Best MLB Prop Bets You Should Be Backing in the 2019 Season
If fantasy baseball takes up too much time for you, but you still want the thrill of following some players over the course of the year, prop bets on statistical leaders are your new best friend.
There are a few categories available for wagering for MLB fans, and all season ahead to spend watching and waiting on your picks. Note that all projections are via FanGraphs.
MLB Home Run Leader 2019 Odds
Favorite: Giancarlo Stanton (+700)
ZiPS projected leader: Stanton
Steamer projected leader: Stanton
2018 leader: Khris Davis (+1400)
Leading the league in home runs is one of the few things that Trout hasn’t done yet in his career, so why not now? Trout’s year-by-year totals since his first full season in 2012 are 30, 27, 36, 41, 29, 33 and 39. Last year, he did that while also leading the American League in walks, so it’s not like Trout is hamstrung by teams pitching around him.
Or, you know, just go with Stanton or Aaron Judge (+1000). If you want to back a longshot, go with another Yankee: Gary Sanchez is at +4000 and gets to feast on the same Baltimore and Toronto pitching staffs all summer that Stanton and Judge do, and he’s got something to prove after last year.
Make your bets here:
MLB Hits Leader 2019 Odds
|Ronald Acuna Jr.||+3300|
Co-favorites: Jose Altuve and Mookie Betts (+750)
ZiPS projected leader: Francisco Lindor (+2000)
Steamer projected leader: Altuve
2018 leader: Whit Merrifield (+2500)
In 5,145 career plate appearances, Murphy has 614 strikeouts and 325 walks, with 122 home runs. The misconception about Colorado is that people go there to hit home runs. Instead, Coors Field is best suited to someone with Murphy’s talent for putting the ball in play and taking advantage of the spacious outfield to collect hits.
That’s how Michael Cuddyer and Justin Morneau won late-career batting titles with the Rockies this decade. There’s no reason Murphy can’t challenge for one himself, racking up plenty of hits. A good longshot play: Nationals wunderkind Juan Soto won’t see odds like +6600 again in his career.
MLB RBI Leader 2019 Odds
Co-favorites: J.D. Martinez (+600)
ZiPS projected leader: Giancarlo Stanton (+1400)
Steamer projected leader: Stanton
2018 leader: Martinez
Rizzo is the owner of four straight 100-RBI seasons, and for all the issues the Cubs may have this season, a productive heart of the order is not one.
There still will be loads of opportunities for Rizzo to drive in runs, and there’s consensus among projection systems and common sense that he’s positioned well for a bounce-back season after struggling – by his standards, remember, he still drove in 101 runs but “only” posted an .846 OPS with 25 homers – in 2018.
None of the options with shorter odds than Rizzo are bad choices, but the long-shot play is Robinson Cano at +8000 in his first year with what should be an improved Mets lineup.
MLB Wins Leader 2019 Odds
Co-favorites: Chris Sale (+600)
ZiPS projected leader: Corey Kluber (+800)
Steamer projected leader: Stanton
2018 leader: Blake Snell (+2000)
Picking this category is a fool’s errand, and maybe it’s particularly foolish to peg Bumgarner for this, but he’s in a walk year, pitching for a Hall of Fame-bound, old-school manager who’s about to retire, on a team that isn’t very good and for whom the lefty’s starts will be their most important games.
Bumgarner has to show something after his past two injury-curtailed seasons, and him leading the majors in wins this year, even on a likely last-place team, is one of those things that feels right. It could also be literally anybody else.
Go with Gerrit Cole (+1200) among the pitchers with shorter odds, but this is wide open every year – you’re dealing with how many times in 34 or so starts someone is going to get run support and bullpen help matching their own effort.
Nobody has led the majors in wins by more than two since 2011, when Justin Verlander had 24, ahead of Ian Kennedy and Clayton Kershaw at 21.
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