Bold Super Early MLB Betting Predictions for the 2016 Season
Despite a number of MLB odds favorites living up to their billings in the 2015 season, the baseball betting lines were largely dominated by darkhorse and underdog MLB online betting picks. The Washington Nationals, who had the shortest odds to win the World Series, followed into the recent trend of slumps by the favorites, failing to measure up to the expectations. Instead, it was the Kansas City Royals, who entered last season with +2500 odds to win the Fall Classic, that eventually won the World Series. The Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers did not make it all the way to the Fall Classic, but they did earn surprising entries into the postseason despite being valued at a distant +10000 in the MLB betting boards to win the World Series.
Bold Super Early MLB Betting Predictions for the 2016 Major League Baseball Season
Will the 2016 favorites falter once again at the expense of the underdogs? How about the individual player awards; are there any proven and rising stars that can be considered as solid locks? What of the regular-season win totals; which OVER/UNDER MLB picks offer the best value? Read on below to find out what our handicapper has to say in the bold MLB betting predictions below.
The Curse of the Favorites Will Stop the Cubs from winning the 2016 World Series
Besides the ominous fact that the Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908 (that’s 108 damn years without the Fall Classic title), recent history has it that teams favored to win the World Series never do it. The 2009 NY Yankees are the last spring favorites to win it all. Since then, it has been a streak of disappointments for the teams with the shortest odds to win the World Series, as is detailed below:
- In 2010, the Yankees (+325 favorites to repeat as World Champions) lost in six games to the Texas Rangers in the ALCS after finishing second in the AL East
- In 2011, the Philadelphia Phillies (+350 spring favorite to win the Fall Classic) led the majors with 102 wins in 2011 (after also leading the MLB with 97 wins in 2010) but were upset in the NLDS by wild-card team St. Louis in five games
- In 2012, the Phillies once again opened as +550 favorites, only to post a disappointing 81-81 record that saw them miss the postseason. The Giants and the Tigers went on to meet in the 2012 World Series, where San Francisco (who opened the season at +2000 to win it all) swept Detroit to claim the title).
- In 2013, the L.A. Dodgers and the Washington Nationals were co-favorites at +750 to win the World Series. The Nationals missed the playoffs. The Dodgers, after winning the NL West and beating Atlanta in the NLDS, lost in six games in the NLCS to St. Louis. The Red Sox (who opened the season at +2800 to win the World Series) beat the Cardinals to win it all.
- In 2014, the Dodgers were installed as +700 spring favorites. They won the NL West again but were defeated by the Cardinals in four games in the NLDS. San Francisco (installed at +2500 in the spring) went on to win the World Series.
- In 2015, the Nationals were +650 World Series favorites after adding ace pitcher Max Scherzer in free agency. The Nats missed the playoffs with 83 wins. Kansas City (installed at +3300 to win the World Series at the start of the season) beat the Mets in five games in the Fall Classic.
Keeping the above trends in mind, you are therefore better off betting your money on another team not named the Cubs if you want to profit in the World Series MLB odds. And now that we have established the viability of betting on other “long shot teams,” below are some options worth considering in your World Series MLB picks.
Diamondbacks and White Sox Offer Solid Value for Mega Improvements in 2016
Arizona Diamondbacks (+2500 to Win World Series): The acquisition of stud pitcher Zack Greinke, who compiled a spectacular 19-3 season with a 1.66 ERA and 200 strikeouts for the Dodgers in 2015 changes the scape in the desert for the Arizona Diamondbacks. If Greinke, who narrowly missed out on last year’s NL Cy Young Award, was able to put up such stellar numbers with an iffy Dodgers offense, he should be able to do better with the Diamondbacks squad that is known for firing on all cylinders in the offense. This should especially be possible now that the ‘Backs also got Shelby Miller (3.02 ERA) from the Cardinals, who will be offering support along with Patrick Corbin, who had a 3.11 ERA last year and was solid at home. Meanwhile, Paul Goldschmidt, who had 31 HR, 110 RBI, and a .321 BA, is one of the best hitters in the nation, and the duo of A.J. Pollock and David Peralta are just as solid when it comes to hitting, which guarantees an above-average offense for Arizona. When you combine all that, you find a team that will not only win as many as 85 games in the regular season, but will also be capable of making a deep run in the postseason games.
