They’re a horrible team and they’re going to keep selling. I also like the Tigers under (a PECOTA piece), Diamondbacks over (the projections like Arizona), over on the Twins (I like their offseason), and Guardians under 76.5 (this organization just doesn’t seem too interested in winning).
SP: I love team totals and I see a lot that I like.
I think you need to hit the Pirates under 64.5 (they’re already bad, and the team will actively whittle down the roster mid-season), over the Rays 90.5 (the seasonal giveaway to all punters), the Rangers on 74.5 (they’ve spent enough money to prove they care) to start. Also count me in with Marlins over 76.5 (maybe I’m chasing last year, but that’s a good list and other NL East contenders are easy to crack), Cardinals over 84.5 (their special sauce seems to work), Athletics under 68.5 (maybe they just want guaranteed profit and a soda machine that’s full again), Twins over 81.5 (probably my strongest, and I could also take them for the division).
MS: I like the White Sox but Twins at +500 to win this split has value, so we agree on that.
How about a bet on the World Series?
MS: I try never to bet with my heart. But Milwaukee native or not, when you watch Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff and Freddy Peralta in 1-2-3 in a rotation with baseball’s best closer Josh Hader behind them, seeing the Brewers at +1600 to win the World Series looks enticing. I think I would bet whatever team I support. I understand the Los Angeles Dodgers are probably going to win and their +500 odds aren’t that great after dropping a few coins but I only hit one World Series ticket and that’s on the Brewers . Let’s just ignore that they haven’t done a World Series since I was six.
SP: Your Milwaukee WS ticket makes a lot of sense. They have the front spin and two stars in the bullpen; come the playoffs, depth matters less and stars matter more. I look at the attack and I think “meh”, but I have great respect for the front office. Brewers will likely be buyers by the trade deadline. I’ll ride with you on that one.
I’ll also punch a ticket to the Blue Jays. All these young talents, so many players who have not had their best season yet. Another front office I believe in.
MS: I love that the Blue Jays are going to have a big season soon and it will be fun to buy a ticket for that ride.