The Cincinnati Reds remain a long shot in most MLB betting markets

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Cincinnati Reds' Jake Fraley slides into third base, advancing from first off a groundout by Nick Senzel during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres, Wednesday, May 3, 2023, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

The Cincinnati Reds have stumbled out of the gate to start the 2023 MLB season. The Reds are 13-18 and seven games back of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL Central heading into a weekend series with the Chicago White Sox.

The Pirates lead the way at 20-11, but the Milwaukee Brewers are looming with their 18-12 clip. The Chicago Cubs are .500 at 15-15 overall, while the St. Louis Cardinals sit last in the division with a 10-21 record. The Reds and the Pirates are actually the only teams in the NL Central with a winning record over the last 10 games, as both are 6-4 of late.

But what is surprising is that the betting markets don’t reflect that.

At FanDuel Sportsbook, the Brewers are the betting favorites to win the NL Central with a price of -145. The Cardinals are actually second in odds to win the division with a price of +390, while the Cubs are valued at +500. The Pirates, who pace the NL Central, are +600 to finish on top.

Essentially, only the Reds are out of this race as of early May based on the betting odds. Cincinnati is +6000 to win the NL Central, good for an implied probability of 1.64%. A $100 bet would net a $6,000 payout at these odds.

The Reds have even longer odds in most other futures markets. They are +30000 to win the National League pennant, which is tied for last with the Colorado Rockies and Washington Nationals. That is good for an implied probability of 0.33%. 

Cincinnati is +50000 to win the World Series, which is also near the bottom of the odds board. The only teams with longer odds are the Rockies, Nationals and Oakland Athletics, all of whom are priced at 100/1 at FanDuel.

In addition, the Reds are +3100 to make the playoffs at FanDuel as of this writing. While this offers a nice payout, it is worth mentioning that there is a huge gap after Cincinnati in this market. The Kansas City Royals, who are listed right below the Reds, are priced at +8500 to make the playoffs.

One of the futures markets that Cincinnati has a chance in is actually the NL Rookie of the Year race. James Outman of the Los Angeles Dodgers leads the way with a price of +165, while Corbin Carroll of the Arizona Diamondbacks comes in right behind him at +220. All other candidates are considered longshots.

With the fifth-best odds in this market, Reds rookie Spencer Steer could be worth a look at +2500. So far this season, Steer is hitting .240 with a .316 on-base percentage in 104 at-bats. He has clubbed three home runs, 10 RBIs and six doubles in 28 games.

Steer and the Reds will turn their attention to a weekend set with the White Sox at home. Friday’s series opener is set to begin at 6:40 p.m. ET.

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