Chicago White Sox (+3300): The flurry of moves in 2015 didn’t help the White Sox to improve much and the team missed the playoffs for the seventh year in a row. The biggest problem for Chicago last year was the team’s anemic offense. That doesn’t figure to be a problem anymore this year, as the White Sox traded for All-Star third baseman Todd Frazier and solid second baseman Brett Lawrie in the offseason. The Sox also added shortstop Jimmy Rollins and outfielder Austin Jackson, helping to upgrade the defense. Added to the fact that the White Sox have a top-tier rotation in Cy Young betting favorite Chris Sale, the underrated duo of Jose Quintana and Carlos Rodon, and a solid closer in in David Robertson (34 saves, 3.41 ERA, 0.93 WHIP); you can be sure that Chicago will perform way better than their 76-86 mark in 2015, possibly with good run for the World Series.
Kershaw (+175) is Best Fav, deGrom (+1400) is the best Longshot to Win NL Cy Young
Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw, who won the 2013 and 2014 NL Cy Young awards, will fancy his chances of taking back the title after Chicago Cubs ace Jake Arrieta had a season for the books to claim the honors. Working in Kershaw’s advantage as he seeks a fourth NL Cy Young award to his name is that he will no longer have to split the votes with former teammate Zack Greinke in LA, as Greinke is now in Tinseltown.
Meanwhile, with Cubs favored to win both the NL and World Series this year, and Arrieta coming off a ridiculously effective season, it goes without saying that the former TCU Horned Frog will be a tough out in the NL Cy Young race.
For Greinke, his ceiling will be as high as the Diamondbacks decide to climb in their prospected improved season. But after posting 19 wins, an NL-leading 1.66 ERA and career bests in both WHIP (0.84) and strikeouts (225), it would be foolish to count Greinke out of the race just because he is adorning a less-famous Arizona jersey.
San Francisco’s Madison Bumgarner and Washington’s Max Scherzer will definitely make some noise, especially Bumgarner because the Giants play scary baseball in even-numbered years, but age could be a limiting factor for both. New York Mets Matt Harvey would have been a good MLB pick, but he was diagnosed with some blood clot issues recently, so trusting him would be a big mistake. Harvey’s health issues will, however, be a blessing in disguise for 2014 NL Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom who will have a chance to shine brightest in the talented Mets rotation, making him our best longshot pick at +1400 to win the NL CY Young award.
Bryce Harper Will Repeat As NL MVP
It is never a good idea to pick an odds-on favorite, but in this case, I think it is well-warranted to go with Bryce Harper to repeat as the NL MVP. Yes, with talented players like Andrew McCutchen (PIT), Paul Goldschmidt (ARI), Kris Bryant (CHC), Buster Posey (SF), Giancarlo Stanton (MIA), Joey Votto (CIN) and Yoenis Cespedes (NYM) all vying for the MVP title, the race won’t be easy. But then again, Washington’s Harper is a monster in the game. After picking up the Rookie of the Year award in his first season in the majors, he followed it with an unanimous pick MVP campaign last year. His 2015 season accrued 9.5 WAR in the process – leading all of MLB in OBP and slugging percentage to go along with an impeccable 27% home runs to fly balls ratio. Goldschmidt (+500) and Stanton (+650) will be the other favorites to watch for, and the Chicago duo of Anthony Rizzo (+1200) and Jason Heyward (+4000) offer value plays as long shots, but it is Harper (+200) that I will go with as my MLB pick for MVP.