2022 MLB Futures Odds: Two options to buy, buy, buy heading into August

By | July 31, 2022

With two months of the MLB regular season remaining, there are a number of things that appear to be certain already.

Sure, a few possible deals trades that may occur before Tuesday’s MLB trade deadline carry the potential to move the needle. But some outcomes likely won’t change barring injury or unexpected collapse.

AL MVP Race a Two-Horse Tussle, Rodriguez Running Away with AL ROY, Trio of MLB Division Leads Unlikely to Change Hands

On the individual front, things look pretty cut and dry with the outcome of one of the 2022 MLB MVP races.

In the American League, Aaron Judge and reigning AL MVP Shohei Ohtani have separated themselves from the field.

Also in the AL, Seattle Mariners center fielder Julio Rodriguez will win AL Rookie of the Year as long as he remains healthy.

This one isn’t as much of a runaway as the AL MVP race. But based on his current production and the fact that the Mariners are in the playoff race, Rodriguez is only going to be caught if he has a serious downturn or injury trips him up.

On the team front, three division races are unlikely to see any September suspense. The New York Yankees are rolling in the AL East, the Houston Astros are running away with the NL West, and the Los Angeles Dodgers are back to dominating the NL West.

From a betting standpoint, there’s little reason to bet on any of these things at this point, unless you absolutely just want to.

But which options still up for grabs should you back the current favorite? Below, we take a look at two MLB futures options–both with excellent value given who the odds are attached to–that you should back if you haven’t already.

And if you have backed either one already, we provide reasons why you should feel confident about your choice(s).

In another piece, we will look at which options you should avoid or look to hedge at this juncture.

Odds listed below are via FanDuel unless otherwise noted.

2022 MLB Futures: Buy

Los Angeles Dodgers to win the NL Pennant (Current Odds: +145)

Heading into August, the Dodgers will have a double-digit lead in the NL West and the NL’s best record.

This is without star pitcher Walker Buehler, who has been out for almost two months. Buehler, who was a leading preseason NL Cy Young Award candidate, is not slated to return until sometime in September.

This is with Cody Bellinger (.204) and Max Muncy (.162) performing well below expectations.

The Dodgers are one of the leading candidates to trade for Washington Nationals star Juan Soto, in addition to the rival Padres and potentially the St. Louis Cardinals and Seattle Mariners.

But even if they don’t add Soto, they are still ahead of the Mets, Braves, Padres, and anyone else in the NL, especially if Buehler can return for the business end of the MLB season.

Now, if they were to add Soto…

Justin Verlander to win the AL Cy Young Award (Current Odds: +155)

With 240 wins and counting, over 3,000 strikeouts, nine All-Star selections, three no-hitters, and two AL Cy Young Award wins, Justin Verlander is a surefire first-ballot Hall of Famer whenever he decides to hang it up, regardless of what he does from here.

But for all that he has achieved in his illustrious MLB career, this might be his finest season yet. He currently leads the majors in wins (14) and ERA (1.81) and is second in WHIP (0.87), fourth in OBA (.192), and sixth among starting pitchers in WAR.

Since a rough outing against the White Sox, Verlander is 6-0 with a 0.86 ERA in six starts. As a result, he has edged ahead of Tampa Bay’s Shane McClanahan as the AL Cy Young favorite.

And it’s coming at the age of 39 and after making one start across 2020 and 2021.

He still has quite a few starts remaining, but with his track record and how good he has been all season but especially recently, I’m smashing the buy button on this one.

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