Will the New York Yankees hold off Tampa Bay and Boston to win the AL East? In a season in which home runs are flying all over the place, which pitcher is going to claim the AL Cy Young award this season? Over in the National League, who’s going to win this year’s race for first place in the NL Central after a one-game tie-breaker was needed a year ago? Last but not least, are the Philadelphia Phillies ever going to get what they paid Bryce Harper for and will he ever be accepted by the city’s hard-working fans who love players that get down and dirty?
With the 2019 pro baseball regular season heating up along with the rising summer temperatures, now is a great time to make some bold MLB betting predictions as we approach the halfway point.
Ten Bold MLB Betting Predictions Heading into 2019 Midseason
Braves Win NL East
The Atlanta Braves might now be the favorites to win the NL East at -600, but they sure weren’t when the 2019 regular season opened. Just think about it..in March, the Braves were listed behind Philadelphia, Washington – and the New York Mets – as favorites to win the NL East despite taking the division title last year. Now up 4.5 games on Philadelphia and 6.5 games on Washington, I like the Braves to do just what I predicted in the offseason – win the NL East.
Charlie Morton Wins AL Cy Young AwardI have no idea what’s gotten into 35-year-old veteran right-hander Charlie Morton, but he’s been absolutely phenomenal for Tampa Bay this season. Morton is currently 8-1 with an AL-best 2.31 ERA in 16 starts and he’s clearly aging like a fine wine that gets better as time moves on. In 2017, Morton recorded a career-high 14 wins with Houston before surpassing that by one victory with the Astros last season (15-3).
Now, Morton, who is averaging 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings, is one of the biggest reasons the Tampa Bay Rays have gotten off to such a fantastic start this season. I’m going to say that Morton continues his amazing 2019 campaign to stun everyone for this year’s AL Cy Young award!
NL Central Comes Down to Final Game!
Last season, the NL Central was decided in a one-game tie-breaker between the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs. While Milwaukee won that game 3-1 to finish one game in front of their longtime division rivals, I’m thinking MLB fans and betting enthusiasts everywhere are looking at the exact same scenario for this season.
Chicago is currently 41-34 while Milwaukee is 1.5games back at 40-36, but the bottom line is that the NL Central looks like it’s going to be a tight race all season long and one that finishes in another one-game playoff.
Yankees Win AL East
Despite facing a ton of early injuries and challenges from both, the reigning World Series champion Boston Red Sox and improved Tampa Bay Rays, I’m going with the New York Yankees to win the AL East in 2019 at -500.
I mean, New York has gotten a ton of great play from some seriously unexpected contributors like D.J. LeMathieu (.314 BA, 48 RBI), Gleyber Torres (18 Hrs), Luke Voit (17 Hrs), Brett Gardner (11 Hrs) and Clint Frazier (11 Hrs) among others. I know New York will get Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton back from their respective injuries soon and that should definitely make the Bronx Bombers even more dangerous.
Harper Fizzles for Remainder of 2019 Campaign
I know the Phillies backed up the Brinks truck to the tune of $3330 million for star free agent addition Bryce Harper, but I’m thinking the Phils are going to regret their decision sooner rather than later for the 2015 NL MVP winner. Yes, Harper is still just 26-years-old and yes, he’s still got a boatload of talent, but Harper has batted over .300 just twice in seven seasons prior to this one while reaching the 100-RBI mark just once. Harper has also topped the 30 home run mark just twice in his career and the more I look at his career stats, the more I’m sure that Harper is good, but not great.
After batting just .249 last season with Washington, Harper is currently batting a career-low .242 at the time of this writing, although he does have 50 RBI. Last but not least, Harper is a large locker room jackass that doesn’t come off as a hard-working player because of his inherent athletic skills, but I’m from Philadelphia and something tells me dude is not going to fare very well in blue-collar Philly before getting traded about halfway through his insane 13-year deal.
NL MVP Race Chase Highlighted!
Yelich Hits 55 Homers
Whether the balls are juiced this season or not, 28-year-old reigning NL MVP winner Christian Yelich is mashing home runs at an almost historic pace (outside of the steroid era numbers) for the Milwaukee Brewers this season. Yelich currently has 29 home runs and 62 RBI while batting an incendiary .349 on the season.
He’s homered in three straight games at the time of this writing and five times in his last 10 games overall. The Brewers have had one 50-homer season in franchise history when Prince Fielder hit 50 back in 2007. I’m banking on Yelich to hit at least 55 dingers this season, if not 60.
Cody Bellinger Bangs 50
Christian Yelich won’t be the only player in the National League to reach the 50-home plateau as I fully expect Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger to reach that mark as well. L.A.’s tea, leader currently has 25 home runs and 61 RBI while batting a stupendous .356. After hitting an eye-opening 39 home runs as a rookie in 2017, Bellinger mashed only 25 a year ago.
Now, he’s already at the mark and the 2019 season isn’t quite at the halfway point. Yeah. I’, thinking 50 sounds great for Cody Bellinger this season.
Now in his 10th season, veteran first baseman Freddie Freeman is clearly playing the best baseball of his life right now. The 29-year-old has hit over .300 in each of the last three seasons while driving in at least 90 runs in two of those seasons.
Now that he’s got some help and the Braves are back on the national radar, I’m thinking Freeman has a great shot to win this year’s NL MVP award. Freeman currently has 21 home runs and 56 RBI and he’s batting a healthy .314. If he continues the pace he’s on, I see no reason why Freeman won’t challenge to win the NL MVP award.
Ronald Acuna Jr.
With a stellar 17 home runs, 49 RBI and a solid .289 batting average, many people are already expecting sweet-swinging outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. to surpass Mike Trout as the game’s best all-around player. Now in his second season, Acuna Jr. is clearly going to be a perennial all-star for years to come!
Don’t look now, but the Arizona Diamondbacks have a seriously gifted player blossoming into star status in do-it-all utility man Ketel Marte.
First off, the 25-year-old Marte is almost indispensable, having started 38 games in center field and 29 games at second base, plus several other games at shortstop. More importantly, with 20 home runs, a healthy .309 batting average, and 51 RBI, Marte is on pace to hit 44 home runs. If Arizona challenges for a playoff berth, Marte will get plenty of consideration.