NL Cy Young Odds: Darvish Leads the Bunch as they Approach the Finish

By: Stuart Kirsch

If you are looking for clarity and a solid betting favorite in the Cy Young race in the National League, you are looking at the wrong league. Though Yu Darvish has the best odds as the season winds down to its last two turns in the rotation, there is a strong field breathing down his neck.

Chicago Cubs’ veteran hurler Yu Darvish is the betting favorite at +375. Darvish remains tied atop the National League with seven wins, but has tossed two straight outings that have lengthened his odds somewhat. Darvish took a no decision against Cleveland giving up three runs, two earned, on nine hits and a walk in seven innings; Chicago held on to win 6-5. He struck out seven and walked one.

His record dropped to 7-3 in his next outing, a 4-0 blanking at the hands of the Twins. Darvish again surrendered nine hits and a walk, this time allowing Minnesota to plate four runs against him; the Chicago lineup could manage only four hits against Jose Berrios and the Twin pen.

Darvish’s ERA has risen to 2.22, with a 1.00 WHIP and a .219 batting average against. He has 88 strikeouts on the year, tied for second best in the league, and has issued 13 bases-on-balls. Darvish has pitched 69 innings over his 11 starts.

Fried Returns to Atlanta Rotation

Max Fried missed only a single turn in the rotation, spending time on the Injured List with muscle spasms in his lumbar spine. In his return, he faced the New York Mets and pitched five innings, allowing one run on three hits and two walks. He threw 80 pitches over those five, tied for his lowest since his first appearance of the season.

Strongly supported by his Atlanta mates however, he picked up the victory in the 15-2 thrashing and extended his record to 7-0. His ERA is 1.96 and his WHIP 1.05 with a .202 batting average against. In his ten starts, he has not racked up the strikeout totals of his Cy Young competitors, with only 50 punchouts, against which his 19 bases-on-balls are magnified. Fried’s odds for the 2020 NL Cy Young are +500.

Cy Young Tracker: deGrom Fighting Injuries Too

While Darvish and Fried are pitching for division leaders, two-time reigning Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom is leading a Mets team that is on the outside of the playoffs looking in. After winning two straight starts, deGrom was pulled from his game against the Phillies after two innings and 40 pitches, suffering a hamstring spasm.

He gave three runs on four hits and walk, striking out one before departing; the Mets came back to win the game 5-4. deGrom’s record remains at 4-1, with a 2.09 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, .185 batting average against, and 80 strikeouts versus 14 walks. deGRom’s odds for his third straight Cy are +475.

Cy Young Tracker: Bauer Slips

Trevor Bauer’s undulating season continues and his odds to win the NL Cy Young award are at +600. Bauer fanned 12 Pirates in 6.1 innings, giving up a run on four hits and two walks, but was not involved in the decision. Holding a 1-0 lead in the seventh and having allowed just one hit, Bauer allowed the tying run across on a Colin Moran home run, but the Reds plated two in the bottom of the seventh to secure the seven-inning double-header win.

In his subsequent start, the Reds were blanked by Dallas Kuechel and the White Sox relievers, while Bauer surrendered two runs on five hits in seven innings and took the loss. Bauer is 4-4 on the year, with a 1.80 ERA, 88 strikeouts, 16 walks, 0.82 WHIP and .161 batting average against. 

Cy Young Tracker: Pitchers on the Fringe

With a fantastic last start or two, a number of pitchers in the NL might insert themselves into the Cy Young derby. Milwaukee’s Corbin Burnes leads the NL with a 1.77 ERA, a 4-0 record, 83 strikeouts, 22 walks, 0.95 WHIP, and .158 Batting average against. San Diego’s Dinelson Lamet leads the league with 89 strikeouts; he has a 3-1 mark with a 2.07 ERA, .087 WHIP, and a .166 average against.

And never count out Dodger Clayton Kershaw; he’s at 6-2 with a 2.15 ERA, 59 strikeouts, 0.75 WHIP, .172 batting average against in nine starts.

Shane Bieber sets his sights on AL Cy and MVP

By: Stuart Kirsch

Racking up his major league-leading eighth win of the season, Cleveland Indian Shane Bieber has all but assured himself the American League Cy Young award with ten days left in the truncated season. Bieber’s record is 8-1 in eleven starts and 72.1 innings pitched.

His 1.74 ERA also leads the bigs, as do his 112 strikeouts and 13.9 strikeouts per nine, as well as numerous advanced stats. His 2.9 WAR is tied for the best in the American League. The odds of a Shane Bieber 2020 AL Cy Young Award are -125.

Bieber pitched deep into a 10-3 victory over Detroit, with ten Tiger punch outs over 7.2 innings. He mowed them down through the first seven, scattering two singles and walk and holding them scoreless until his last pitch of the game.

Jose Ramirez had put Bieber and the Indians up early with a first inning solo jack; by the time Detroit batted in the eight, the lead has been extended tenfold. The eighth started with two more strikeouts sandwiching a double. A walk put two on with two out for Willi Castro, who roped Bieber’s final offering to deep right for three-run bomb.

The Cleveland ace has put up great stats for the short season, and his MVP odds are favorite or co-favorite with Angels’ superstar outfielder Mike Trout, whose batting line is a .292 average, 16 homers, 43 RBI, 1.005 OPS. Others is the MVP conversation are White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu .335/18/53/1.032 and Minnesota designated hitter Nelson Cruz .314/16/32/1.032.

Bieber would be the twelfth man in baseball history to take home the two awards in the same season, and the eighth in the AL, joining Justin Verlander, Dennis Eckersley, Roger Clemens, Willie Hernandez, Rollie Fingers, Vida Blue, and Denny McLain.

Cole Climbs Back into Race on Yankees’ Hot Streak

Not long ago, the Yankees were tumbling, losers of five straight and sitting at .500 in third place in the AL East. Since then, with help from their premiere offseason acquisition, starter Gerrit Cole, the Bronx Bombers reeled off ten straight wins and clinched a playoff spot. Cole threw a complete-game, seven-inning shutout win over the Orioles, striking out nine, and allowing a walk and two hits to the Os.

He reprised that with another seven-inning victory over the Blue Jays. Giving up one run on three hits and walk while fanning eight. Cole has lowered his ERA to 3.00 to go with his 6-3 mark. He has 87 strikeouts, second best to Bieber, and a 0.98 WHIP and .196 batting average against. Cole’s odds to win the Cy Young are +550.

Giolito and Lynn Still in the Mix

The Chicago White Sox have also punched their ticket to the postseason and are battling the Rays and A’s for the best record in the American League. Following Lucas Giolito’s late August no-no against the Pirates, the Chisox have won four of his five starts, but Giolito is 1-1 over that time and his pitching has been far from elite.

He took a no decision in a 5.2 inning stint against the Tigers, allowing three runs on four hits and four walks. He took the loss in a 5-1 defeat at the hands of the Twins, surrendering three runs on three hits and three walks in six innings. Since the no hitter, he has given up 11 earned runs in 22.2 innings, raising his ERA by half a run to 3.53. He has a 4-3 record with 86 strikeouts, 1.03 WHIP, and .183 average against. Giolito’s odds for the Cy Young award are +500.

The Texas Rangers, meanwhile, are battling the Red Sox and Royals for the worst mark in the majors, which makes Lance Lynn’s chances to bring home the Cy Young award more difficult on many fronts. Lynn has done his part, posting a 6-2 record in 12 starts, leading the league in starts, innings pitched, and batters faced, and is tied with Bieber in WAR.

Lynn picked up his sixth win in a one-run, seven-inning appearance against Oakland, and then allowed three runs on seven hits in a Texas loss to Anaheim where he took a no decision. Lynn’s odds to win the 2020 AL Cy Young award are +650. He has a 2.53 ERA with a 0.96 WHIP, .184 batting average against, and 84 strikeouts.

NL Cy Young Odds: New Favorites in Fried and Darvish

by Stuart Kirsch 

Fried and Darvish Surge to the Top of the NL Cy Young Charts /

The trade deadline has come and gone, and big names rumored to be on the move, including Trevor Bauer and Sonny Gray are still in Cincinnati. They have, however, traded in their favorite rankings for the best pitcher in the NL to Atlanta and Chicago, to Max Fried and Yu Darvish, specifically. Fried and Darvish are the only NL pitchers with six victories on the season.  

Fried picked up his sixth against no defeats on the season in an effective effort against the Red Sox. The Sox posted two runs on him early, with two runs on five hits and two walks in five innings, but Fried and his Atlanta mates prevailed 6-3. Fried has now won three straight starts.  

His ERA is a tidy 1.60 on the season, with a 1.00 WHIP and .199 batting average against. Fried has fanned 43 versus 14 walks and given up no home runs. His league-leading odds to win the CY Young are +325. 

Darvish posted his sixth victory against one loss in a six-inning shutout appearance against the Reds. Darvish scattered seven hits and two walks and was helped out by a few double-plays from the Cubs defense behind him.  

Darvish has a decision in each game he has started, reeling off six straight wins after starting with a loss. He leads the league in ERA at 1.47, tied with Fried for the lead with a 1.00 WHIP and has struck out 52 batters in 43 innings of work while walking eight. Opposing batters are hitting .222 against him. The winner of the NL Pitcher of the Month, Darvish has odds of +350 to win the 2020 NL Cy Young award.  

NL Cy Young Odds: Bauer and deGrom Slipping Back /

Trevor Bauer was all the rage recently, both figuratively and literally. The Reds have been on the edge of contending for a playoff spot and now find themselves bunched at the bottom, two games out of the eight seed, with a lot of teams to jump to snag a spot.  

Bauer has taken two straight losses to make his season record 3-2. He faced a sparkling Darvish in his last appearance and gave up two bombs to Anthony Rizzo on the way to the 3-0 defeat. Bauer’s ERA sits at 2.13 in his six starts, with a 0.79 WHIP and .144 batting average against and leads the league with 4.5 hits per nine and 12.8 Ks per nine. Bauer’s odds for the Cy Young have lengthened to +550. 

Meanwhile, the season for two-time reigning Cy Young award winner Jacob deGrom seems (not surprisingly considering this is 2020) to yet to get on track. With two thirds of the season gone, deGrom is 2-1 for the equally barely-contending Mets.  deGrom was charged with four runs on six hits and two walks in a six-inning performance against the Marlins, but a fielding error behind him made three of the runs unearned. 

He took his first loss of the year in the 5-3 final. deGrom’s other stats are in better shape than his record, a 1.76 ERA, 58 strikeouts in 41 innings, a WHIP at 0.90, and a batting average against of .185 in his seven starts. deGrom’s odds for the Cy remain at +600.

NL Cy Young Odds: Other Notables

Philadelphia ace Aaron Nola has led the resurgent Phils with a 4-2 record and 2.45 ERA, capped by his most recent win, an eight-inning, two-hit shutout of the Nationals. Nola’s Cy Young odds are fifth best in the league at +800. Recent odds favorite Sonny Gray has fallen on tougher times, dropping to 5-2 with a 3.19 ERA and +1200 odds to win the Cy. 

 Arizona’s Zac Gallen has some nifty stats to go with his 1-0 record, a 1.80 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 50 innings. His odds are +2000. Clayton Kershaw finds himself now at 5-1 for the league-best Dodgers, with a 1.50 ERA in six starts, but only 36 innings. He’s thrown two shutout victories in a row and has Cy Young odds of +2500.

AL Cy Young Tracker: Bieber Pithing for Cy and Pitching Triple Crown

by Stuart Kirsch 

Shane Bieber Rules the AL in Pitching as MLB Hits the Final Month /

Cleveland Ace Shane Bieber added all but the victory to his elite 2020 season with a six-inning shutout performance against the Kansas City Royals. The Cy Young and pitching Triple Crown favorite gave up a single hit and four walks, throwing 105 pitches. 

 Bieber struck out two Royal batters on swinging strikes in each of the first three innings, fanning nine in the game, and the one KC hit barely made it out of the infield. The Indians batters put a run on the board in the top of the seventh to position him for the win, but the bullpen gave up two walk and two singles in the eighth to plate two in the eventual 2-1 Cleveland loss. Bieber is the only AL pitcher with six wins, his record remaining a perfect 6-0.  

He lowered his league-leading ERA to 1.20, more than a run better than his nearest competitors, White Sox hurler Dallas Kuechel at 2.42 and Angel Dylan Bundy at 2.47. In his 52.2 innings pitched in eight starts, he has amassed 84 strikeouts, again far ahead of Lucas Giolito’s 66, Lance Lynn’s 63, and Gerrit Cole’s 60.  

Needless to say he leads the junior circuit in strikeouts per nine, and is tied with Minnesota’s Kenta Maeda for the lowest batting average against at .163. The 25-year old has registered the highest WAR on the season among all American League players, not just pitchers with a 2.6 mark. The odds for a Shane Bieber 2020 American League Cy Young awards have gone through the floor to -149.  

AL Cy Young Tracker: Early Favorite Cole Fading Away /

Gerrit Cole’s march to a Cy Young award was pushed off-course last season by his Astros teammate Justin Verlander’s spectacular September. The now Yankee was the preseason and early-season favorite to get back on that straight-and-narrow path, but Bieber had as much to say about that as Cole’s own performance.  

Cole fell into early trouble against the Rays and never had an easy inning, the damage done both for his own pitching line and for the Yanks’ hopes for the victory. Rays’ hitters Ji-Man Choi and Kevin Kiermayer touched Cole for longballs in the first two innings. Cole gave up two singles in the third and then two walks in the fourth without surrendering a run, but a walk, single, and an HBP loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth.  

A Manuel Margot single scored a run, but the Yanks got an out on the basepaths and Cole retired the side with no further damage. Trailing 4-0 and having thrown 103 pitches, Cole headed for the clubhouse and took the loss in the 5-3 Rays win. Cole’s record dropped to 4-2 with two straight losses.  

He has looked over his shoulder a league-high dozen times in his eight starts to watch balls leave the yard, at least once in every game. Cole’s ERA has punched up to 3.91. The former number one overall draft pick has seen his odds for the Cy Young balloon to +600.  

