The betting action on all the regular-season MLB futures betting markets will be settled in just over a couple of months. That includes the pennant races and the markets regarding playoff qualification. These matters are settled when the final regular season games are played and sometimes beforehand, depending on whether a team clinches or gets mathematically eliminated early.
The awards and races for individual players may or may not be settled at this time as well. Some races, like the home-run race, are settled as soon as the season ends. Other markets, like the MVP markets, are settled later when all the votes get tallied. Heading into July 21st, 2023’s action, here’s a look at select markets and select players to watch.
MLB futures betting: most pitching wins
Heading into July 21st, 2023, there are five players with 11 wins to date in Major League Baseball. It’s not surprising that these players, Shane McClanahan, Zac Gallen, Spencer Strider, Nathan Eovaldi, and Taijuan Walker, are the top-five favorites in the stat-leader market for most pitching wins with bet365.
Walker is the one with the odds that stand out. He is 7 to 1 in this market (all odds bet365 throughout the article). Walker took a loss on Thursday and will be back in action next week.
But McClanahan is expected to start for Tampa Bay on Saturday. He is at 3 to 1 as the market’s favorite. McClanahan is tough to back partly because of TB’s recent slump — one that has lasted for several weeks now.
MLB strikeout leader (pitching)
Who will lead the Major Leagues in pitching strikeouts? Currently, the runaway leader is Spencer Strider of the Atlanta Braves. He has 189 strikeouts this season, 36 more than Kevin Gausman of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Strider is priced at -250 (1 to 4) to lead the majors in strikeouts. Those are betting odds that most won’t touch — and they should not be touched.
What you want to do with this market is keep an eye on Strider’s starts. If he takes any kind of injury, then it may open the door for the other contenders to get back in the mix.
Strider pitched six innings and had 13 strikeouts on Thursday. He will start again after the weekend. If Strider stays healthy and Atlanta does not cut back his starts to rest him for the playoffs, it’s hard to picture him not leading the majors in Ks. He’s just way too good.
NL Cy Young Award
Who will win the NL Cy Young Award? At present, Zac Gallen and Spencer Strider are the co-favorites at +225. One pitcher that could be kept an eye on is Clayton Kershaw, due to his odds. He’s out at 16 to 1 to win the NL’s Cy Young.
There are two big deals to mind with Kershaw. Firstly, he’s currently on the DL. However, he is the ERA leader among the Cy Young favorites in the NL. If he returns to the roster and turns in some quality starts, then bettors can get behind this ace. He is with the Dodgers and should have some wins heading his way in the closing months of the season.
However, Strider is the best bet in this market at +225 (our recommendation). Gallen is with Arizona, a team that has struggled a little bit. That could hurt his pitching wins, a statistic that seems to influence award voting for Cy Young candidates.
AL Cy Young Award
The American League favorite for Cy Young is Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees. He is at +240 to lead the market.
But Nathan Eovaldi of the Texas Rangers is the one to watch. He has odds of 7 to 1, his record is 11-3, and he has the second-best ERA among the American League favorites right now at 2.69. Also, Texas has played well since the All-Star break. A team in good form helps starters a lot as run support can bolster any pitcher’s record. Our recommendation in this market is to take Eovaldi at this point at 7 to 1.
AL MVP – Shohei Ohtani
The MVP market in the American League isn’t that interesting. Shohei Ohtani is turning into a runaway. He is at -650 against the field.
Bettors interested in this market can watch out for him to get injured. If he does, then it reopens the market for the underdogs to make cases for themselves. Also, there’s a chance that Ohtani gets traded to the National League. However, some may think those chances are fading. If he stays in the American League, the award is his to lose.