Mid-Season Baseball Betting Report

By Ryan Bologna

We are just over a week away from the All-Star break in the 2022 MLB season. Many teams and players who were expected to perform well have done so, but there are still some good bets to make.

American League MVP: Shohei Ohtani +200

Aaron Judge is still the favorite to win the MVP in the American League, but as of late, Shohei Ohtani has performed as he did when he won the award in 2021. According to Baseball Reference, Ohtani has passed Judge in Wins Above Replacement, an all-encompassing stat that voters look at when making their decision. The odds could shift if Ohtani keeps performing at this level, so it would be wise to make this bet soon.

Judge is having a great season, but as long as the two players are relatively close, it will hard for voters to resist voting for Ohtani given that he pitches and hits at such a high level. Not to mention, with Judge’s injury history and the Yankees having such a big lead in the American League East, he might get a good amount of rest days in hopes of being healthy for October.

American League Cy Young: Shane McClanahan +250

It is a two-horse race for the Cy Young Award in the American League. Rays starting pitcher Shane McClanahan is the slight favorite over Astros veteran Justin Verlander. Despite being the favorite, the odds are still good enough to make a bet on McClanahan worth it as he holds a slight edge in Wins Above Replacemen, and has a significant edge in other key stats like ERA, FIP, and strikeouts per 9 innings. The predictive stats indicate that McClanahan could pull away, so get in now before the odds get worse.

Regular Season Home Run Leader: Yordan Alvarez +550

Yordan Alvarez currently sits at 26 home runs on the season — that’s just four behind major league leader Judge. Alvarez has been red hot since signing a six-year $115 million extension with the Astros on June 6. Alvarez has hit 10 home runs since then and is at the top of the league in average exit velocity and hard-hit rate.

Alvarez has to pass Judge and Kyle Schwarber to lead the league in home runs, but he is certainly capable of doing it. Schwarber has been on a tear as well, but the Astros schedule might play into Alvarez’s favor, as they play a lot of teams that are around .500 or worse the rest of the season. As mentioned before, Judge might get a good amount of rest days as the Yankees coast in the American League East. The odds are too good to pass up with Alvarez.

National League East Champions: Atlanta Braves +140

This is the only team-based bet that is worth a shot right now. After a slow start, Atlanta has cut down the Mets’ lead in the National League East to 3.5 games. Yes, the Mets just got Max Scherzer back and Jacob deGrom should return soon as well, but the Mets offense has not performed as well as it did to open the season, and the Braves are on a similar trajectory as they were last year. Atlanta has won the last four National League East titles and has the talent to run down the Mets. The two teams will play each other 15 times before the season ends, so there are a ton of opportunities for the Braves to take the lead in the division.

Photo Credit: Moto Miwa

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