AL Cy Young Tracker: Giolito sticking around /

Riding the high of his no-hitter over the Pirates, Chicago pitcher Lucas Giolito returned to earth with a rather pedestrian five-inning stint in a no decision against the Twins. Working with an extra day of rest, the White Sox hurler needed 94 pitches to get through five, giving up four runs—two earned—on four hits and a walk, while striking out eight in the eventual 8-5 Chicago win. Giolito, whose Cy Young odds are tied at +600 with Cole, has a 3-2 record with a 3.14 ERA.  

Lance Lynn stays with Texas Through Trade Deadline /

One of the most popular names in the trade rumors was Ranger starter Lance Lynn. The righty has been a workhorse for the disappointing Rangers team and leads the league in innings pitched and batters faced. He took the loss in a sour outing against the Astros, yielding six runs on eight hits in six innings pitched. Lynn’s record dropped to 4-2 and his ERA rose to 2.67. His Cy Young odds likewise rose to +1000. 

Oakland Closer Waiting in the AL Cy Young Wings /

The most dominant closer in the league has been closing out games with little fanfare out in Oakland and makes an appearance on the Cy Young odds boards at +1200. Liam Hendriks leads the league with ten saves on the year, to go with a 2-0 record and 1.10 ERA. In the A’s season opener, he gave up his only homer on the year and ignominiously took a blown save. But that was his only one.  

Since then, he was given up a single other run in a total of 16+ innings of work in 16 appearances. The 31-year old has struck out 23 and walked but three. The A’s are 16-0 in games that Hendriks pitches. Should Bieber falter in the season’s final month, Hendriks could be waiting to close out the award.

AL Cy Young Odds: No Longer a Two-Man Race

by Stuart Kirsch 

AL Cy Young Tracker: No Longer a Two-Man Race as Lance Lynn Steps Up

Gerrit Cole was the preseason pick for the AL Cy Young, and he continues to perform at a level befitting that prognostication. Shane Bieber has continued on a trajectory that has made him the favorite at the quarter pole of the season.

Now Texas hurler Lance Lynn is making a statement that the Cy Young decision won’t be just a two-man race. The big righty tossed a complete game two-hitter, defeating the Rockies 3-2. Lynn allowed one earned run and fanned six in the effort, raising his record to 3-0 and lowering his ERA to a league-leading 1.11. 

Lynn, who did not allow a run in his first two starts of the year, has struck out 36 against 12 walks in 36+ innings over his five starts. Needless to say he has eclipsed 100 pitches in each game. Lynn’s odds for the AL Cy Young award have dipped to +700. 

AL Cy Young Odds: Bieber and Cole stay tight

Cleveland’s Shane Bieber remains the odds favorite for the award, dropping to +175. While fellow starters Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac have dominated the news for their off the field antics, Bieber continues to dominate from the pitching rubber.  
 

The 25-year-old picked up his fourth win of the season against no defeats by shutting out the Tigers over seven strong. He scattered three hits and a walk while sending 11 back to the dugout with a K. Bieber’s ERA is 1.30 with 54 strikeouts in 34.2 innings, the third most strikeouts of any modern pitcher in his first five starts of a season. 

Continuing his streak of decisions without a loss, Gerrit Cole picked up his fourth W on the year by means of a four-hit, one-run, seven-inning effort against the hapless Red Sox. Bouncing back from a relatively poor showing against the Rays, Cole showed better results following a tweak of his delivery.  

He gave up a single run in seven strong innings, a solo shot by Alex Verdugo, while striking out eight and walking none. Cole lowered his ERA back under three to 2.76, and polished his win-loss record to 4-0. The odds of a Gerrit Cole 2020 AL Cy Young award narrowed to +215. 

AL Central Sophomores Collecting Wins

The American League Central now features two second-year pitchers who are tied with Bieber and Cole to lead the league with four victories. Both Dylan Cease and Randy Dobnak opened the season with a loss and have since each scored a victory in four straight starts.  

Dobnak, the 25-year-old Twin, has surrendered only four earned runs over 25+ innings, including shutout appearances over the Indians and Pirates. He is 4-1 with a 1.42 ERA, striking out 14 and walking six. He is averaging just over five innings per appearance and has thrown more than 80 pitches only once. Cease is 4-1 for the White Sox with a 3.16 ERA over his 25+ innings. Neither are on the board with odds, but with the strength of that division, keep an eye on their progress. 

AL Cy Young Odds: Up and Down for Bundy

Los Angeles Angels’ right-hander Dylan Bundy has been moving up the ranks of Cy Young contenders. He blanked the red-hot Athletics, striking out ten and scattering four hits in seven innings while his teammates put a six-spot on the board.  

But a week later, he was the one giving up the long ball, offering up two homers to the visitors from the other side of the bay. The Giants scored four runs on four hits and four walks in four innings off Bundy, who took the loss. Bundy’s odds for the AL Cy are at +750; he is 3-2 on the season with a 2.48 ERA and 38 strikeouts. 

NL Cy Young Odds Tracker: Bauer Ranges to Top of the Charts

By Stuart Kirsch 

NL Cy Young Odds Tracker: Shuffling at the Top

The three favorites in the 2020 NL Cy Young Award race persist at the top of the odds books: reigning champ NY Met Jacob deGrom, and Reds’ hurlers Sonny Gray and Trevor Bauer. As the disturbed 2020 season moves past the one-third marker of the 60-game schedule, the names remain the same, only the odds and order have changed.

Trevor Bauer has been the most impressive, although in limited action. Between extra rest and cancelled games on the Reds’ schedule, Bauer has not started a game in a week and a half. In three quality starts, he is 2-0 over 19.1 innings, with 0.93 ERA, giving up only two runs on seven hits. He has fanned 32 batters versus four bases on balls, throwing over 100 pitches in each start, including a seven-inning, complete game as part of a double header.  

Until he toes the rubber, he will not have pitched enough to be qualifying in the stats leaders. Bauer has made as much news of late throwing shade at others in the game as he has from the mound, but analysis shows some of his success is due to an increased spin rate on his pitchers, and more reliance on his fastball and cutter. Bauer’s odds for the Cy Young award also show some increased spin, now at +400. 

NL Cy Young Odds: Gray and deGrom just off the top 

Reds’ pitcher Sonny Gray is one of two four-game winners in the National League. Gray’s outstanding pitching hit a bump in his previous start, but returned to form in a ten-strikeout, one-run appearance in an 8-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.  

Gray was spotting his fastball well and was touched for a Bryan Reynolds solo homerun among five hits in 6.2 innings. Gray leads the league in strikeouts with 45, and his odds to win the 2020 Cy Young award are +500. Overall he is 4-1 with a 2.05 ERA. 

Don’t sleep on Jacob deGrom, even if he may be having trouble sleeping with neck stiffness. deGrom remains at 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA and 28 strikeouts in his four starts. His odds to retain his Cy Young title have lengthened slightly to +500. 

Yu Darvish enters the Cy Young conversation

After getting roughed up in his first start, the Chicago Cubs’ veteran righty has reeled off four straight wins, lasting six plus innings in each and offering up no more than a single run. He’s been touched for only a single gopher ball in his five starts and has managed a steady decrease in his ERA to 1.80. Darvish gave up eight hits in his six-inning win over the Cards, but was helped out by the double play ball and seven strikeouts to stay out of danger. With Cy Young odds at +1500, Darvish is 4-1 with 34 total strikeouts over 30 innings.  

Best ERAs are in Atlanta and San Diego 

Max Fried of Atlanta is the NL ERA leader sporting a 1.24 mark to go with his 3-0 record. The lefty tossed six and a third scoreless innings against the Marlins, but left with a no decision following a blown save in the eventual Braves’ 2-1 victory. Fried has struck out 28, but given up 17 hits and nine walks in his 29 innings of work. Fried’s Cy Young odds are +1200.  

San Diego’s Danielson Lamet’s odds remain at +2200, even as he has given up only a single run in each of his five starts. He was the tough luck loser in a 5-1 loss to the DBacks, surrendering his one run on a solo jack by Kole Calhoun. Lamet is 2-1 on the season and his ERA is 1.59, behind just Fried. 

NL Cy Young Odds Tracker: Seeing Reds

By Stuart Kirsch 

NL Cy Young Odds Tracker: Jacob deGrom, Sonny Gray and Trevor Bauer

The young 2020 season has been one of contrasts for reigning two-time Cy Young award winner Jacob deGrom. He pitched well in his first two games, but came away with no decisions, surrendering just two earned runs on four hits in 11 innings total.  

In the second pair of games, he again pitched a total of 11 innings, gave up four runs on 12 hits including two bombs, but came away with wins over Atlanta and Miami. His ERA is at 2.45 and he has fanned 28 versus five walks. DeGrom’s odds for the 2020 NL Cy Young award are +350. 

NL Cy Young Odds Tracker: We’re on to Cincinnati

The Reds are under .500 but are surprisingly in the midst of a playoff hunt in the expanded postseason schedule. The top of the pitching rotation is clearly one of the reasons. Sonny Gray and Trevor Bauer each have three quality starts under their belts in the early going.  

Bauer has won his last two starts to move to 2-0 with an ERA shrinking to 0.93. He two-hit the Tigers in a seven-inning complete game shutout as part of a double header, and then struck out a dozen Brewers on one run and three hits in his next outing.  

Starting 3-0, Gray was touched up in a 9-3 loss to the team above them in the standings, the Milwaukee Brewers. Cruising with a 2-1 lead and seven strikeouts entering the bottom of the sixth, Gray was touched for a double, a single, a stolen base, and another run-scoring single before handing over the ball.  

He was charged with four runs on six hits and three walks in 101 pitches, ballooning his ERA to 2.25. Gray and Bauer lead the senior circuit with 35 and 32 strikeouts respectively. Bauer’s odds for the Cy Young have dropped to +400, while Gray’s have dropped to +800.  

NL Cy Young Tracker: Early Surprises

Atlanta southpaw Max Fried has seen his teammates’ bats come alive in his last starts, winning a 10-1 laugher over the Blue Jays then an 8-0 shutout of the Phillies. Fried has not given up more than four hits in any of his first four starts. He’s got a shiny 2-0 record with a 1.59 ERA. Fried’s odds for the Cy Young are +1800.  

On the other coast, Dinelson Lamet continues to show his stuff for the Padres. He picked up his second victory of the season with no defeats in a 9-5 win over the Diamondbacks. His ERA is a tidy 1.61, ceding only a single run in each of his first four starts. He is tied with deGrom for fourth in the league with 28 strikeouts. Lamet has halved his Cy Young odds to +2200.  

Only One Decision

On the other side of the ledger, Max Scherzer has seen his odds rise to +1000 to win the Cy Young for the fourth time in his career. The Nationals’ ace, who will take home almost $18 million in the short 2020 season, has been hampered by a tweaked hamstring, forcing him out of his recent start against the Mets after only one inning. Scherzer is 0-1 on the season with a 3.29 ERA, his loss a season-opening rain-shortened complete game against the Yankees.  

St. Louis starter Jack Flaherty, meanwhile, has been sidelined not bacause of injury or weather, but due to postponed games as his team battles the Coronavirus. Flaherty started and won his only appearance on the year, a 5-4 win over the Pirates that saw him give up two runs on six singles in seven innings. Flaherty’s odds are also +1000 to win the NL Cy Young award. 

Yankees vs. Orioles Preview For 7/30/2020

The Pinstripes will look to beat the Orioles again as 1.5 run favorites on the road

It doesn’t seem like the Yankees were too affected by the latest changes to the Major League Baseball schedule. The Yanks’ series against the Philadelphia Phillies was postponed due to Coronavirus concerns. Instead, New York began play against the Baltimore Orioles and conclude a two-game road trip tonight at Camden Yards.

To put it lightly, the Orioles were crushed by the Yankees yesterday. The game was tied 2-1 after two innings. However, the Yanks’ bats came alive for seven more runs, giving New York the eventual 9-3 victory. Aaron Judge and DJ LeMahieu homered in the game while the Orioles were held to just five hits.

The Yankees’ victory should come as a surprise to nobody. The Bronx Bombers have dominated this matchup for the last three years. 2016 marked the last time that the Orioles won their regular-season series against the Yanks. Since then, this matchup has been a disaster for Baltimore. Following yesterday’s victory, the Yankees are 41-16 against the Orioles head-to-head since 2017. The victory also gives the Pinstripes a 17-game win streak over the Orioles. The last time Baltimore beat the Yankees was March 31st, 2019.

Another issue for Baltimore has been the fact that these games have not been close. During the Yankees’ 17-game win streak, the Yankees were held to less than four runs just one time. The Yanks have also scored 145 runs during this winning-streak, which averages out to almost 8.5 runs per game. Meanwhile, the Orioles have not been able to keep up. They have 72 runs during the 17-game stretch for an average of 4.2 runs per game, but the pitching has been so bad that Baltimore has never come close to stopping New York. In fact, the Orioles currently have a run differential of -73 during this 17-game losing streak

With 17 straight victories, it almost seems like a foregone conclusion that the Yankees will win tonight’s game. Let’s take a look at the matchup that awaits us. Both teams will have pitchers making their 2020 season debut. JA Happ gets the nod for the Yanks while Baltimore sends out promising lefty John Means to defend home field.

JA Happ has never wowed me since coming to New York. He’s been decent against some of the weaker teams in the league, but he hasn’t always been able to get the job during crunch time. However, Happ did prove himself valuable against the Orioles, going 4-1 in five starts against Baltimore last season.

As for John Means, it was a rough outing for the youngster against the Yanks last season. Despite being named an All-Star, he surrendered 11 runs in five games against the Bronx Bombers. That is a pretty good ERA, but it was usually never enough to get the job done as Means finished the season 1-4 against the Yanks. For that reason, I’m going to give the Bronx Bombers a slight advantage in the pitching department.

I would be absolutely shocked if the Baltimore Orioles won this game. I am not going to say they have a zero percent chance of winning because that is never true in sports. However, I will say they have about a one percent chance of winning this game. Neither pitcher is all that good, so I expect the bats to be busy. The Yankees have the lineup to get into a shootout; the orioles do not. Yankees win in a high scoring game and manage to cover the spread.

Yankees 8 – Orioles 5

All Miami Marlins Games Postponed Through Sunday

The team will miss their next six scheduled games

Major League Baseball is looking to avoid a health disaster while continuing the 2020 season. The league announced that all Miami Marlins games through Sunday have been postponed. The announcement comes just three days after it was revealed that a Coronavirus outbreak occurred in the Marlins’ clubhouse. The Marlins’ next six games (three vs. the Orioles & three vs. the Phillies) have been postponed through Sunday, August 2nd.

