MLB midseason betting: World Series, MVP, Cy Young futures odds update

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Atlanta Braves' Ozzie Albies tags out Tampa Bay Rays' Harold Ramirez on an attempted steal of second base during the seventh inning of a baseball game Friday, July 7, 2023, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)

The MLB All-Star break doesn’t last long, but it presents an opportunity to evaluate the MLB futures betting market.

The season is over three months in, so we’ve got enough data to evaluate the World Series contenders heading into the second half, as well as which players are in line to take home individual awards such as the MVP and the Cy Young.

We’ve evaluated the World Series futures market along with the AL and NL MVP and Cy Young contenders using the latest odds from Caesars Sportsbook.

WORLD SERIES ODDS

The Atlanta Braves have been the best team in MLB so far in 2023, and their World Series odds show it. The Braves are the overall World Series favorite at +340, and the scary thing for the rest of the league is that they’ve been able to sustain success despite being without some of their top starting pitchers.

While the Braves are the rightful favorite, there are several other teams in the mix that have performed above expectations such as the Rays (+500) and the Rangers (+900) that could offer value considering all three preseason favorites in the Dodgers (+550), Astros (+700) and Yankees (+1500) have had underwhelming first halves.

Turnarounds could be on the horizon for the preseason big three, but it’s hard to justify paying up for them with so many exciting young teams that look intriguing such as the Orioles (+2500) and the Diamondbacks (+2800). There are also teams that have proven talent such as the Blue Jays (+2000) and Phillies (+2500) that offer decent value as longer shots.

The Padres (+3500) could also be in line for a turnaround despite a nightmarish start, but they don’t offer much value considering they’ll have to catch teams like the Marlins (+5000) and the Reds (+60000, who have sustained success throughout the first half with young talent even though the betting market isn’t showing them much respect.

Any teams with odds longer than +6000 simply aren’t worth a look at this point such as the Mets (+7000) and Cardinals (+12500), who have aging rosters and will most likely hit the reset button at the trade deadline since their first half performances have been too ugly to feel hopeful about their second half chances.

INDIVIDUAL ODDS

AL MVP

Shohei Ohtani has all but sealed up this award, as he’s a lock to win it at -850 considering he’s somehow taken his two-way skillset to an even higher level in 2023. Corey Seager has the next-best odds at +1900, but it’s not worth looking toward anyone outside of Ohtani considering he could miss a month’s worth of games and still most likely win the award.

NL MVP

The NL MVP race isn’t as much of a sure thing as the AL, but there’s a clear favorite with Ronald Acuna Jr. pulling away from the pack at -400. Acuna’s been the best player on an elite Braves team that leads MLB in runs scored, as there’s no other player in the game that can match his power-speed ability. Dodgers stars Mookie Betts (+900) and Freddie Freeman (+1200) appear to be the only other serious contenders, but they simply don’t offer what Acuna does to where they’ll likely need an Acuna injury in order to truly get in the mix.

AL Cy Young

The AL Cy Young race is much more interesting than the MVP race, as there are several contenders according to the oddsmakers. Framber Valdez is the current favorite at +190, but Kevin Gausman (+350) and Gerrit Cole (+390) are right there with him. Shane McClanahan (+700) was the favorite for most of the season until a back injury saw him land on the injured list. McClanahan could be a value play depending on how quickly he returns, and Shohei Ohtani also feels like a value at +1000. Other contenders include Nathan Eovaldi (+1200) and Luis Castillo (+1300), so it’s probably wise to pick two or three contenders since they all offer plus-odds and hope that one of them prevails.

NL Cy Young

The NL Cy Young race also appears wide open, and Diamondbacks ace Zack Gallen is the current favorite at +215. Spencer Strider and Clayton Kershaw are next up at +350, but neither feel like great bets considering Strider has been prone to giving up runs in bunches and the fact injuries have snuck up on Kershaw yet again. Blake Snell is suddenly a contender after an elite string of starts and finds himself in the thick of things at +900, and young starters Justin Steele (+1600), Jesus Luzardo (+1700) and Logan Webb (+1800) are also very much in the mix. Taking a handful of the contenders feels like the best way to play this betting market much like the AL since there’s no clear favorite.

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