The 60-game MLB season is on track to begin on July 23 and as we slowly learn more and more about how this season will work, the MLB futures market is starting to take form.
Obviously, which players opt out of the season or test positive for COVID-19 can have a huge impact on their teams. It’s a nearly impossible season to bet on player futures, which I’ll be avoiding all together.
One of the most unique aspects of the 2020 season is that for the first time the schedule actually plays a huge role in how successful teams will be. Teams will play the other four teams in their division 10 times each and the remaining 20 games will be played against the same geographical division in the opposite league.
For example, the Yankees have 10 games against each team in the AL East (Red Sox, Rays, Blue Jays, Orioles) and the remaining 20 games will be made up of games against the NL East (Nationals, Braves, Mets, Phillies, Marlins).
I wrote up five MLB win total bets that jump out to me earlier, which you can find here.
Here are some other MLB future plays that stand out to me on DraftKings Sportsbook.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Regular Season Wins - Head to Head: Minnesota Twins (-124) over Atlanta Braves
Both of these teams really broke out in 2019, with the Braves winning the NL East with 97 wins and the Twins winning the AL Central with 101 wins. While the Braves will get 10 games against the Marlins in the division this season, the Twins get twice as many layups with 20 total games against the Tigers and Royals.
From a roster standpoint, the Twins did more to improve in 2020 than the Braves did. Atlanta added an arm in Cole Hamels and a bat in Marcell Ozuna but lost more than it gained. Julio Teheran’s departure could offset the Hamels addition and the bats could wind up taking a strange turn. For starters, Freddie Freeman tested positive for COVID-19 and has reportedly struggled recovering. It was eye-opening enough for Nick Markakis to opt out of the season, so could Freeman eventually follow?
Another huge swing here for Atlanta is the loss of Josh Donaldson. Where’d the slugger wind up? Well, he’s the new third basemen for the Twins! Donaldson adds to an already explosive Minnesota lineup, but the rotation was the real issue for the Twins in 2019. They didn’t add an ace, but gathered some pieces that should help — Kenta Maeda, Homer Bailey and Rich Hill.
Regular Season Wins - Head to Head: Arizona Diamondbacks (-124) over San Diego Padres
I understand there are some expectations that the Padres could make a jump this season, but even if they do they’re supposed to vault past an Arizona squad that was significantly better in 2019 and made major moves to improve in 2020?
The D-Backs finished second in the NL West last season with 85 wins (behind only the 106-win Dodgers), while the Padres finished dead last with 70 wins. Fernando Tatis Jr. is a heck of a talent, but the major addition to this team is Tommy Pham. The rest of the roster is supposed to develop enough to help this team go above .500? I doubt it, especially with the rotation looking almost identical to 2019.
Meanwhile, Arizona added Madison Bumgarner to the top of an already impressive, young rotation and Starling Marte to the heart of the batting order. I could see the Diamondbacks finishing five to eight games better than the Padres in a 60-game season.
Division Winner Parlay: Minnesota Twins/New York Yankees (+135)
I really hyped up the Yankees in my win total article. This could be one of the most dominant teams we’ve seen in a while in MLB, so I think the Bronx Bombers are a near lock to win the AL East. The -305 is actually a very fair price on NYY. But the Twins are also in a strong spot to repeat as AL Central champs — a division they won by eight games in 2019.
I already broke down why I think Minnesota is in line for a strong showing in 2020 in the Atlanta win matchup above, so there’s not much else to say. Adding the Yankees to the division winner parlay seems like a creative way to get good plus-money on the Twins to win their division.
American League Winner: New York Yankees (+175)
Did I mention I love the Yankees this season? They have one of the easiest, if not the easiest schedule in MLB and I’d be shocked if they don’t have home field throughout the AL playoffs (and probably World Series). Last year’s ALCS went down to the wire against Houston and obviously we know there may have been some fishy results there.
Taking Gerrit Cole and just flipping him to the top of the Yankees’ rotation is a devastating swing for Houston’s chances. While I love the Twins, there just isn’t much competition that can rise to the level the Yankees can. All the talent is back on the field, with Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton now ready to go after being in position to miss the start of the season had it started on time in the spring.
Opt-In to your $25 Free Bet by Betting the World Series
It doesn’t matter who you want to bet on for this one, but getting free bets is always a good thing. You need to click the “Opt-In” button on DKSB to become eligible, but then bet $25 on who you think will win the World Series and you get a $25 free bet to use on anything else you would normally bet on.
For me, I’d probably just play the Yankees at +400 here and look for the free $100 payout. But free bets are a good time to take a shot, so if you like a long shot by all means swing for the fences!
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.