An outbreak of COVID-19 occurred in the Marlins’ locker room this past weekend. It is believed that anywhere between 15 and 18 members of the organization have reportedly tested positive for the disease. ESPN reports that 16 players and two coaches have recorded positive test results.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Marlins learned on Sunday morning that their pitcher for that afternoon, as well as two other players, had tested positive for Coronavirus. Miami manager Don Mattingly said that Shortstop Miguel Rojas was the guy to go to when “…we’re dealing with situations or things…” The Philadelphia Inquirer said that the group text’s opinion was that “…the team took enough precaution to play Sunday.” After that, Rojas explained how the situation was handled.

“We made the decision that we’re going to continue to do this and we’re going to continue to be responsible and just play the game as hard as we can… We knew that this would happen at some point. We came to the ballpark and we were ready to play. That was never our thought that we weren’t going to play.”

Miguel Rojas on how the team decided to play in a game on Sunday vs. the Phillies

The Marlins concluded a three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday, which they won two games to one. At this time, the Phillies’ series against the Yankees has been postponed as a precautionary measure to ensure that no further teams contract COVID-19.

Report: Tonight’s Yankees-Phillies Game Postponed

Second game in a row postponed due to fallout from Marlins’ COVID-19 outbreak

It looks like Major League Baseball will continue to delay the start of the Yankees-Phillies series out of precaution. The New York Post‘s Joel Sherman first reported that tonight’s game between Philly and the Bronx Bombers was off. This marks the second straight day that a game in the series between the two teams has been postponed.

The series has not been able to start because the Philadelphia Phillies just finished a three-game-stretch against the Miami Marlins, who have had an outbreak of COVID-19 in their clubhouse. According to Bleacher Report, 18 total members of the Marlins’ organization have tested positive for COVID-19. It is being reported that 16 of the 18 positive test results have come from Miami players.

At this time, Philadelphia’s players and staff members have undergone further testing to determine if the team was affected by Miami’s Coronavirus outbreak. Joel Sherman is reporting that early test results show that zero members of the Phillies organization have tested positive for COVID-19.

It is expected that the Marlins and Phillies will be able to play later this week if additional COVID-19 test results come back negative. The Phillies are scheduled to play two games at Yankee Stadium beginning on Wednesday.

Two MLB Games Postponed Due To COVID-19

An outbreak of Coronavirus in Miami Marlins’ clubhouse leads to two games being canceled

Major League Baseball announced that games scheduled for later today between the Yanks and Phillies and the Marlins and Orioles have been postponed as the league conducts additional COVID-19 testing. Sources told ESPN that an outbreak of Coronavirus has spread throughout the Marlins’ clubhouse. It is believed that as many as 13 members of the organization have tested positive for the disease.

Major League Baseball released a statement late this morning about the games being postponed. The league explained that tests are being conducted and more information will be provided as it becomes available.

“Tonight’s scheduled games between the Miami Marlins and the Baltimore Orioles at Marlins Park and the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees at Citizens Bank Park have been postponed while Major League Baseball conducts additional COVID-19 testing. The members of the Marlins’ traveling party are self-quarantining in place while awaiting the outcome of those results. Major League Baseball has been coordinating with the Major League Baseball Players Association; the Marlins; the Orioles; the Marlins’ weekend opponent, the Phillies; and Club medical staffs, and will continue to provide updates as appropriate.”

Major League Baseball’s statement on the postponement of two games

The Miami Marlins just completed a three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies to open the 2020 season. The Marlines ended up winning the series two games to one. The Marlins were scheduled to begin a four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles while the Phillies begin their series against the Yankees.

There are still 10 Major League Baseball games scheduled to be played today. The first game of the day starts at 3:40 PM EST when the Los Angeles Angels go on the road to take on the Oakland Athletics.

Yankees vs. Nationals Preview For 7/26/2020

Yanks look to close out road trip as 1.5 run favorites over the Nats

Through two games, the regular-season series between the New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals is now tied at one game a-piece following yesterday’s shellacking. This will be the final game of the season between the Nats and the Yanks. After today, the only time these teams will see each other again this season would be if they faced off against each other in the World Series.

As opposed to the first game of this season series, yesterday’s contest went the full nine innings. The Opening Day game between New York and Washington was canceled in the sixth inning due to inclement weather. The Nationals took the Yanks to the shed, shelling them for nine runs on their way to a 9-2 victory, their first win of the season.

The pitching was the clear difference in this one. The Nationals were able to win this one with ease even though starter Stephen Strasburg was scratched before the game. The Nats used five pitchers to get through the game. Erick Fedde started the game for Washington and did surrender two runs in the first four innings. However, the Nats went to their bullpen after that and were able to hold the Yankees scoreless through the final five innings of the game.

Now, I am not a person who gets a full-head when he gets a prediction right. However, I do feel an emphatic “I told ya so” is in order when looking at James Paxton’s performance in yesterday’s contest. I said in my preview, “… I don’t have faith in James Paxton to limit the Nationals…” Well apparently, the Yankees did not have faith in Paxton either. He was pulled after giving up two runs in the second inning. His replacement didn’t do much better, allowing the Nats to score one more run before finishing the inning down 3-0.

After Paxton’s exit, the game ended up being close for a while. Despite being down by three runs, the Yanks managed to claw their way back into it to make the game interesting. An RBI from DJ LeMahieu and a solo Home Run from Giancarlo Stanton put the Yanks back in the game, down just one run to Washington in the fourth inning. Unfortunately, that would be all the scoring the Yankees would manage for the evening. Meanwhile, the Nationals finished the game by scoring six more runs for the eventual 9-2 victory.

Let’s look ahead to this afternoon. As I mentioned before, this is the final game of the regular season series between these squads. Patrick Corbin will get the start for Washington while Jonathan Loaisiga gets the nod for the Bronx Bombers. It’s going to be fascinating to see how Corbin, a New York native, handles his second career start against the Yanks. Although, I am worried about him because he has not made a start against the Yanks since 2013.

The Yankees are expected to go to their bullpen earlier in this game with Loaisiga on the mound. I’m sure the team has faith in Loaisiga to give them a couple good innings, but I feel that bringing in a series of fresh arms to keep the Nats on their toes is the best way to win this game. Just look at how well Washington did yesterday using five different pitchers.

Even though the series is tied, I think it is the Yankees’ game to lose. Top to bottom, the Yanks have a lineup of guys that can get on base or go yard any time they step up to the plate. In fact, I know we are not even three games into the season yet, but Giancarlo Stanton looks like an early favorite to win AL MVP. He has four hits for two home runs and four RBIs in just six at-bats. Furthermore, in an abbreviated season, this guy can be the best player in baseball if he can stay healthy for just 60 games, a much easier task than staying healthy for 162 games.

The Yankees are favored by 1.5 runs in today’s game, but I don’t think they’ll be able to cover that spread. I am confident in the Yanks to win. They have a better lineup than the Nationals, and I feel like going to the bullpen early may be the move to give them a slight edge over the Nationals. However, both teams will be able to score some runs. In the end, New York will win the game, but it will only be by one.

Yankees 4 – Nationals 3

Yankees vs. Nationals Preview For 7/25/2020

Yanks look for their second straight win as 1.5 run favorites over the Nationals

The New York Yankees came away with the first win of the 2020 Major League Baseball season yesterday after they trounced the Washington Nationals by a final score of 4-1. Nats’ ace Max Scherzer was shelled for four runs in a little over five innings pitched, but he did manage to strikeout 11 Yankees’ batters. On the other side, Gerritt Cole was excellent in his first start in pinstripes, holding the Nationals to one hit in five innings. The game was eventually canceled after five innings due to inclement weather.

At the end of the day, the difference in this one was the experienced bats of the New York Yankees. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton both recorded multiple hits in the game. Stanton had the swing of the game, launching a Home Run 459 feet to give the Yanks a 2-0 early lead that they never looked back from. When all was said and done, Stanton and Judge combined for four hits and four RBIs yesterday.

The interesting headlines surrounding baseball started rolling in before the game started. Just hours prior to the game’s first pitch, Washington General Manager Mike Rizzo revealed that Outfielder Juan Soto tested positive for COVID-19 and would have to miss the season opener. Rizzo said that Soto is asymptomatic at this time. The star outfielder will need to record two negative tests before he can return to the field.

The Nationals definitely could have used Juan Soto’s services yesterday. The defending World Series champs were held to just one hit in 16 at-bats. Juan Soto probably could have made a difference in the game. He had the third-highest batting average of all Nationals’ players in the playoffs and the fourth-highest batting average of all Washington players during the 2019 Regular Season.

After watching the game last night, I realized something almost immediately. This is going to be a rough start for Major League Baseball pitchers. We are in unprecedented times. This Major League Baseball season is completely different than any other in the sport’s history. Sure, pitchers have had a few days to warm up and practice, but they have not seen any real opportunity to throw meaningful pitches in quite some time.

This realization became clear in the first inning of the game. Max Scherzer is a surefire Hall of Fame pitcher, but even he looked a little jumpy out there. He settled down after the Stanton homer, but he still allowed two more runs in the game for four total and an eventual loss. This is a bad start for Max Scherzer, a player who has been one of the best pitchers in baseball for the last five to ten years and has done things statistically that few people on the planet Earth have done. If Max Scherzer is going to struggle, what hope is there for the other guys further down the rotation that are not as talented?

Here’s what I’m trying to say: I believe the delayed start to the MLB season will negatively affect pitchers. Batters are always ready to hit, but Pitchers are not always ready to throw their best stuff (that’s why they throw warmup pitches in the bullpen). Pitchers will eventually find their footing, but they will have to do it quickly. In an abbreviated, 60-game season, teams do not have time to let pitchers try and work through their struggles or growing pains. Thankfully for the Yankees, there was nothing but smooth sailing last night for Gerritt Cole

Now let us look ahead to the second game of the three-game home-stand the Nats have against the Yankees. The Nationals will be sending out the 2019 World Series co-MVP, Stephen Strasburg, who had one of the most impressive postseason pitching runs in recent history. Meanwhile, the Yankees will be sending James Paxton to the mound as he begins his second season with New York.

In terms of pitching matchup, I don’t think this one is close. Stephen Strasburg is leaps and bounds better than James Paxton. Strasburg went 5-0 in the playoffs last year with a 1.98 ERA. As for Paxton, he had a 3.82 ERA in 29 starts in 2019. The pitching matchup favors the Washington Nationals in this game.

I think this is Washington’s game to lose. It will be much easier for the Nationals to get hits off James Paxton as opposed to Gerritt Cole. Even if the Nats record only two hits tomorrow, that is still a 100% increase in the number of hits when compared to the Opening Day Game. The Yanks’ bats will show up, but I don’t have faith in James Paxton to limit the Nationals, even without Juan Soto. Nationals win and cover the spread.

Nationals 5 – Yankees 4

NL Rookie of the Year Odds: Do the NL RoY Odds Bleed Dodger Blue?

By Stuart Kirsch 

NL Rookie of the Year Odds: Do the NL RoY Odds Bleed Dodger Blue?

It is astonishing that in the 72 years since Jackie Robinson took home the first Rookie of the Year award in Major League Baseball, the award has been given to a member of a single franchise in a full quarter of those years. The Dodger faithful hope to continue the heritage of Robinson, Newcombe, Valenzuela, Piazza, Nomo, Seager, and Bellinger through the heralded former first-round pick, Gavin Lux.  

The second baseman-of-the-future hung some gaudy offensive numbers throughout his minor-league career and had some highlight-reel games in an otherwise run-of-the-mill September call-up. While the odds for a Gavin Lux 2020 NL Rookie of the Year award are a league-favorite +300, Lux was optioned off the big club roster to start the season in alternative camp. 

NL RoY Odds: Another Middle Infielder Thumper

The number one prospect in the World Champion Washington Nationals’ system is also a middle infielder with prodigious power. Carter Kieboom will have to make the move to third base in the major league lineup, taking the spot of Anthony Rendon, a key cog in the Nats’ triumph.  

Kieboom had an OPS over .900 and 16 homers in Triple-A Fresno but struggled at the dish and in the field in a brief call up to DC, even with 2 more dingers. Carter Kieboom’s odds for the NL ROY are +500. Colorado 2B Brendan Rodgers, yet another hard-hitting top prospect in the middle of the diamond, starts the season in the Rockies’ alternative camp; his ROY odds are +1000.  

Why Some Pitchers are in the NL Rookie of the Year Odds Debate

San Diego Padres’ southpaw Mackenzie Gore is primed to make the jump from Double-A to the majors in the jumble that is the San Diego roster. Gore has a high-leg kick and locates his mid-90s fastball well. He only pitched five games in Double-A Amarillo but struck out 25 in 21 innings. Gore’s Rookie of the Year odds are +800.  

Mitch Keller had a less-than-auspicious start to his major league career for the Pirates in 2019 but having pitched only 48 innings over his 11 starts, he maintains his rookie status. He went 1-5 with a 7.13 ERA but fanned 65 hitters. Keller, who spent his time during the break on increasing the spin efficiency of his fastball, also has odds of +800 for the NL Rookie of the Year. 22-year old righty Dustin May of the Dodgers was sent to alternative camp, having had a decent debut over 32 innings last year. May’s odds are +900.  

Looking Down on the Farm in the NL RoY Odds Race

Mixing a strange 60-game season and 60-player pool with no minor league season and traditional service-time clocks, many rookies who may have come up early- or mid-season in a full year find themselves–and their Rookie of the Year chances–in limbo in alternative camp.  

Among those who may get the nod to the majors in the coming days are Cardinals’ outfielder Dylan Carlson (+1000), Giants’ catching prospect extraordinaire Joey Bart (+2000), and Phillies’ hurler Spencer Howard (+5500).

Most RBI Odds: Who is Gonna Take Care of All the Ducks on the Pound?

By: Travis Pulver 

Most RBI Odds: Who is Gonna Take Care of All the Ducks on the Pound?

We are not going to have baseball as we know and love it this season. But we will have a baseball season. For fans and gamblers, that is what matters. Do you like watching guys throw 100 MPH fastballs? Or is betting on guys like balls Mike Trout crushing those fastballs your thing? 

Either way, the season is here— time to enjoy (and bet) as much as we want. 

