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MLB Midseason Futures: Baseball Best Bets, Predictions, Odds on DraftKings Sportsbook

Garion Thorne breaks down his favorite futures bets on the DraftKings Sportsbook at the mid-point of the 2023 MLB season.

We’re here once again. The slowest week on the sports calendar. I mean, Wimbledon is obviously a draw and the field at the Scottish Open is decent, but when it comes to the four major North American sports, this time of year is a wasteland.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t still find things to bet. The MLB futures market is bumping over on the DraftKings Sportsbook. Let’s dive into a few of my favorite bets with three months remaining in the regular season.

All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.

Regular Season Wins

Reds Over 84.5 (+100)

Cards on the table, I’m still a little mad in myself that I didn’t bet the Reds to win the underwhelming National League Central as soon as Elly De La Cruz was called up in early June. So, is this simply a way to scratch that itch? Yes and no. Obviously Cincinnati is trendy at the moment, filling the role of “America’s Team” that we’ve previously seen occupied by the likes of the Mariners or the Padres. People like watching exciting baseball. If they can also profit off it, even better.

Still, this isn’t just a blind wager on the flavor of the week. The Reds are good. Very good, actually. De La Cruz made his MLB debut on June 6 and, since that day, Cincinnati is 23-8. That’s how you go from five games back of the Brewers to a one-game lead in the Central. It’s more than the presence of one player, too. Fellow rookie Matt McLain is hitting .300 with a 131 wRC+ at the break. Spencer Steer has 14 long balls and a 123 wRC+. Heck, Joey Votto owns a .404 ISO and a 159 wRC+ in his first 67 plate appearances off the IL. This lineup can mash. Across the last 30 days, only the Braves have a higher wOBA than the Reds’ mark of .356. That ability to score runs is what will carry this club in the second-half. Cincinnati would need to go only 35-36 to clear this win total. I think it will fly past it.

To Make The Playoffs

Yankees: No (+130)

The All-Star break is just as good a time to reflect as it is to project, which is why I’ll admit I was very wrong about the Yankees in my Spring Training analysis. The team has done an admirable job of surviving major injuries to Aaron Judge (toe), Carlos Rodon (back) and Nestor Cortes (back), yet it seems like the cracks are starting to show. New York is currently sitting outside a playoff spot, with the Orioles, Blue Jays and Astros holding the Wild Card positions in the American League. Not only will the Yankees need to jump one of those organization to find a path to October baseball, but they will also need to hold off the charging Red Sox and Mariners — the latter in possession of MLB’s fourth-easiest remaining strength of schedule by opponent win rate.

Now, this is New York we’re talking about, so the elephant in the room is the trade deadline. Surely Brian Cashman will be actively looking to improve this 26-man roster, while rumors have Judge likely returning to action sometime in early August. However, even with Judge’s herculean efforts in his 213 plate appearances in 2023, the Yankees possess an underwhelming 96 wRC+ for the season as a whole. Since the beginning of June, Anthony Rizzo (54 wRC+) and Giancarlo Stanton (68 wRC+) have been among the worst qualified hitters in the league. This team simply can not score runs. Add in the fact that New York has fewer home games remaining on their schedule than any other AL squad (30), and it’s not difficult to see how things could spiral for the Bronx Bombers.

American League Cy Young

Joe Ryan (+5000)

This is a bit of a long shot, but with no clear front-runner in the race for either Cy Young award, I think this is the time to take a chance on a dark horse. In all honesty, the term “dark horse” might be underselling how good Ryan’s already been this season. The 27-year-old spent the entire offseason developing a split-change — a pitch that Ryan now uses in 27.4% of counts. The results have been immediate and impressive. Over 107.0 innings of work, Ryan’s pitched to a somewhat pedestrian 3.70 ERA, yet his 2.88 xERA is the lowest qualified mark in the American League. That’s primarily thanks to pairing a 28.8% strikeout rate with with microscopic 4.2% walk rate, as Ryan’s 6.89 K/BB ratio sits third among all starters in baseball.

The RHP was a little shaky coming into the break, surrendering 13 earned runs over his final 13.1 innings of the first-half. While that might appear to be a bad sign, it’s worth noting that Ryan was opposed by the likes of the Braves and the Orioles in that stretch. Believe me when I say that things will get easier for Ryan over the next three months. They’ll get easier for all the Twins’ starters. Minnesota’s remaining opponents have a combined winning percentage of just .466 — the lowest mark in all of baseball. If Ryan can stay healthy and take advantage of that schedule, he has as an opportunity to make some noise in the awards chatter.

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The contents contained in this article do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment.

I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and I may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.