The All-Star break has arrived just past the midway point of the Major League Baseball season, and it marks the perfect time to reevaluate some sports betting options before the MLB schedule reaches the home stretch. We’re taking an updated look at each division and see where the current MLB futures odds stack up with how things looked before the season began and offering some thoughts on each race. Making MLB predictions at this stage is about spotting value where you can going into the second half, so that’s exactly what we’re aiming to do.
To provide context on where things stand now compared to Opening Day, we are using the chart below from DraftKings Sportsbook, one of the best sports betting sites in NJ:
MLB Futures By Division
American League East Odds
On Opening Day, the New York Yankees (-118) had a slight edge in a race that was between them and the Red Sox Instead, Boston’s lack of consistency has them nine games back of a Yankees team that is 57-31 at the break and has continued to dominate despite needing to dig deep onto its bench for significant contributions. At one point, the Bronx Bombers sustained an injury to each and every starting position except for second base, but kept moving right along as they went 20-8 in May. With a comfortable 6.5 game lead over the Rays (currently +850), AL East odds for the Yankees (-1000) are a wager with no value. While Tampa’s odds are juicy and Boston’s line even more so (+1100), we wouldn’t put our money on NewYork losing the AL East.
National League East Odds
Looking at those Opening Day NL East odds, this was expected to be a four-team battle that would last until September, but it hasn’t turned out that way. The Mets are a mess, the Phillies and Nationals are slightly above average (both +850) and the Braves emerged in June as the clear class of the division. Atlanta is now heavily favored to win the NL East (-670 on DraftKings Sportsbook) and has a great chance to pad that lead even further with a second-half schedule that starts with plenty of lesser NL East opponents. A +300 bet before the season on Atlanta feels pretty safe right about now, but we do have to respect the Nationals’ recent 28-9 run to put themselves within range. If seeking value on a team in this division, Washington has to be the pick as we’ve seen a jump from +250 on Opening Day to +850 currently. Plenty of World Series predictions at DraftKings NJ went on Philadelphiia as well, but those don't look like they'll come to fruition.
American League Central Odds
While the Twins had the best odds to overtake Cleveland (+275 on Opening Day), a 5.5-game lead at the All-Star break wasn’t expected. Minnesota’s odds (now -2500) have ballooned out of control on DraftKings as oddsmakers seem to think the Indians are out of the race. In the search for value, we actually think this is the right time for a futures bet on Cleveland to win the AL East with a second-half run. At +700 odds and on a 22-9 run in their last 31 games, this team is within striking distance after getting hot at the right time. The Indians and Twins play each other 16 more times this season, giving Cleveland plenty of chances to gain ground. Don’t be surprised to see these teams within three games of one another in the next month or so leading down the stretch. Before it gets closer, consider the Tribe for your MLB pick on the AL Central.
National League Central Odds
There is no race tighter in MLB with three teams within two games of one another. Opening Day odds gave the Cardinals a slight edge over Chicago and the Brewers, and not much separates them in mid-July after the Cubs lost 14 of 22 games going into the break. Chicago (+150 odds) currently leads by half a game over Milwaukee (+175 odds) with St. Louis two games back. Value lies with the Cardinals (+425) on DraftKings and it would be hard to knock that pick, but out NL Central prediction is still on the Cubs. We can’t help but feel like Theo Epstein is poised to add pieces down the stretch as he did with closer Craig Kimbrel and the Cubs get back on track to assume their rightful place atop the division.
American League West Odds
Oakland and Texas are strong teams in the AL fighting for berths in the playoffs via the Wild Card, but that’s about it thanks to the dominance of the Astros. Houston was favored all along, but the odds have become ridiculous (-3335) to win the AL West, while the other two teams’ lines are astronomical.
- Athletics (+2200 from +900 on Opening Day)
- Rangers (+2200 from +4400 on Opening Day)
While Texas pulls off one of the great surprises of the 2019 MLB season, this division has always belonged to the 2017 World Series champion Astros. For some value on AL West teams, the Rangers are being offered at +800 to make the playoffs on DraftKings while Oakland sits at +145.
National League West Odds
The race for the NL West isn’t a race at all thanks to the Dodgers. The two-time defending league champions have marched out to a 13.5-game lead at the All-Star break behind a 40-20 stretch over the past two months. The line on Opening Day (-357) has risen to incredible heights (-10000) and not a single team is worth a sports betting pick on the division, although the Rockies have the closest odds (+5000) for anyone interested. With Arizona, San Diego and Colorado pushing for a playoff berth, there are markets available on both teams’ win totals at the end of the season. The Rockies lost six straight heading into the break, but have a win total currently at 80 (-110 odds). A smart play for the second half might be an over bet on Colorado, which needs just a 37-36 record in the second half to reach 81 wins.
MLB Predictions, Conclusions From Futures Odds
Simply put, some divisional races are close and some aren’t as MLB handicapping opportunities are not present in all places at the All-Star break. In our estimation, the AL East, AL West and NL West divisions are not the ones to make futures bets on at the moment. There is, however, some value elsewhere inside the lines to win each division and in other baseball markets on the DraftKings Sportsbook app. Consider the following MLB picks if making futures bets on the rest of the regular season:
- Nationals Win NL East (+850)
- Indians Win AL Central (+700)
- Cubs Win NL Central (+150)
- Athletics Reach Playoffs (+145)
- Rockies Over 80 Wins (-110)
Stay tuned for more information and analysis covering MLB futures betting odds for the playoffs and 2019 World Series on BonusSeeker!