Categories like home runs and strikeouts will likely get the most attention. Why? Simple, because they are sexy. But RBI—RBI is a measure of productivity. Home runs look great during highlights, but it’s the runs batted in that win games. 

During a typical season, the league leader will hit well over 100+; last year’s leader, Anthony Rendon, knocked in 126. But that is a number no one will likely come close to in just 60 games. The leaders at the 60-game mark dating back to the 2002 season have ranged from the high-40s to the mid-60s. 

So, who is going to lead the league in RBI this season? 

Odds on Who Will Have the Most Regular Season RBI: One of the Usual Suspects or Someone New?

What should you look for in an RBI leader? Power is nice because home runs certainly generate a lot of RBI. But power hitters often strike out a lot, too. However, if someone is a great contact hitter, he is going to put balls in play. Every time he does with someone on base, there is an opportunity for an RBI. 

Ideally, it would be great to find someone with power that is also good at making contact. Most of the time, they will be batting clean-up, giving them ample opportunity to knock in a few runs (if the guys hitting ahead of him did their job). 

Of course, you can cut right to the chase and just look at the last few years to see who consistently records a high number of RBI—like Colorado’s Nolen Arenado (+1200). Arenado has finished in the top five for the last since 2015 (including two titles in ’15 and ’16). 

He is also a career .295 hitter and has had right around 40 home runs in each of the last five seasons. 

Should the reigning NL MVP, Cody Bellinger (+1300), continue to improve, he will definitely be in the running. He ranked right inside the top ten last year with 115.  If he can continue to drop his strikeout numbers and continue to make contact while not sacrificing power, his ceiling will be high. 

But he could also miss out on opportunities with Mookie Betts (+10000) now in the lineup. Betts only had 80 his last two seasons in Boston, but he does have two 100+ seasons on his resume.  

A SHOCKING Name to Bet on with the Most RBI Odds

It would be foolish to overlook the greatest player in the game, Mike Trout. His RBI numbers have not always been too impressive. But he has everything you should look for. He is a career .305 hitter that you can probably count on for a fair number of home runs, too. 

With a better lineup around him this season, the opportunities will be there. 

Trout’s numbers could suffer a little because of the big free-agent signing the team made in the offseason—Anthony Rendon (+2500). Rendon led the league last year with 126 and has hit over .300 in each of the last three seasons with 40+ home runs. 

Mets slugger Pete Alonso (+2000) ranked fourth in RBI last year with 120 doing much of his damage with home runs (53). However, he only hit .260 last season, and while the lineup around him is not bad, it does not necessarily provide him with a lot of protection. 

While the Red Sox are not one of the more feared teams this season, they have a couple of good candidates. Rafael Devers (+2000) burst onto the scene last year with 115 RBI. JD Martinez (+2200) might have had an ‘off’ year last season with just 105. But he led the league through 60 games in 2018 with 50. In 2017 he had a stretch of 62 games where he knocked in 65. 

Most RBI Odds Conclusion

Those are just a few of the many guys PointsBet.com is offering odds on that are worth considering. Braces star first baseman Freddie Freeman (+1500) was third in the league last season with 120. As long as he stays healthy, Christian Yelich (+2500) will be one of the league leaders (if not the leader). Jose Abreu (+4000) was only three back of Anthony Rendon last year with 123. 

Right now, cases could be made for lots of guys. Juan Soto (+1500) has all the potential in the world but will miss time with the coronavirus. Bryce Harper (+2000) could come alive. Trash cans or not, the Astros have some excellent candidates in Alex Bregman (+2000), George Springer (+5000), Carlos Correa (+5000), and Jose Altuve (+10000).   

You could wait for everyone to get about ten games under their belt and then make a call. By then, we may see a few hitters starting to separate from the rest. But then their odds are going to get really short and your payout real small. 

So, do you want to wait or take a chance and possibly win more money? 

San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers Betting Odds for July 23, 2020

San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers Betting Odds for July 23, 2020

Thursday, July 23, Los Angeles, Dodger Stadium; 10:08 p.m. ET  

San Francisco Giants Odds

Introductions will be meaningful Thursday night as the Giants open the season with a new manager in Gabe Kapler and without their tried-and-true battery of Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey. Bumgarner left to sign with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Posey was one of few All-Stars to tap out of the 2020 season – due to the risk involved with having new twins at home during the coronavirus pandemic.  

What’s left is a lot of unknowns for the Giants. The variables entering Thursday are even more dramatic considering and infielders Brandon Belt (heel) and Evan Longoria (oblique) might not play either. Veteran right-hander Johnny Cueto gets the ball in Game 1. Will his offense produce enough to keep pace against the Dodgers’ loaded lineup?  

A season opener against Clayton Kershaw is not the day for the Giants to be missing some middle-of-the-order threats. The Dodgers’ lefty is 5-1 in his previous eight Opening Day starts with a 1.05 ERA. That would be seven runs total in those games with 59 strikeouts. 

Los Angeles Dodgers odds

Kershaw is starting on Opening Day for the ninth time in his career and he started on Opening Day against the Giants in 2011, 2013 and 2018. Each of those games was played in Dodger Stadium and, in those contests, Kershaw has given up a combined one run.  

Los Angeles lives as much on offense these days with an arsenal suited for the American League, including former AL MVP Mookie Betts. Betts makes his debut on the heels of a massive 12-year contract and brings a new element of flair to Chavez Ravine. With Betts and slugger Cody Bellinger to deal with, the Giants are going to need a vintage effort from Cueto to avoid an 0-1 start to the 2020 season. 

Yankees vs. Nationals Preview For 7/23/2020

The season starts off in DC where the Yanks are favored by 1.5

Well, it’s almost three months later than originally scheduled, but Opening Day is finally upon us. After months of uncertainty and negotiations with the Players’ Union, Major League Baseball will begin its 2020 season tomorrow at 7:00 PM EST when the New York Yankees take on the Washington Nationals, and boy, are we in for a treat!

Yankees vs. Nationals is the perfect matchup to get Opening Day off on the right foot. On one hand, you have the New York Yankees. Not only are the Yanks the most popular team in the history of the sport, but you could make the case that the Yankees are the most famous professional sports team in the world. On the other side, you have the defending champion Washington Nationals who head into this season looking to defend their 2019 World Series victory.

On top of everything, this is an interleague game in an abbreviated season, so we have to enjoy this match-up while we can because we may not see it again for a long time. Who knows, this game may even be a preview of the 2020 World Series.

The Yankees come into this year as one of the favorites to win the World Series. FanDuel gives the Yanks the second-best odds to win the 2020 World Series (+400), right behind the LA Dodgers who are +380. After posting back-to-back 100-plus-win seasons, New York seemed so destined for the World Series, but the Yanks would end up falling just a bit short both times.

The Pinstripes believed that they were one good player away from finally making it to their first World Series since 2009. That’s where Gerrit Cole comes in. This off-season the 29-year-old Pitcher signed a nine-year, $324 million contract with the Bronx Bombers to become the team’s new ace. Cole is expected to be the catalyst that pushes the Yanks over the top to be the great team they want to be.

Up until this season, it always seemed that the Yankees didn’t have enough good pitchers to carry them to a championship. After the Cole signing though, you look at New York and realize they have the bullpen and starting rotation to give any team in the MLB fits, especially once Luis Severino returns from injury. If Gerrit Cole can be as effective for New York as he was for Houston, then the Yankees will have no problem being the best team in the American League.

The Nationals are looking to get 2020 off to a good start with a win. Max Scherzer will be on the mound for the Nats, so Washington should feel confident that they will be able to control New York’s bats for the first few innings of the game. In fact, the Yankees’ expected opening day roster has had its struggles against Max Scherzer in the past. MLB.com only listed four players on the Yankees that had an at-bat against Scherzer: Brett Gardner, Giancarlo Stanton, Luke Voit, and Chris Iannetta.

Those four players combined for just six hits in 25 at-bats against Scherzer. New York’s unfamiliarity with Max Scherzer gives Washington a slight advantage in the pitching department. I would be surprised if the Yanks manage to score more than one run in the first five innings of the game.

While fans may be more attracted to the Yankees’ Home Runs and big names, you can’t disregard the Nats’ effective bats. The Nationals finished the 2019 regular season with the fifth-highest batting average in the league at .265, right behind the Yankees. Meanwhile, when the 2019 playoffs came around, the Nats finished with the Athletics tied for the highest batting average of any team in the postseason.

Thankfully for Washington, the team was able to retain most of their players from last season, so you can be sure that they’ll be racking up the hits again this year. Plus, many players on the Nationals have faced off against Gerrit Cole before. Seven players in Washington’s projected starting lineup have recorded at least two at-bats against Gerrit Cole in their career. Furthermore, Cole surrendered two Home Runs and 11 RBIs to those seven Washington batters. Gerrit Cole will be a difference-maker for the Yankees this season, but that does not guarantee that his first game in pinstripes will go smoothly.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Matt, you’re an excellent writer, but we just want to know what your prediction is already!” Well, here’s the way I see things playing out. I think both starting pitchers are going to go six to seven innings, but the game will probably be tied up at that point either 1-1 or 2-2. When the teams go to the relievers, that’s when I feel like the Yankees are going to starting pulling away with the win.

It’s too hard to look up and down at the Yanks’ opening day roster and think they are going to be held to less than three runs. Washington will not be able to cover the spread, and the Yankees emerge from this one with the first win of the 2020 season.

Yankees 4 – Nationals 2

MLB Strikeout Leader Odds

By: Matt Watkins 

MLB Strikeout Leader Odds: Who Will be the Whiff King?

So, I had this whole thing about Zane Smith to tell you guys, but I figured you’d just scroll by, so I hit the old delete key. The Spark Notes version goes like this: Zane Smith was a good, not great pitcher. He was never a dominant strikeout guy, but could get them from time-to-time, 12 once in a complete game in fact. The next year he had five CG where he totaled 11.

The point of that whole bit being that strikeouts are fickle and most starters, who will be the guys that log enough innings to put up impressive totals, don’t consistently whiff enough batters to get  glimpse at leading the league. During a 162-game season, it all evens out. In 60 games, not so much.  

Add in that pitchers are usually slower to get into form than hitters and there is potential for more uncertainty. Are the pitchers who traditionally start out of the gate well gong to fare better? Personally speaking, I think so. However, it’s not like guys have just been sitting around doing nothing, so maybe those who need more time to find their groove will be just fine. And then there are starters who stretch, long toss for five minutes, and throw nine innings, fanning 14. Speaking of whom… 

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The MLB Strikeout Leaders Odds Favorites

Gerrit Cole (+225) – Cole was an all-star for Pittsburgh and then only got better in Houston. Trash can banging aside (that was for the hitters), Cole didn’t really benefit beyond run support… not that he needed much of that help either. Don’t believe me. Here are his stats for two seasons: 35-10, 2.68 ERA, 602 strikeouts in 412.2 innings. I’ll save you the math; that’s 13.13 K/9IP.  

The dude can deal and now he gets to play for the team he wanted to since he was a kid. He’s the best pitcher in the game in the prime of his career and has shown he can handle the moment (see his postseason numbers). Assuming six innings per start and 12 starts, he’ll throw 72 innings this year, which is a conservative estimate. Even dropping his strikeout total to 12/9IP, he would still push 100 and will likely be the only pitcher who can eclipse that number.  

Recommendation: Double down 

Max Scherzer (+550) – There are maybe two pitchers who will challenge Cole for the strikeout title and Scherzer will be one of them. Consider that in his five seasons in Washington—all of them at age 30 or above—he has struck out 290 more batters in 1050.2 innings than he did in seven seasons with Arizona and Detroit (1013.0 innings). My biggest concern here is his back. Last year he missed six starts due to back trouble and there is always a game or two lost per season. While one game is a ton of time this year, think about two-three weeks? That is six starts, or half the season. 

Recommendation: Check your injury report, but if you’re good with it, make a modest bet 

Justin Verlander (+900) – I used to set my schedule around watching him pitch. I mean literally, I would choose days to work based around pitching probables if the Tigers had a day game. Last August 11, I drove from Philly to Baltimore just to watch him labor through 109 pitches in five innings because I thought it might be the last chance I’d have to see him pitch live.  

Know how many he whiffed in the five innings? 11. He’s been part of our consciousness for so long and we keep waiting for him to slow down, but the fact is, even when he’s not Justin Verlander, he’s Justin Verlander. He set career highs in strikeouts in his last two seasons at ages 35 and 36 (290 and 300 for those who are keeping score at home.) He’ll rack up the numbers.  

Recommendation: Buy. If anyone is going to beat Cole in this category, it’s Verlander, if for no other reason than being more consistent at his craft than anyone else in the game. 

Jacob deGrom (+1000) – He might win a third straight NL Cy Young Award and he may get the fastball into the upper 90’s with a hard slider and a Bugs Bunny changeup, but strikeout king? Probably not. The fact is, he just doesn’t go deep enough into games on a consistent basis to get the extra 2-3 punchouts a couple times a year needed to pick up this honor.  

Recommendation: Pass 

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The Longer Shots for the MLB Strikeout Leader Odds Race

Trevor Bauer (+1500) – He’s outspoken. He’s always fired up, and now he’s pitching in a ballpark where he has to keep the ball down in Cincinnati. His pitches move like they shouldn’t. He’s dominant out of the gate. This is your mid-level money line to take a chance on. 

Shane Bieber (+1600) – Ohio’s other entry on this list, I think he is a year away from being a dominant force in the strikeout category.  

Lucas Giolito (+1600) – The White Sox are going to be fun to watch this year. They may lose a bunch of games 10-8, but they will be fun to watch. When Giolito is on the mound, however, it is their best shot to win and rack up the strikeouts.  

Wait… Their MLB Strikeout Leader Odds are WHAT? 

Clayton Kershaw (+6000) – I get it. He is not the pitcher he was when he was 25. His K/9IP went up to 9.52 last season from 8.64 because he learned how to pitch with the arsenal he now has. In a shortened season where he does not have to worry about managing innings to get through a year, he could be an intriguing bet. 

Robbie Ray (+4000) – He has teased us before, making an all-star team while going 15-5 with a 2.89 ERA in 2017, only to see the numbers trend the wrong way in 2018 and 2019. But the strikeouts have always been there as evidenced by his 12.13 K/9IP last year and 11.09 in his career.  

