2009 MLB Futures Betting - MLB Futures Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 06/05/2009
Now that we are a couple of months into the baseball season it's a good time to assess where we are and how far we have come, and where there might be value in the World Series and league championship futures. This is a good time to look for value in those markets - we have a decent sense of what teams have to offer, but the betting public still isn't paying enough attention to baseball to have bet the value out of the odds. Here's a look at some of the good and the bad for MLB futures predictions, with odds from Bodog:
New York Yankees - As strange as it may sound, there may be a little value in the Yankees in the ALCS odds. Sure, they are at 7/4, but given the attention they get and the way that they are playing it only makes sense that the odds could fall further. Chien-Ming Wang is returning to the rotation this week, and he'll add much-needed depth to the rotation. I wouldn't suggest that you bet this team in this situation out of the blue, but if you are a committed Yankees fan then you might want to jump now before the price falls further.
Philadelphia Phillies - The Phils are tied with the Cubs for the third lowest odds to win the NL at 5/1. They have won six in a row, their pitching has been stronger, and they have essentially the same lineup that took them all the way last season. They are in solid shape in their division right now, and would be very competitive in the wild card race if the need arose. They seem like good value at this price - especially when compared to the Cubs.
Los Angeles Dodgers - The Dodgers can be tempting to bet in the National League - they are all but a lock to make the playoffs given their big lead in a pathetic division. Despite that, I'm not at all certain that the odds reflect their chances - they are the heavy favorites at 2/1. They not only have to make the playoffs, but also win once they get there. They have unquestionably been good, but it's hard not to feel like they are playing over their heads and that their pitching staff could fall back to earth. I like the team but I sure don't like them his much.
Detroit Tigers - This must be a bad joke - the Tigers are at just 6/1 to win the American League. They look to have a tenuous hold on the evenly-matched AL Central, they likely have no chance of wining the wild card, and they don't yet have a rotation that they can entirely rely upon top to bottom. Yet somehow they are the third choice in the entire league behind only the Yankees and the Red Sox. I don't know about you, but I'm certainly not buying it.
Los Angeles Angels - The Angels seem to me to be worth a shot at 9/1 to win the American League. They still aren't playing anywhere near as well as they were expected to, but all hope is not lost. They are above .500 and well within touch of the overachieving Texas Rangers. Injuries have been the biggest cause of their issues this year, but they are as healthy as a team can be right now. In short, this is a team that is only going to get better, and it's not at all hard to imagine them winning the division. Given that, they seem like a reasonable gamble.
Chicago White Sox - The south-siders have not been good this year. In fact, they have spent long periods of times being pretty lousy. They are still in contention in the AL Central, though, so they are far from out of it. They have the most experience with the post season of any team in the division, and their coaching staff has a history of playoff success. Most encouraging, though, this is a team that is determined to get better. They were unsuccessful trying to land Jake Peavy, but that shouldn't be enough to shut down their efforts. That all could make for a nice gamble at 25/1.
St. Louis Cardinals - Someone has to win the NL Central, but we might not know who it is for months. The Cardinals are a slightly more attractive offering in the National League than their biggest competition - 7/1 compared to 6/1 for the Brewers. They aren't a spectacular team, but they are solid all over the field, and their pitching is more than solid. I think that the Cards have the best chance of winning the division, and the best chance of being competitive in the playoffs once they get there. They could be worth a look.