Fellow TheLines lead writer Mo Nuwwarah and I broke down our MLB futures bets before the season began, and we’ve reassessed the market en route to adding a pair of wagers. Below are the best MLB odds for each of them.
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MLB Odds: Eli And Mo’s Latest Futures Bets
Mets to win the World Series ():
How can you not be impressed with what the Mets have done thus far? They have the best win percentage in baseball as of April 29, and it didn’t come against nothing but cupcakes either. They’ve faced prospective contenders the Cardinals, Giants and Phillies, against whom they went 7-3.
The computer projections have bought in. FanGraphs, which originally had the Braves finishing three games up on the Mets, now has the situation reversed. Not only have the Mets gotten off to a hot start, but the Braves have scuffled without their lineup anchor in Ronald Acuna Jr., who just returned.
So, what has the Mets’ MLB odds looking so good?
- More from Mo: Daily MLB Betting Angles
Excelling In All Phases
The biggest positive signs have come in the rotation, surprisingly. Sure, everyone expected the rotation to be a massive strength, but that presumed a full season or close from the consensus best pitcher on Earth in Jacob deGrom. Instead, we have no idea when or if he will return.
No matter. Max Scherzer has been Max Scherzer. The big key: Tylor Megill and Chris Bassitt have stepped up and provided ace-level innings. Megill built on a solid debut season by bumping his fastball velocity up more than a full tick. With 112 career innings at a 3.66 SIERA, it seems likely he’ll outpitch his current projections. Bassitt appeared to make a leap in 2020 and shows no signs that this was a fluke. He’s missing more bats than ever after re-introducing a slider in a big way, which he had all but abandoned.
The bullpen has been great, as expected, ranking fifth in K-BB% and fourth in SIERA.
As for the bats, they’ve raked. The Mets rank second in team wRC+ and have shown great plate skills to back it up, with the fourth-best BB-to-K ratio. They haven’t been overly reliant on power, which seems good in a season where getting the baseball over the fence has proven challenging. Perhaps most critically, Francisco Lindor looks like an MVP candidate again (). If he’s back to his old form, this lineup looks much scarier.
Only the defense has lagged, but that doesn’t seem like a huge concern. The Mets were among last year’s best defenses with mostly the same bunch of players.
Even if deGrom can’t return, the Mets look like a contender. If he can, it’s hard to see any team, even the Dodgers, as meaningful favorites over the Mets in a playoff series.
Pablo Lopez to win National League Cy Young ():
Speaking of the Metropolitans, they announced that Jacob deGrom (stress reaction on right scapula) — the NL Cy Young favorite when healthy () — could begin to throwing shortly. Nevertheless, his timetable is still unknown.
Scherzer (), Corbin Burnes () and Carlos Rodon () are all certainly deserving candidates atop the odds board. But there’s time to strike with a juicier price tag after deGrom’s absence to begin the 2022 campaign.
FanDuel Sportsbook is offering a rogue +3500 price tag on Lopez, who’s amidst his fifth major league campaign. The 26-year-old has generated a 0.93 ERA through his first four starts, which appears fairly unsustainable on the surface.
Breaking Down Lopez’s Chances
Although Lopez will inevitably face a bit of negative regression, his 1.62 FIP showcases that his results are not bound to completely change directions. Moreover, the velocity behind his four-seam fastball (93 mph) is still a point lower than last season. That signifies that his stuff hasn’t even reached its top-tier potential, as it normally takes pitchers time to hit their peak velo during the season.
He’s also faced a trio of teams that rank in the upper half of MLB in wRC+, which measures how often a lineup generates offense in comparison to the league average.
Ever since his 2018 rookie campaign, Lopez’s changeup usage has increased. It’s up to 35.7% rate in a small sample size, along with displaying an 18-inch move towards right-handed batters. Essentially, there’s plenty of disguise to it — with the league average at 14 inches.
His strikeout rate (27.1%) isn’t sexy, yet he leads all pitchers in WAR (1.5) as of April 29. While his +5000 Cy Young odds have dipped from opening day, there’s still some value left. If Sandy Alcantara () wasn’t in Miami’s rotation, we’d likely see a shorter number already.