He is in a contract year, which, given the current financial state of the sport, may mean even more when there will be theoretically less money to go around and fewer major deals to be seen. If he can put together a prime season in 2020, he could be one of the few to cash in come November. 

Coronavirus Update For 7/21/2020

Here is the latest information we have to date regarding sports and COVID-19

NFL

League Offers Zero Preseason Games In Latest Proposal

It looks like the NFL will jump right into the Regular Season this year. The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting that the NFL has sent a proposal to the players’ union that features zero preseason games in 2020. This news comes after Training Camps began this week.

The NFL preseason usually lasts four weeks and has every team participate in four games. The league originally proposed playing two preseason games, but the players pushed for zero games. The first game of the preseason, the NFL Hall of Fame Game, has already been canceled this year.

League Lays Out Protocols For COVID-19 Testing

The National Football League now has a plan in place to test for and contain the potential spread of COVID-19 this season. In a conference call yesterday, the NFL’s Chief Medical Officer said that the league will test all players every day for the first two weeks of Training Camps. Players will also need more than one negative test result to enter team facilities. The protocols were agreed upon by the NFL and the players’ union yesterday.

The protocols also state that after two weeks, the rate of positive tests will be examined. If this rate is below five percent, the league will move testing to every other day. Veterans are scheduled to report to Training Camps on July 28th.

NBA

League Reports Zero Positive COVID-19 Tests

It looks like the NBA has the Coronavirus Pandemic under control. Yesterday, the league officially announced that zero players out of 346 have tested positive for COVID-19 since July 13th. The league is saying that if a player does end up recording a positive test on the NBA campus in Orlando, then that individual will have to self-isolate until he has been cleared by league protocols.

NHL

Only Two Positive Coronavirus Tests Since Camp Opened

The NHL has some good news about their most recent round of COVID-19 testing. Yesterday, the National Hockey League announced that only two players have tested positive for the Coronavirus since camps opened on July 13th. The identities of the two players have not been revealed as per NHLPA policy.

In a statement, the league said that it completed the first five days of Phase Three testing from July 13th to July 17th. The statement also explained that 2,618 tests were administered to over 800 players, but only two players tested positive for the disease. At this time, both players are self-isolating. There is no clear timeline as to when the unnamed individuals will be able to return to practice.

MLB

Dr. Fauci To Throw Out First Pitch At Nationals’ Home Opener

The reigning World Series Champions will have a very special guest at their home opener. Yesterday, the Washington Nationals announced that Dr. Anthony Fauci will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the team’s home opening game against the New York Yankees. The Nats and the Yankees are scheduled to face off Thursday night.

“Dr. Fauci has been a true champion for our country during the COVID-19 pandemic and throughout his distinguished career, so it is only fitting that we honor him as we kick off the 2020 season…”

Washington Nationals’ Statement on Dr. Anthony Fauci

Continue checking oddsusa.com for more updates on the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Coronavirus Update For 7/19/20

Here is the latest information we have to date regarding sports and COVID-19

MLB

Blue Jays Barred From Playing Games In Toronto

It appears that the Toronto Blue Jays will not be allowed to play home games in Canada this year. Yesterday, the Canadian government denied the Blue Jays’ request to play home baseball games at the Rogers Centre in Toronto this season. Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino later confirmed this information. The Canadian government doesn’t reportedly think it is safe for players to travel back and forth from the United States during the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic.

The Blue Jays are currently considering a few different locations where they could play home games. One of the sites in the mix is the team’s training facility in Dunedin, Florida. The franchise is also thinking about utilizing Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York which is home to Toronto’s triple-A affiliate baseball team. The Blue Jays are currently scheduled to begin their season on July 24th.

NBA

League Will Shorten Exhibition Games

The NBA announced it is tweaking the rules of the first exhibition games of the league restart to make them go by a little faster. For the initial matchups of the NBA restart, the league has decided to go with ten-minute quarters instead of the traditional 12-minute quarters. The NBA is hoping this will allow players to get ready to finish the season while also enabling them to conserve their energy for more important games that will come later.

ESPN is reporting that the clock change will only apply to the first exhibition game for every team. The second and third exhibition games at Disney will go back to the standard timing. Every team participating in the NBA restart is required to play in three exhibition games.

Race For NBA’s Individual Awards Is Already Over

On Friday, the NBA told teams that none of the seeding games will be taken into consideration when selecting this season’s individual award winners. The league also said that voting for honors like All-NBA, ROTY, etc. will be completed before the season restart on July 30th. This news means that the race for individual awards like MVP is now officially over. Giannis Antetokounmpo won the MVP award last season with the Milwaukee Bucks and is hoping to win it again this year.

NFL

Training Camps To Start As Scheduled

Despite spiking Coronavirus cases across the country, the NFL has decided to start preseason activities on time. Yesterday, all 32 NFL teams received an email from the league informing them that training camps will begin as scheduled. Rookies will report first, followed by QBs and injured players, and finally, veterans.

Rookies that play for the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans are the first players that will report to camp this year. They are all scheduled to show up at camp tomorrow. Meanwhile, the NFL said that all other teams are allowed to have rookies report to camp as early as Tuesday the 21st. NFL veterans are scheduled to report on July 28th.

NHL

Oilers’ Defenseman Feeling “Healthy” After Positive COVID-19 Test Results

On Friday, the Oilers’ Caleb Jones revealed that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and had to self-isolate for two weeks before joining the team at training camp. The defenseman reportedly tested positive for Coronavirus when he first showed up for training camp in Edmonton three weeks ago. He then had to quarantine for two weeks. Friday marked the first time Jones was able to participate in the team’s main practice.

“We’ll see if he takes part in [the] scrimmage tomorrow… I’m not sure he’s going to go that far yet, but it’s good to have him back. He had no symptoms, he tested positive without any symptoms at all, so he’s coming back feeling healthy and ready to go.”

Edmonton Oilers’ coach Dave Tippett on Jones’ return

Caleb Jones was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in 2015. The 23-year-old defenseman played in 43 games for Edmonton this year. He finished the regular season with four goals and five assists for nine total points.

Continue checking oddsusa.com for more updates on the Coronavirus Pandemic.

MLB Saves Odds: Who Can Shut the Door the Most

By: Matt Watkins 

MLB Saves Odds: Who Can Shut the Door the Most

As we detailed in an earlier article, short inning pitchers will be a huge key to success this year in baseball. With starting pitchers likely needing more time to fully stretch, there is an opportunity for bullpen arms, especially ones on good teams, to rack up appearances, holds, and saves early on.

If we go under the assumption that an average MLB relief pitcher can go two days on, one day off, while still maintaining effectiveness, it stands to reason that someone could max out at 40 appearances. You’re also not going to throw high-leverage pitchers in games where you’re down multiple runs, so in reality, you may need someone to pitch three days in a row and then not again for 2-3, so everything averages out in the end.  

Going beyond that, while we’ve seen a SLIGHT movement back to lesser defined roles and pitchers—particularly closers going in for more than three outs—one thing that has remained crystal clear is that managers generally only use closers in save situations. That would tend to push us towards teams that will likely be good and have late leads to protect. With that in mind… 

MLB Saves Odds: The Best Men to Put Out the Fires

Kenley Jansen (+800): When he’s on, he’s as good as anyone. He’s playing on a team that is touted as the best or second best in the game. He’s projected between 13-15 saves, but that number could easily be higher if the Dodgers starting pitching needs longer to stretch out (remember, Kershaw, Ryu, and Stripling are all on the wrong side of 30; a time when arms tend to throw less innings per start). Looking at those points above, there could be plenty of chances if the LA middle relief can get the ball to him.  

Here’s the downside. Pitchers go through slumps too and Jansen is prone to one or two during the course of a season throughout his career. Add to that some health issues, which puts him in a high-risk group. If there is a rash of positive tests on the Dodgers in a short period of time, does he look at it and opt out, recognizing he’s had two heart surgeries? If he doesn’t opt out, does he have one of his homer happy stretches where he blows more saves in a week than games he actually finishes? 

Recommendation: Lay the money down at your own risk. Only getting a +800 is too low a return for my blood on someone who, if it all goes right, has every reason for you to think you’re cashing in, but there are just too many factors that can go wrong. 

Craig Kimbrel (+900): Last season was a wash for Kimbrel with the Cubs, who he joined later in the year when the draft pick penalty to the Red Sox was no longer attached. He struggled to find a rhythm, going 0-4 with three blown saves in 23 appearances and had an ERA north of 6.00 with a negative WAR. 

So why is he still so highly valued? Because he’s also a pitcher with seven all-star appearances, eight seasons where he locked down 30+ games, and has four years where he had a sub-1.65 ERA while making 60 or more appearances. When he’s on his game, which he has been for the majority of his career, he is a dominant force.  

I’d expect a bounce back year and the Cubs should provide plenty to chances to close wins. Only concern is the start point of the season; is it too similar to last year when he didn’t make his first appearance until June 27 after having to keep himself in game shape? 

Recommendation: Buy. Of the <+1000 money line favorites, he’s my favorite. 

Roberto Osuna (+900) – Ok, for all the negativity around the Astros, they are still a good team. Maybe not a dominant team, but still a good one. One that will provide the opportunity to close games. For everything he is and the number of saves he’s racked up on good teams, one thing Osuna has never been is automatic. 10 blown saves in 2017. Six in 2019. Add to it coming off a controversy and a checkered past, maybe not worth it. 

Recommendation: Pass. 

Aroldis Chapman (+900) – I would have been all in on Chapman and two other pitchers earlier in the week. A positive COVID test on Saturday, though and we may not see Chapman in pinstripes this year. 

Recommendation: Pass. Aaron Boone said Chapman will be away from the team for the “forseeable future.” Read into that what you will, but at the end of the day, isn’t it more important that we see him healthy and recovered fully with no long term damage than worry about when he can pitch again? 

MLB Save Odds Leaders: My Personal Favorites

Kirby Yates (+1000) – The Padres are going to surprise this season. They have an emerging offense and a lockdown bullpen, anchored on the back end by Yates. Most projections have him at 14 saves. I think that number will be much higher, possibly as many as 20+. The Padres are on the brink and will use Yates in every high leverage situation they can in order to maximize wins.  

Josh Hader (+1200) – How? When I ask how, I mean how is Hader being almost given away for +1200. This is a guy who has been a lockdown as you can get in the past two seasons. He strikes out 15.3 batters per nine innings. Craig Counsell will use him for three, four, or five outs a night if he needs to and then throw him the next day. The Brewers should be good and will play 31 of their games against the Reds, Pirates, White Sox, Royals, and Tigers. Save chances will be there and he will rack them up.  

The only way Hader doesn’t get saves is if, in those games against bad teams, the Brewers are consistently up by more than three runs late. Does that give the edge to Yates as the Padres will win games, but will likely be in tighter contests? Possibly. Given what your return on investment is, I think dropping some moderate cash on both to spread your chances is a decent idea.  

A Longshot in the MLB Save Odds

Zach Britton (NL) – With Chapman out, someone has to close for the Yankees. Britton is the likely guy to step up as he has plenty of closing experience for Orioles teams that, just five years ago, were winning divisions and wild card berths, so he not only has experience getting the final three outs, he’s done it in leverage situations.  

While the loss of Chapman throws things somewhat into flux, the Yankees will be alright with Britton closing and he’ll get plenty of chances. See how his line develops, assuming Aaron Boone formally declares him the guy, but it would be a risk worth taking. 

MLB Home Run Leader Odds

By: Matt Watkins 

MLB Home Run Leader Odds: Who is Going Deep, Baby!

So baseball is just a handful of weeks away, in theory, which means it’s time to look at actual stats and who might do what. Baseball is now all about launch angles, exit velocities, and taking pitches to get into advantageous counts, so where better to start than with who will lead in homers, an area that combines all three.

