The 2019 Major League Baseball season is finally on the doorstep, with Opening Day officially about to arrive. A lot has changed since the Red Sox captured the 2018 Fall Classic. Manny Machado landed in San Diego. Bryce Harper is now in Philly. And the Sox are looking to become the first repeat World Series champs since the 2000 Yankees.
Now is the time to take full advantage of the multitude of season futures and win totals available, as there is always tremendous value to be found for bettors willing to tie up some of their bankroll for the long haul. Here are a handful of plays to target.
Seattle Mariners: Under 72.5 Wins (-110)
The Mariners overshot their expected win total by 12 victories in 2018 on their way to an 89-win campaign. The franchise is now in full-on rebuild mode after trading away nearly every asset it had. Losing star hurler James Paxton will hurt the most. Paxton’s exit leaves a major void in an otherwise uninspiring rotation.
Miami Marlins: Under 63.5 Wins (-110)
The Marlins have been on the slide with lower season win totals in each of the last two seasons. Despite winning 63 games last year, they won seven more games than their Pythagorean real win rate. The NL East is significantly tougher this year, which is not a good sign for the Marlins. They also have few prospects to hang their hats on and will be counting on production from a handful of aging veterans. It’s going to be another long season in South Florida.
Houston Astros: Over 96.5 Wins (-110) & American League Winner (+275)
The Astros project as the best team in baseball this year. They won 103 games last year and still fell nine wins short of their real win expectation. Losing starters Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton will do no favors, but they are playing in a division that is much worse and their depth will cover the offseason departures, particularly on offense. While the over on their win total is the strongest play, the Astros should be claiming the AL pennant for the second time in three years.
Washington Nationals: Over 88.5 Wins (-110) & NL East Winner (+190)
A case of riding both the plexiglass principle and Pythagorean expectation when betting the Nationals to go over, despite losing Harper. The Nats regressed 15 games last year in a season that just never really got going and they undershot their real win total by nine wins. Landing Patrick Corbin gives the Nats one of the best rotations in the league, while Juan Soto looks like a star in the making.
Home Run Leader: Joey Gallo (+1400)
Gallo has played two seasons of 145-plus games and in each of those he has topped 40 long balls, ranking in the top five in the Majors in home runs both years. He benefits from a homer-friendly ballpark in Texas and he’s still just 25, so there’s room for even more improvement. The Rangers slugger could be poised for his biggest output yet in 2019.