MLB Home Run Leader Odds
Player
Mike Trout
Joey Gallo
Giancarlo Stanton
JD Martinez
Gleyber Torres
Yordan Alvarez
Aaron Judge
Kris Bryant
Alex Bregman
George Springer
Pete Alonso
Cody Bellinger
Nolan Arenado
Christian Yelich
Ronald Acuna Jr.
Bryce Harper
Eugenio Suarez
Matt Olson
Jorge Soler
Eloy Jimenez
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Miguel Sano
Khris Davis
Rhys Hoskins
Trevor Story
Nelson Cruz
Yoenis Céspedes
Franmil Reyes
Juan Soto
Manny Machado
Mike Moustakas
Aristides Aquino
Rhys Hoskins
Kyle Schwarber
Javier Báez
Matt Chapman
Josh Donaldson
Edwin Encarnacion
Freddie Freeman
Paul Goldschmidt
Max Muncy
Gary Sanchez
Carlos Correa
Rafael Devers
Francisco Lindor
Jose Ramirez
Mookie Betts
Matt Carpenter
Paul DeJong
Eduardo Escobar
Keston Hiura
Max Kepler
Yoan Moncada
Shohei Ohtani
Marcell Ozuna
Anthony Rendon
Anthony Rizzo
Luis Robert
Eddie Rosario
Fernando Tatís Jr
Charlie Blackmon
Chris Davis
Joc Pederson
Xander Bogaerts
Michael Conforto
Didi Gregorius
Andrew McCutchen
+1000 BET +1000 BET +1000 BET +1000 BET +1100 BET +1500 BET +1000 BET +1000 BET
+900 BET +900 BET +1100 BET +1000 BET +1100 BET +1500 BET +1000 BET +1000 BET
+1400 BET +1400 BET +1200 BET +1100 BET +1400 BET +1300 BET +1100 BET +1100 BET
+2500 BET +2500 BET +2500 BET +2500 BET +2700 BET +3300 BET +2500 BET +2500 BET
+2800 BET +2800 BET +3000 BET +2800 BET +3000 BET +3300 BET +2800 BET +2800 BET
+2500 BET +2500 BET +1600 BET +2200 BET +1700 BET +1300 BET +2200 BET +2200 BET
+1800 BET +1800 BET +1800 BET +2000 BET +2200 BET +1000 BET +2000 BET +2000 BET
+10000 BET +10000 BET +7000 BET +10000 BET +7500 BET +10000 BET +10000 BET +10000 BET
+2800 BET +2800 BET +3500 BET +2800 BET +3600 BET +4000 BET +2800 BET +2800 BET
+8000 BET +8000 BET +5000 BET +6600 BET +5500 BET +6600 BET +6600 BET +6600 BET
+1000 BET +1000 BET +1000 BET +1100 BET +1000 BET +900 BET +1100 BET +1100 BET
+1600 BET +1600 BET +1500 BET +1800 BET +1700 BET +1600 BET +1800 BET +1800 BET
+2500 BET +2500 BET +1800 BET +2000 BET +1800 BET +1800 BET +2000 BET +2000 BET
+2500 BET +2500 BET +2000 BET +2500 BET +2100 BET +2200 BET +2500 BET +2500 BET
+2300 BET +2300 BET +2000 BET +2200 BET +2100 BET +2000 BET +2200 BET +2200 BET
+2500 BET +2500 BET +2000 BET +2200 BET +2100 BET +2200 BET +2200 BET +2200 BET
+2500 BET +2500 BET +2200 BET +2500 BET +2200 BET +2200 BET +2500 BET +2500 BET
+2500 BET +2500 BET +2500 BET +2800 BET +2500 BET +2500 BET +2800 BET +2800 BET
+2500 BET +2500 BET +2800 BET +3300 BET +3000 BET +2600 BET +3300 BET +3300 BET
+6600 BET +6600 BET +3000 BET +3000 BET +3000 BET +2800 BET +3000 BET +3000 BET
BET BET +3000 BET +4500 BET +3000 BET +2800 BET +4500 BET +4500 BET
+3300 BET +3300 BET +3000 BET +3300 BET +2700 BET +3300 BET +3300 BET +3300 BET
+3300 BET +3300 BET +3000 BET +3300 BET +3000 BET +2400 BET +3300 BET +3300 BET
+4000 BET +4000 BET +3000 BET +5000 BET +3000 BET +3000 BET +5000 BET +5000 BET
+3300 BET +3300 BET +3500 BET +3500 BET +3600 BET +3500 BET +3500 BET +3500 BET
+3300 BET +3300 BET BET +2800 BET +3000 BET +2000 BET +2800 BET +2800 BET
BET BET BET +3500 BET +5500 BET BET +3500 BET +3500 BET
+5000 BET +5000 BET BET +3500 BET +2700 BET +2200 BET +3500 BET +3500 BET
+5000 BET +5000 BET BET +3500 BET +3600 BET +1200 BET +3500 BET +3500 BET
+4000 BET +4000 BET BET +4500 BET +3000 BET +4000 BET +4500 BET +4500 BET
+4000 BET +4000 BET BET +4500 BET +3600 BET +5000 BET +4500 BET +4500 BET
+6600 BET +6600 BET BET +5000 BET +8500 BET +8000 BET +5000 BET +5000 BET
+4000 BET +4000 BET BET +5000 BET +3000 BET +3000 BET +5000 BET +5000 BET
+4000 BET +4000 BET BET +5000 BET +5000 BET +6600 BET +5000 BET +5000 BET
+6600 BET +6600 BET BET +6600 BET +5500 BET +8000 BET +6600 BET +6600 BET
+6600 BET +6600 BET BET +6600 BET +5000 BET +6600 BET +6600 BET +6600 BET
+6600 BET +6600 BET BET +6600 BET +5000 BET +2400 BET +6600 BET +6600 BET
+6600 BET +6600 BET BET +6600 BET +5500 BET +8000 BET +6600 BET +6600 BET
+6600 BET +6600 BET BET +6600 BET +4400 BET +6600 BET +6600 BET +6600 BET
+6600 BET +6600 BET BET +6600 BET +5500 BET +8000 BET +6600 BET +6600 BET
+8000 BET +8000 BET BET +6600 BET +5500 BET +8000 BET +6600 BET +6600 BET
+6600 BET +6600 BET BET +6600 BET +5000 BET +8000 BET +6600 BET +6600 BET
+8000 BET +8000 BET BET +8000 BET +9000 BET +10000 BET +8000 BET +8000 BET
+10000 BET +10000 BET BET +8000 BET +7500 BET +8000 BET +8000 BET +8000 BET
+6600 BET +6600 BET BET +8000 BET +5500 BET +6600 BET +8000 BET +8000 BET
+8000 BET +8000 BET BET +8000 BET +7500 BET +10000 BET +8000 BET +8000 BET
+10000 BET +10000 BET BET +10000 BET +5500 BET +8000 BET +10000 BET +10000 BET
BET BET BET +10000 BET BET BET +10000 BET +10000 BET
+10000 BET +10000 BET BET +10000 BET BET BET +10000 BET +10000 BET
+10000 BET +10000 BET BET +10000 BET BET BET +10000 BET +10000 BET
+10000 BET +10000 BET BET +10000 BET BET BET +10000 BET +10000 BET
+10000 BET +10000 BET BET +10000 BET +5500 BET +8000 BET +10000 BET +10000 BET
+10000 BET +10000 BET BET +10000 BET BET BET +10000 BET +10000 BET
+10000 BET +10000 BET BET +10000 BET +7500 BET +8000 BET +10000 BET +10000 BET
+10000 BET +10000 BET BET +10000 BET +9000 BET +10000 BET +10000 BET +10000 BET
+10000 BET +10000 BET BET +10000 BET +5500 BET +8000 BET +10000 BET +10000 BET
+10000 BET +10000 BET BET +10000 BET +5500 BET +8000 BET +10000 BET +10000 BET
+900 BET +900 BET BET +10000 BET BET BET +10000 BET +10000 BET
BET BET BET +10000 BET +5500 BET +3300 BET +10000 BET +10000 BET
+10000 BET +10000 BET BET +10000 BET BET BET +10000 BET +10000 BET
+12500 BET +12500 BET BET +12500 BET +7500 BET +8000 BET +10000 BET +10000 BET
+15000 BET +15000 BET BET +12500 BET BET BET +12500 BET +12500 BET
+15000 BET +15000 BET BET +12500 BET +5500 BET +8000 BET +12500 BET +12500 BET
+15000 BET +15000 BET BET +15000 BET BET BET +15000 BET +15000 BET
+15000 BET +15000 BET BET +15000 BET +5500 BET +8000 BET +15000 BET +15000 BET
+15000 BET +15000 BET BET +15000 BET BET BET +15000 BET +15000 BET
+15000 BET +15000 BET BET +15000 BET BET BET +15000 BET +15000 BET

The MLB Home Run Leader Odds: The Big Bomber Boys

Joey Gallo (+1000): Gallo hit 22 homers in 70 games last season, setting career highs last season in walk percentage, isolated power, and BABIP (batting average on balls in play). It’s that last stat that’s both cause for optimism, as well as concern. While he hit a career best .253… Again… it’s a career best at .253. His strikeout rate also went up to 38.4.  

For those who need a little refresher (or intro) to analytics, that basically means that every five times he came to the plate, he struck out twice, but that’s nothing remarkably new for him. The trend that’s good is the walk rate is up, which means he’s being patient enough to wait out a first pitch breaking ball out of the zone. His projections run him between 14-16 homers depending on how many games he plays. If he can recapture what he had last year before his injury, that’s a pretty safe assessment.  

Recommendation: Hold 

Mike Trout (+1000): I could give you a ton of analysis here, go through his history, analytics, comparable players and seasons, but let’s face it, all the info you need can be summed up with simply this: He. Is. Mike. Trout! If you need more than that to make a decision on whether or not it’s a good bet, you probably shouldn’t be wagering on baseball (Editor’s Note: the truest thing every written on OddsUSA.com).  

That all said, there is ONE caveat to throw out there. Trout’s wife, Jessica Cox, is due with the couple’s first child in August. Trout has said he is concerned about playing under the current conditions with his wife pregnant, but hasn’t said he’ll skip the season. If he leaves two weeks in to be with her during birth, he could miss significant time (a week? 10 days?) based on return to play protocols.  

Recommendation: Buy now 

Giancarlo Stanton (+1100): There are few in baseball who get hotter than Stanton when he gets hot. See, well, all of 2017. There are also few in baseball who get colder than Stanton when he gets cold. See April 2018. He’s coming off a season lost to injury. Projections have him between 14-16 homers. Stanton is tough to gauge because even if he gets off to a terrible start, he could hit 10 in 15 games in late September and finish with 16-18. Or his bat doesn’t catch up at all and he hits .174 with six homers.  

Recommendation: Hold 

Pete Alonso (+1100): Ok, I’ll say it up front – I hate the Mets, but I LOVE this kid. He’s mature beyond his years as a hitter and as a human, but hasn’t lost his kid like fervor to play the game. He doesn’t court attention, but doesn’t shy from the spotlight or the stage and is willing to self-promote as needed. Basically, he’s exactly what MLB needs Mike Trout to be. Alonso’s projections are running pretty consistent at 16 with a top out at 18. If anyone is going to top 20, it’s him. Something else in Alonso’s favor: 50 of his 60 games will either come at home or in hitter-friendly NL East stadiums.  

Recommendation: Buy now!!! 

Other Players to Keep an Eye on with the MLB Home Run Odds

Cody Bellinger (+1800): He’s the reining NL MVP. He had stretches last season where he could not be stopped and has a flare for the moment.  

Bryce Harper (+2200): Love him or hate him, second halves of seasons are his time. The question is does he start the year with his traditional post All-Star break push (.286/.390/.512, HR every 18.79 AB for his career in August/September) or does he start strong like his Aprils usually are then fizzle into a second-month slump as he tends to do in May.  

Christian Yelich (+2500): See Harper above. Yelich dominates August and September and often with power. Does he start the 60-game sprint that way or does he have a good, but not spectacular go. 

MLB Home Run Odds Longshot?

Anthony Rendon (+10000): I was shocked to find Rendon as part of the “field” in this category. Historically during his career, his power shows up late in seasons and he has a knack for clutch play. He’s going to be sandwiched in the lineup by Trout and Shohei Ohtani with Justin Upton and (albeit a declining) Albert Pujols to follow. Therefore, you can’t pitch around him and he’s going to hit and be very productive. Will the move going from a very hitter-friendly park in Washington to an even stadium in Anaheim make a difference between homers and doubles? That’s the prorated $26,071,429 question.

Coronavirus Update For 7/14/20

Here is the latest information we have to date regarding sports and COVID-19

MLB

Officials Say fans Won’t Be Allowed At Phillies Games In 2020

Earlier today, city officials said that fans will not be allowed in the stands during home games for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2020. The officials also said that this decision applies to Philadelphia Eagles’ home games in 2020 as well. Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said he believes baseball and football can be played under the right circumstances, but he does not think it is a good idea to have fans in the stands for games.

“I do not think that they can have spectators at those games. There’s no way for them to be safe having a crowd there… I can’t say what the plans are for the league, but from a safety perspective, they can play games but not [have] crowds.”

Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley

NFL

Sources Say Players’ Union Has New Set Of Requests For Return-To-Work Plan

As the NFL and the NFLPA continue to negotiate the terms of play this season, it seems that the players are looking for extra securities and financial support. According to sources, the NFLPA requested the following in their most recent proposal to the league:

  • Opt-out clause for at-risk players to receive salary if one decides not to play
  • Opt-out clause and benefits for players with at-risk families if they decide not to play
  • Opt-out clause for a player that leaves the teams after reporting
  • A $250K stipend guaranteed to all players if they show up to camp and everything is shut down due to COVID-19

NBA

Michael Beasley Reportedly Leaves Orlando Bubble

Sources are saying that new Brooklyn Nets Guard Michael Beasley left the NBA Bubble at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Sources told ESPN that Beasley recently tested positive for Coronavirus.

Beasley was signed by Brooklyn back on July 9th as a replacement player that would participate in the NBA Restart in Orlando. Sources are saying that it is unclear if the 31-year-old will eventually rejoin the team in the bubble.

NHL

Nine Pittsburgh Penguins Sidelined After Potential Virus Exposure

Yesterday, the Pittsburgh Penguins announced they were “voluntarily sidelining” nine players from their training camp roster after it was discovered the players may have been exposed to a person who tested positive for COVID-19. This news comes just one day after NHL Training Camps opened. The nine players will not be allowed to participate in team activities until they pass all NHL safety protocols.

Continue checking oddsusa.com for more updates on the Coronavirus Pandemic.

MLB Most Stolen Bases Odds: Does Speed Still Matter

By: Travis Pulver 

MLB Most Stolen Bases Odds: Does Speed Still Matter

Brief as the moment may be, stolen bases bring excitement to baseball, and we love that. Why do we love it? More action in a game some perceive as slow can only be a good thing. Maybe it is the act of ‘stealing’ we get a thrill from, or perhaps it is the strategic aspect. 

Whatever the reason, fans enjoy seeing guys steal bases. But in recent years, it has almost seemed like stealing is becoming a lost art. Rather than manufacture runs, many teams seem to rely more on home runs to clear the bases. 

No one has had 60+ stolen bases in the AL since Juan Pierre had 68 in 2010. Ronald Acuna Jr.’s 37 last season was the lowest for a season-leader in the NL since 1961 (Maury Wills, 35). 

But in this year’s 60-game season, it might not be surprising to see managers give their speed demons the green light more often. With every game being much more important this season, it would not be shocking to see some managers be a little more aggressive with base runners. 

Numbers will obviously be smaller than usual since the regular season will only be 60 games. However, if more managers to get aggressive with their base runners, maybe the race for the league lead will be more contested than usual. 

MLB Most Stolen Bases Odds: Should You Roll with a Favorite?

The oddsmakers at DraftKings have made it clear who they think will lead the league (AL and NL) in steals this season: 

  • Most Stolen Bases 2020 
  • Adalberto Mondesi +200 
  • Mallex Smith +400 
  • Trea Turner +600 
  • Ronald Acuna Jr., Jonathan Villar +900 
  • Victor Robles +1600 
  • Starling Marte +1800 
  • Whit Merrifield +2500 
  • Byron Buxton, Fernando Tatis Jr., Jose Ramirez, Jarrod Dyson +2800 
  • Elvis Andrus, Dee Gordon, Francisco Lindor, Oscar Mercado, Amed Rosario, Christian Yelich +4000 
  • Billy Hamilton, Trevor Story +5000 
  • Bo Bichette, Tommy Pham, Luis Robert +6600 
  • Kolten Wong, Tim Anderson +8000 
  • Mookie Betts +10000 
  • Mike Trout +25000 

If you are a casual fan, some of these names will be familiar to you, but many will not be. However, since oddsmakers felt the need to include them on this list, you know they have to be decent base-stealers, if not good ones.   

So, how do you figure out who to target? 

Base stealers are fast guys who tend to be contact hitters that can get on base, not power hitters (but sometimes they are decent power hitters, too). Look for guys that play positions for speed and dexterity are vital (i.e., outfielders, shortstops, and second basemen). 

The only guys that recorded 40+ last season were a center fielder (Mallex Smith, 46), a shortstop (Adalberto Mondesi, 43), and a second baseman (Jonathan Villar, 40). 

Mondesi (+200) and Smith (+400) definitely have the kind of speed you want in a base stealer, but both struggle in one vital aspect—they struggle to get on base. Last season, Mondesi hit just .263 and had an OBP of .291. Smith struggled even more at the plate hitting just .227 but had a slightly better OBP of .300 (but still bad). 

Why the Favorites in the MLB Stolen Bases Odds are the Favorites and Why Some Speed Demons Have a Fatal Flaw

However, what’s interesting about them is despite their struggles to get on base, they still led MLB in steals. If that wasn’t intriguing enough, Mondesi only played in 102 games and Smith 134. So, you know they had to have the green light more often than not. 

National’s shortstop Trea Turner (+600) has comparable speed to Mondesi and Smith and does a better job getting on base (BA-.298; OBP– .353). He only had 35 last season but missed 40 games. But he had 46 in 2017 when he played in 98. However, Anthony Rendon is no longer in the lineup, so he may not see as many hittable pitches as last season. 

Jonathan Villar (+900) shouldn’t be ignored after notching 40 last season and does have a 60+ season during his career, but that was back in 2016 when he was with the Brewers. The Braves young star, Ronald Acuna Jr. (+900), has the tools to lead the league in steals. He recorded 37 last year and could have solid numbers again this season if given the green light. 

If you are interested in taking a longshot, there are a few promising candidates. Minnesota’s Byron Buxton (+2800) has the tools to be a great base stealer but struggles to remain healthy. Billy Hamilton (+5000) has four seasons with 50+ on his resume. However, he has struggled to stay on the field as well.   

Dee Gordon (+4000) is a former steals champ with two 60+ seasons to his name, the last coming in 2017. But players tend to get slower with age, and he is now 32, and he struggled to stay on the field last season (117 games). 

It seems like younger players are the ones with the kind of speed needed to be a good base stealer. This season, there could be several good, young players worth betting on—Bo Bichette (+6600), Luis Robert (+6600), and Oscar Mercado (+4000). However, it is hard to say how much playing time some of them will get right now. 

So—who should you bet on? 

That’s hard to say. Yes, there are plenty of guys with speed, but many tend to struggle with getting base. However, when they do, they are dangerous. Some older guys are consistent producers but don’t tend to get big numbers anymore. 

But if someone were to go on a tear and record a few multi-steal games, it could be anyone’s contest this year. 

AL Cy Young Odds: Is It Cole’s Turn in the Cy Young Rotation?

by Stuart Kirsch 

AL Cy Young Odds: Is It Gerrit Cole’s Turn in the Cy Young Rotation?

The big prize of the offseason was the Yankees acquisition of starter Gerrit Cole. Cole lost the Cy Young battle by a slim margin last season to his Astros teammate Justin Verlander. Cole was ahead in the predictions for much of the late season and finished the year at 20-5 with 326 strikeouts, a 2.50 ERA, and WHIP of 0.895. Despite not losing a decision since the end of May and finishing the season with nine straight games of double-digit strikeouts, Cole could not overcome Verlander’s late season flourish to take home the hardware, particularly an early September no-hitter against the Blue Jays.  

Verlander posted a 21-6 record with an ERA of 2.58 and 300 strikeouts. Three factors are at work in Cole being the odds-on favorite for the 2020 Cy. First, Cole sparkled in the 2019 postseason, going 4-1 with only one bad outing; Verlander went 1-4 and gave up 17 postseason earned runs. Age has to catch up with Verlander at some point, who, at 37, is eight years older than Cole. And while not facing a stadium-full backlash every night on the road, the fallout from the sign-stealing saga is likely to have a meaningful negative effect on the Astros. For what it’s worth, no American League pitcher has won back-to-back Cy Youngs since Pedro Martinez in 1999-2000. 

Donning his new pinstripes, Cole has a power-packed lineup behind him as the Yankees are the betting favorites in the American League. Cole will likely get the first publicity of the season, opening against the defending World Series Champion Washington Nationals. The odds of a Gerrit Cole 2020 AL Cy Young Award are +280. Verlander is the next favorite at +650.

AL Cy Young Odds: Cleveland Rocks!

Shane Bieber and Mike Clevinger, along with the since-departed Trevor Bauer, were pitching staff leaders for a Cleveland ball club that won 93 games in 2019 and fought for a wild card spot until the last week of the season. With Corey Kluber also gone, Bieber has officially been elevated to ace of the staff. Bieber went 15-8 last season with a 3.28 ERA and 259 strikeouts, finishing fourth in the CY Young balloting.  

Bieber’s 2020 Cy Young odds are +700. Clevinger finished 13-4 with a 2.71 ERA in only 21 starts, missing two months in the early season with a back strain. Clevinger’s 2020 Cy Young odds are +900. 

Rays Want to Shine

Tyler Glasnow of the Tampa Bay Rays seems poised for a breakout year. He was 6-1 in an injury-shortened 2019, making just 12 starts, including four “opener” appearances in September returning from the IL. Glasnow is +1200 to win the 2020 Cy Young. Rotation mate Blake Snell, winner of the 2018 AL Cy Young checks in at +1000, having last year dropped far off the impact of his Cy season.  

Wild Card winners in 2019, the Rays were saved by veteran Charlie Morton, who posted a 16-6 season and was awarded his second consecutive All-Star selection, after a very quiet decade to open his career. Morton’s odds for the 2020 AL Cy Young are +1500.   

AL Cy Young… Youngsters Looking to Break Out

Jose Berrios was 14-8 on the AL Central champs, Minnesota Twins. Lucas Giolito went 14-9, leading the staff of a young Chicago White Sox team. Both pitchers have odds of +1500. Frankie Montas was an epiphany for the Oakland A’s at 9-2 with a 2.63 ERA in 16 games before being tagged with an 80-game suspension for a banned substance. His odds are +2100.  

Could Cy Come Out of the Pen? Long Shot AL Cy Young Odds 

In a shortened season, a starting pitcher will likely have fewer than 15 starts, and with a truncated spring training and an odd summer camp, pitchers may be further behind in their preparation. One or two bad starts could spell doom for a starter’s chance at a Cy Young award. While only four relievers have ever won an AL Cy (Sparkly Lyle, Rollie Fingers, Willie Hernandez, Dennis Eckersley) here’s a call to the bullpen.  

Take a peek at any early season odds you can get on Liam Hendriks (A’s), Nick Anderson (Rays), Aroldis Chapman (Yankees), Taylor Rodgers (Twins), Aaron Bummer (White Sox), or any closer that starts racking up some saves.

Best Bets for MLB Most Hits Odds: Batter Up!

By: Travis Pulver 

Best Bets for MLB Most Hits Odds: Batter Up!

This is going to be an interesting season for baseball and baseball fans, especially the stat nerds. With only 60 regular-season games, hitters will not have time to warm-up or recover from a slump or two. They have to hit the ground running.

Usually, guys have time to struggle and fall into a slump or two–but not this year. This year there will not be time to recover. At the same time, if anyone happens to heat up for a sustained period, an unexpected player could lead the league in hits this year. 

So—what does that mean for gamblers? It means you cannot just look at the usual suspects. Those guys will likely be in the running like they always are.  No, this year, you have to consider just about everybody. 

But, thankfully, sportsbooks are not giving every player odds. 

MLB Most Hits Odds: Who is It Going to Be?

The hard part here is figuring out where even to start. Should you target guys with high batting averages? Not necessarily because they might not have had as many at-bats, which could inflate his batting average. 

How about guys who do not face a lot of star-studded pitching rotations? Again—not necessarily. A low ERA does not necessarily equate to fewer hits. It could, but it could also mean a pitcher is backed up by incredible fielders. 

What about factoring rotation changes? Or hitter-friendly parks? 

You could study the data sheets and crunch the numbers until they drive you nuts. If that happens to be your thing, then go for it. But in the end, you will come back to who the best and most reliable hitters are—guys like Jose Altuve (+1200; odds via DraftKings). 

The thought of betting on a member of the Houston Astros may sound ludicrous. But with or without trash cans, Altuve is a proven hitter. He’s won three batting titles (yes, one was during ’17, but that wasn’t his most productive year). Since 2014, he has hit .300+ every season but last year (when he hit .298). 

Teams are going to be throwing their nastiest stuff when they face the Astros this season. That could make it tough on Altuve this season, but he could also be motivated to prove himself this year.    

Last season’s champ, Whit Merrifield (+1200), is certainly worth considering. He has hit right around .300 the last two seasons and recorded an MLB-best 206 hits last year. If he can match the rate he had last season through 60-games (73), he will be in the conversation this season.   

Had DJ LeMahieu (+1500) played in more than 145 games last season, he could have been the hits champ. In the games he did play, he hit 201. It is not unreasonable to think he could have gotten at least ten more hits in 17 games. 

MLB Most Hit Odds: Will Some Former MVPs Have a Chance to Grab the Crown?

Through 60 games last season, he had 69 hits. 

Last year’s NL MVP, Cody Bellinger (+5000), will probably be a popular choice. Pitchers can’t pitch around him with the lineup the Dodgers have, and he did hit .400 through the first 49 games last season (67 hits). Through 60 games, he had 79 hits. 

However, since he finished with 170 hits and a .305 average over 162 games, we know that he is prone to streaks. His previous two seasons he hit in the .260’s. So, was last year the new norm or an isolated event? 

Colorado hitters could be popular choices since they are in one of the most hitter-friendly parks in the league. Sure enough, two of them finished inside the top ten for hits last season, Charlie Blackmon (182) and Nolen Arenado (185). Arenado is one of the favorites at +1200; Blackmon’s odds are a bit longer, +3300. 

Rafael Devers (+1300) is worth a look since he did record the second-most hits last season (201). But in his short career, he has not shown a lot of consistency. However, he did have 72 hits in the first 60 games last season (with 40 coming in May). 

Anyone that finished inside the top ten last season is worth considering. Xander Bogaerts finished the year in fourth with 190 hits for Boston and has pretty good odds this season (+2200).  Ozzie Albies (+2000) could lead the league if the young second baseman can continue improving. He went from 167 hits in ’18 to 189 last season. 

Ketel Marte (+1500) recorded a respectable 187 hits last year and hit .329. But when you look at the rest of his career, last season seems to be the outlier. 

Francisco Lindor (+1500) has been a consistent hitter for the last four seasons, with 170-183 hits each year. Trea Turner (+2000) hit at a pretty good rate last season (.298), but since he only played in 122 games, he wasn’t really in the race last season (155 hits). 

Conclusion 

Leaning towards proven hitters is one way to go, but you may be overlooking some promising and up-and-coming hitters in doing so. We knew Mookie Betts was a solid hitter during his second season in Boston, but we did not think he would record 214 hits and lead the league.   

When it comes to who might record the most hits, the bottom line is that the race is wide open. Three guys are tied for the best odds at +1200, which only gives them a 7.69 percent chance. What does this mean? 

Simple— anyone can win. 

NL MVP OddS: Betts Joins Yelich, Bellinger, and Acuna in crowded NL MVP Field

by Stuart Kirsch 

NL MVP Odds: Bellinger, Yelich, Acuna, or Betts?  

Were it not for a first-place vote or two last year–due to Yelich’s games lost to injury or Bellinger playing on a 106-win team–Cody Bellinger could have lost the MVP to Christian Yelich, making Yelich a two-time defending MVP coming into the season. Anthony Rendon finished a close third in the balloting, but departed for the other league and the opposite coast. Yet all remains in stasis as Mookie Betts, 2018 AL MVP–likewise from the other league and opposite coast–tosses his new Dodger blue cap into the MVP ring. 

Yelich, the 2019 WAR, Batting, Slugging, On-Base, and OPS leader, all while missing 30 games with a broken kneecap, is the betting co-favorite to win the 2020 NL MVP with odds of +600.  Playing a shortened season when healthy, the sweet-swinging star outfielder of the Brewers can continue his elite-level play with power, speed, and hitting to take home the trophy. 

22-year old Braves’ outfielder Ronald Acuna, Jr. is the other co-favorite, with +600 odds to bring the 2020 NL MVP award to Hotlanta. Acuna won the Rookie of the Year award in 2018 with steady play in 2/3 of a season, and exploded last year with 41 homers and 37 steals on the division-winning Atlanta club. Just missing a 40/40 season, Acuna may be even more aggressive on the basepaths this season. 

NL MVP Odds the Hardware Will Return to Chavez Ravine?

The Los Angeles Dodgers have been the regular season team of the decade, winning the NL West each of the last seven years with more than 90 victories. Snakebitten in the postseason, they have lost to the eventual World Series champion in four straight years, including twice in the Fall Classic. If Cody Bellinger can replicate his torrid 2019 start, he can run away with the MVP in a 60-game season. The 24-year-old outfielder hit .366 with 30 homers, 71 RBIs, 70 Runs, and a bold 1.124 OPS in 88 games in the first half last year. Bellinger’s MVP odds are at +800.  

Taking some of the luster away from Bellinger, however, is his new partner in the LA outfield, Mookie Betts. The 2018 AL MVP and four-time All Star brings his four gold gloves and three silver sluggers to a Dodger clubhouse crowded with stars. Betts’ odds for the 2020 NL MVP are +700. Both Bellinger and Betts will benefit from the added DH role in the NL this year.  

Don’t Sleep on Soto

One of the brightest spots of the Nationals’ unexpected 2019 world championship was a breakthrough sophomore season from Juan Soto. The 22-year old slugged 34 homers with matching 110 runs and RBIs on a team loaded with veterans. He finished in the top ten of MVP voting and has +900 odds for the 2020 NL MVP. Mets’ 2019 Rookie of the Year and Home Run champion Pete Alonso has odds at +2500, while Padres’ rookie sensation Fernando Tatis, Jr. comes in at +1300.  

Former MVP Bryce Harper had a down year in after signing for big bucks in Philadelphia, and his MVP odds are at +1300. A perennial gold glover and silver slugger, Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado hopes to make his case at +1700. Up and coming star for the Cincinnati Reds, Eugenio Suarez, has been climbing the ladder of success, with MVP odds at +2500.  

AL MVP Odds: Trout the Biggest Fish in the AL MVP Pond

by Stuart Kirsch 

AL MVP Odds: Trout is the Biggest Fish in the AL MVP Pond… if He Plays

Mike Trout had a huge season in 2019, following a career-long pattern of excellence at his craft. Even as he toiled for the lowly Angels, he made room on his mantle for his third MVP award. Trout finished the season with a slash line of .291/45/104, but his extended stats are gaudier. He led the league in both OBP and Slugging, as well as a league-leading Offensive WAR of 8.3. He was top ten in HR, Runs, RBIs, and leading in any metric on wins and runs created. In his eight seasons in the bigs, Trout has placed first or second seven times (and fourth in 2017) in MVP balloting. 

Considering everything other than the issues of a shortened season and player health, two offseason changes affect Trout’s MVP chances, outpacing the AL award field at +135. First, his biggest competitor, 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts, moved to the NL. Second, Trout now has a more formidable lineup around him with addition of 3B Anthony Rendon and the return of Shohei Otani, which could well boost the entire team and turn Trout’s accomplishments into heroics.  

AL MVP Odds: Betting on the Yankees as “Team of MVP” is a Smart Play 

Time is often an equalizer over the slog of a 162-game season as injuries, quirks, and hot and cold streaks play roles. The Yanks are loaded with the talent that could bring them a pennant and a syncopated-season MVP to one of their stars. Aaron Judge, bitten by injury bugs, has not played a full season other than his Rookie of the Year and second-place-MVP season in 2017. Still he slugged 27 homers and had on OPS over .900 in 102 games in 2019. Judge’s odds for a 2020 AL MVP are +1200.  

23-year-old shortstop Gleyber Torres launched 38 home run balls in 2019 and is on a trajectory to enter elite conversations. His MVP odds are +1900. In his first season since coming over from the Rockies, 2B DJ LeMahieu was the steadiest performer for the Yankees last year, batting .327 with 26 bombs, 102 RBIs, 109 Runs scored, and .893 OPS. LeMahieu finished fourth in the MVP balloting in 2019 and has odds of +3000 this year.  

The anointed shining-star of the Yankee firmament, outfielder/DH Giancarlo Stanton, played only 18 games last season, and hopes to rekindle the monstrous power that brought him the 2017 NL MVP with the Marlins and the resultant huge contract to wear pinstripes. Stanton’s MVP odds are +3000. 

Young, Left Side Infielders Round Out the AL MVP Favorites

Cleveland’s 26-year-old shortstop, Francisco Lindor has been part of the MVP picture throughput his five-year career, with three top-ten finishes. Lindor is a top defender and has hit more than 30 home runs in each of the last three years. His 2020 AL MVP odds are +1200. 26-year-old 3B Alex Bregman is a leader on the Astros, finishing second in MVP voting to Trout last year. His odds for 2020 are +1500.  

Anthony Rendon just turned 30 and brings a World Series ring from the Nationals to his new home in Anaheim. Rendon’s odds for an AL MVP are +1600. A few hundred miles north of Angel Stadium, Matt Chapman patrols 3B in Oakland with a two Platinum Glove awards as the league’s best defender. Adding 36 homers and 102 Runs scored last year, the 27-year old Chapman’s MVP odds are +1800. Boston’s third baseman, 23-year-old Rafael Devers, is primed for the limelight with Betts’ exit. Devers led the league in doubles and total bases last year, and his odds for a 2020 AL MVP are +1900.  

Pitchers to Keep an Eye on in the AL MVP Odds Race

With a short season, a pitcher with an amazing season may have an impact on the MVP race. Gerrit Cole signed a monster deal with the Yankees after a near-Cy Young season in Houston. He is the highest-rated pitcher on the board with MVP odds of +3500. Houston’s 2019 Cy Young-winning Justin Verlander comes in at +5500, while 2018 winner Blake Snell is at +10000. Japanese dual-threat sensation, Shohei Ohtani, returns from an injured half season in 2019 with odds of +1900.  

Coronavirus Update For 7/5/20

Here is the latest information we have to date regarding sports and COVID-19

NHL

Members Of Blues’ Organization Reportedly Test Positive For COVID-19

According to multiple reports that came out Friday night, multiple members of the St. Louis Blues’ organization tested positive for COVID-19. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says that no staff members or coaches are believed to have been infected with COVID-19 during the ongoing pandemic.

The Athletic is reporting that the team’s Phase Two workouts that were scheduled for Friday were canceled due to the positive Coronavirus test results. No further workouts are scheduled for this weekend. Current reports indicate that the team is expected to resume practice on Monday.

MLB

White Sox And Nationals Report Positive Coronavirus Test Results

Both the Washington Nationals and the Chicago White Sox announced two players on each team tested positive for COVID-19. Both teams made the announcements earlier today.

The Chicago White Sox did not identify the players who tested positive but did say they are both asymptomatic and in isolation. Meanwhile, Nats’ Manager Dave Martinez told the media that two players out of 60 tested positive for COVID-19. The four players will be allowed to return to baseball activities after recording two negative COVID-19 test results and passing other pre-established Coronavirus protocols.

NBA

League Releases Restart Scrimmage Schedule

Yesterday, the NBA released its scrimmage schedule ahead of the 2019-20 NBA season restart that will take place in Orlando. All 22 teams participating in the restart will play in three scrimmages before the season resumes on July 30th. The league is saying that the Television broadcast details will be released at a later time.

NFL

Sources: NFLPA Recommends Canceling All Preseason Games

According to ESPN’s sources, on Friday, the NFL Players’ Association Board of Representatives voted to recommend canceling all 2020 preseason games. Sources say that the decision was voted on unanimously.

Earlier this week, the NFL decided to shorten the 2020 preseason to two games from four. At this time, the league has not formally announced the decision to reduce the number of preseason games this year. ESPN says it is unclear if the NFL will consider the players’ union’s recommendation to cancel all preseason games.

Continue checking oddsusa.com for more updates on the Coronavirus Pandemic.

2020 MLB All-Star Game Canceled

First time the All-Star Game will not be played since World War II

Earlier today, Major League Baseball announced the cancellation of the 2020 All-Star Game. The league said the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic is the reason the game was canceled. This will be the first time since 1945 that the “Midsummer Classic” will not be held between the American League and the National League.

The game and its surrounding events were originally scheduled to take place at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles this summer. However, Major League Baseball announced that Los Angeles will instead host the 2022 All-Star Game since this year’s events were canceled. The Atlanta Braves are scheduled to host the All-Star Game next year.

There have been 90 Major League Baseball All-Star Games held since 1933. The American League currently holds the series lead 45 wins to 43. The American League has won the last seven straight All-Star match-ups, including last year’s game, a 4-3 win at Progressive Field.

Coronavirus Update For 7/2/20

Here is the latest information we have to date regarding sports and COVID-19

NBA

Nine More Players Test Positive For COVID-19

Earlier today, the NBA revealed the results of the COVID-19 tests that were administered throughout the league from June 24th to the 29th. The NBA announced that the results showed nine more players tested positive for the Coronavirus. The league reports that 25 players have tested positive since testing began on June 23rd. The NBA also revealed that 10 team staffers out of 884 have tested positive for the illness to date.

NFL

No Agreement Yet On Length of Shortened Preseason

While the NFL is hoping to play at least two preseason games in 2020, there is no guarantee that it will be possible. According to the NFL Network, some members of the NFL Players’ Association are currently in favor of playing no preseason games this year. These reports come after sources said the NFL was planning on shortening the preseason to two games from four this year due to COVID-19 concerns.

The NFLPA must sign off on any decision the league makes, but they have not yet shown their approval of the plans to shorten the preseason to two games. A Board of Representatives call that will provide more information on the developments is scheduled to take place later today.

NHL

Toronto And Edmonton Expected To Be Named Hub Cities

Sportsnet says that Toronto and Edmonton are expected to be named the hub cities for the NHL season restart. The decision will be finalized once the players approve the league’s return-to-play plan, which is expected to happen later this week. Elliotte Friedman reported that teams will likely play in one of the two locations based upon conference alignment, so Eastern Conference teams will likely play in Toronto while Western Conference teams will be in Edmonton.

MLB

Teams Cannot Identify Players Who Test Positive For COVID-19

There will likely be players who test positive for COVID-19 this baseball season, but they will not have to reveal that information to the public unless they want to. According to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, “teams are not allowed to divulge the name of any player who tests positive.” The law goes on to state that only a player can reveal to the public that they tested positive for COVID-19. The MLBPA has not made a comment on the decision at this time.

Continue checking oddsusa.com for more updates on the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Baseball in 2020 – The Battle of the Bullpens

By: Matt Watkins 

Baseball in 2020—A Battle of the Bullpens?

So we’re finally going to have baseball in 2020. Not in the way we hoped it would happen and the optics of having to force a season because billionaires couldn’t agree on how much money to give millionaires is bad, but there will be baseball this year.  

But with just 60 games, MLB managers are going to have to live a life that has befallen skippers of teams in independent professional baseball for years – perform or move on. Now, it can be said that mentality has always been the case, but not to the extreme that it will be needed this year.

Four-time all-star catcher, Terry Kennedy was famously quoted as saying “most slumps are like the common cold. They last two weeks no matter what you do.” In the course of a 162-game season, a two week slump runs you probably 12-13 games, roughly 7-8 percent of your season. In a 60-game schedule, however, that same two-week slump is 20-22 percent of your season. In short there is no margin for error. Perform, or next man up.  

We have a tendency to focus on what happens at the ends of games and ends of seasons as being more important than what happens at the beginning. Think about it: how many times have you seen your team get behind 5-0 in the second inning and you find yourself saying “it’s still early, we have seven innings to come back.” The same mentality goes for slow starts to years. An 8-19 record in April isn’t good, but it doesn’t leave most fans in a panic since there are still five months to play, even if the reality is maybe your team is two games out with four to play because you went 8-19 in April instead of 11-16. 

But if we look at it from the perspective that what happens later matters more, we can equate everything this season to a game from the sixth inning onward that is played in August and September. With that in mind, the teams that have the strongest bullpens seem to be in the best shape to manage a drastically shortened season, especially when there will not be expanded playoffs. Five blown saves in162 games you can overcome. Five in 60? Good luck. So what teams are in the best position to make a run because of their relief corps? I’m so glad you asked! 

Baseball in 2020 Asks a Simple Question: Who Has the Best Bullpen in Baseball 

Tampa Bay Rays – Since their breakthrough in 2008, the Rays have always been that quirky team that’s been the outlier. Good, but not quite good enough. This year, though, good enough might just be good enough. TB led all MLB bullpens in WAR last season. With a closer like Nick Anderson (37.9 percent strikeout rate with only two walks in 21.1 innings) and guys to set him up like Diego Castillo, Jose Alvarado, and Colin Poche, five to six innings from a starter might be all you need. Don’t be surprised if the Rays also use their short-inning guys in unconventional ways (more on that at the end). Recommendation: Buy now on Tampa Bay.

San Diego Padres – Ok, follow me on this one a minute. Remember last season when Kirby Yates was the hottest name on the trade market for relief pitchers? Everyone assumed that he was gone, especially given general manager A.J. Preller’s predilection for making deals. But the Padres wanted a king’s ransom for a closer who still had a full year of team control (won’t be a free agent until after 2020), and who had, in in 2018 and 2019, posted 13.9 K/9IP, 53 saves, and a sub-2.00 ERA.  

No one bit and Yates remains a Padre. So with the ninth inning set, and set up specialists in Emilio Pagan, Drew Pomeranz and Craig Stammen, if the Padres have a lead after five, it could be lights out. Recommendation: Hold for two weeks, but if it’s looking good, cautiously buy.  

Milwaukee Brewers – The biggest hindrance to the Brew Crew the last couple years has been a slow season start, which, as we’ve documented, could be devastating. If the offense can play well out of the gate, and get to the pen, though, they could be a very scary team.  If there is any concern, it’s the setup men. Brent Suter, David Phelps, and Corey Knebel are all solid, but not spectacular. Of course, you don’t need to be awesome when Josh Hader is the guy who closes it out and is capable of going more than just the ninth. Recommendation: Soft buy.  

New York Yankees – I’m sure a lot of people are surprised it took me this long to get to the Yankees who should have a pretty good chance to run through mostly everyone. Aroldis Chapman closes. Zach Britton, Adam Ottavino, and Tommy Kahnle set it up. On paper, it’s pretty much a lock. The only concern I have is age. Kahnle is the youngest guy in the group at 30 and the quartet has combined to make 466 appearances in the last two seasons, 148 of them coming from the oldest pitcher in the group in 34-year old Ottavino.  

Where the Yankees bullpen strength may actually lie is in the starting rotation. While the other three teams we listed will need to use pretty much all four of their primary short-inning pitchers nightly, having traditional innings eaters in Gerrit Cole, Masahiro Tanaka, and J.A. Happ in the rotation will allow Aaron Boone to better stretch his bullpen innings for maximum effectiveness and dominance. Recommendation: Buy now.  

The Openers May Help You Close with Some Money in Your Pocket

So one last note; In such a shortened season, there will be a premium placed on maximizing every advantage, placing an emphasis on creativity. Enter the opener. In a normal, 162-game season, a deficiency in the starting rotation could shine through. But in a year where you don’t have to worry about saving an arm, where everyone can go full tilt from game one, think about the possibilities of Tampa Bay using Alvarado to go two innings to begin every other game. Then you get four innings from a traditional starter, and if you’re ahead, Castillo, Poche, Anderson to finish it.  

Warren Spahn once said “hitting is timing. Pitching is upsetting timing.” Under that setup, a batter will face a pitcher, at a maximum, twice in a game, meaning there are minimal at-bats in which to make adjustments. For a team like the Rays, which will play half of its 60 games against the lineups of the Yankees, Red Sox, Braves, and Nationals, that could be a huge advantage. For that matter, any of the teams listed could do it with four solid relievers. The Rays are just the most likely to be the ones most willing to try it and/or be successful with it.  

Game on.