MLB Baseball Futures
Baseball futures betting markets seem to keep expanding each year. MLB baseball gets the least futures action when compared to other major sports, but it is still hugely popular.
The most popular baseball future bet is which team will win the World Series.
Let’s take a look at understanding baseball future odds and other vital aspects you need to consider when placing profitable MLB future bets.
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The most common baseball futures bet in MLB markets is odds to win the World Series. Betting on the American and National League Pennants aren’t far behind.
However, there are many other future options for the MLB season.
- Divisional winners
- Seasonal awards, such as the MVPs of each league, and the winner of the Cy Young
- Player centered futures, such as which player will have the most home runs or strikeouts.
2020 Odds To Win the World Series – MLB Future Odds
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+400|
|New York Yankees||+400|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+2800|
|New York Mets||+3300|
|Los Angeles Angels||+4000|
|Chicago White Sox||+4500|
|Boston Red Sox||+5000|
|San Diego Padres||+6600|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+25000|
|Kansas City Royals||+50000|
|San Francisco Giants||+50000|
2020 National League Pennant Futures – MLB Future Odds
|LOS ANGELES DODGERS||+100|
|ST LOUIS CARDINALS||+900|
|NEW YORK METS||+850|
|SAN DIEGO PADRES||+2200|
|SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS||+8000|
2020 American League Pennant Futures – MLB Future Odds
|NEW YORK YANKEES||+150|
|BOSTON RED SOX||+1500|
|TAMPA BAY RAYS||+800|
|LOS ANGELES ANGELS||+1000|
|CHICAGO WHITE SOX||+1200|
|TORONTO BLUE JAYS||+15000|
|KANSAS CITY ROYALS||+15000|
The odds on futures, at least at most US-facing sportsbooks will always be given in American odds, otherwise known as money line odds.
Futures are outright wagers, meaning there is no point spread to deal with, and your selection must win the event outright.
MLB Divisional Futures
Now every sportsbook online has odds on which team will win their respective divisions. This is another opportunity to find value for bettors.
If you can identify a team that is a dark horse in the division and predict it accurately, you may be in for a big payday.
MLB Seasonal Awards Futures
There are also futures available on which player may win the MVP Award in the AL and NL and which pitcher will win the Cy Young.
Some betting sites may offer odds on Gold Gloves or Silver Slugger awards or even Manager of the Year, but these markets can be hard to find.
MLB Player Performance Futures
This betting market is extremely wide open and has a lot of different categories. Bettors can wager on the pitcher that has the most strikeouts throughout the season or the hitter who has the most home runs.
There are also props available where you can even place bets on the number of RBIs by a particular player or an over/under bet involving his batting average. It is really up to the mind of the oddsmaker how far they go with performance futures.
Bankroll Considerations In MLB Future Bets
Before we dive into the strategy aspect, it’s worth considering if futures are worth wagering as a sports bettor. Many players are new to sports betting and trying to build a bankroll.
For that reason, tying money in futures may not be the way to go. Consider that if you bet on a future at the start or before the baseball season, late March or early April, that this money will most likely be tied up until the end of September or late October.
If you’re planning on betting on baseball throughout the season (we’re assuming that’s the case) it may be better to hold onto the money as a part of your bankroll instead of sinking it into futures.
Tying Up Your Bankroll
That money is worth a lot when you can wager it daily, particularly at the beginning of your sports betting career. Consider before betting futures if you’re comfortable tying up your bankroll several months or more.
Of course, since MLB futures are available until the end of the season and once again in the playoffs, there are periods where you may only have to wait a month or two or a few weeks for the bet to settle.
These allow players to get their money back quickly if they find some wagers they like compared tying their money up for months. And, there is still plenty of value to be found during the later parts of the season.
Understanding MLB Baseball Futures Pricing
One of the biggest problems with futures is that they are juiced too heavily or by sportsbooks. This is especially true for smaller sportsbooks and those with lower ratings. It makes it much harder to win when the bookmaker charges a large commission or fee for simply placing a bet.
Their futures are often the worst markets they have available. The reason for this is that futures are still a market that is mostly geared towards recreational bettors.
For instance, many sportsbooks, even larger ones, won’t accept more than $500 on a futures wager. However, this varies a bit depending on where you bet.
Many sportsbooks have more significant limits on futures. The good news here is that this can be avoided by understanding implied probability. It’s a fair bit work to take the vigorish out of futures markets, but the math is still pretty simple.
Baseball Line Shopping
Line shopping is paramount when betting futures. Particularly in baseball, where there are far more differences between futures markets compared to NFL futures.
The odds from sportsbook to sportsbook can vary quite a bit. Shopping odds here is critical. If you can find a price you like at several different sportsbooks, then it’s actually pretty easy to get a thousand dollars or more on a futures bet.
It’s extremely tough to circumvent betting limits with futures (not possible at any shop we can think of), so this may be your only option if you can’t find a sportsbook that takes higher limits.
Take Advantage Of Baseball’s Randomness
It’s worth keeping in mind that futures are often heavily weighted on public opinion or the media’s perception of a team, compared to a hard analysis of their roster.
Of course, the oddsmakers aren’t valuing the public’s opinion that profoundly, but it’s accounted for much more in futures than other markets, such as sides and totals on individual games.
In most cases, sportsbooks will receive heavy action on favorites, compared to underdogs when it comes to futures.
Recreational gamblers bet considerably more favorites than underdogs, so this makes a lot of sense.
Baseball Futures Prices On Underdogs
Prices on underdogs in futures markets are going to be better than favorites in general because of this factor. This offers value to sharp bettors in baseball more than any other sport, due to the game’s randomness.
There is a lot of short-term luck in baseball. In the MLB, teams come out of nowhere in the postseason to win the Series.
The Variance Factor
The variance factor increases heavily in the postseason, where instead of playing 162 games to decide divisional winners, which teams move on comes down to a much, much smaller sample size.
There is one-game Wild Card playoff, a five-game Divisional Series, and both the Championship Series and World Series are both seven games. There is a ton of luck involved, clearly, but as far as 5 and 7 games go, the variance factor is extremely high.
Luck In Baseball And MLB Futures Odds
While this team may be better than that team on paper, a lot of the baseball playoffs come down to which organizations are hitting and pitching the best, come October. Baseball is rarely dominated by dynasties these days, at least, when it comes to championships. Regular-season success is a different story.
Teams consistently make the playoffs but there is a lot of variance involved in the final outcome of the postseason. The “best” teams, when it comes to regular-season record, more often than not, isn’t the team winning the World Series.
The 2011 St. Louis Cardinals’ Futures
One of the best stories in recent years regarding baseball futures is the St. Louis man that bet the Cardinals at 999/1 to win the World Series. At the time, the Cardinals were five games back of the final Wild Card spot with 15 games left to play.
The unidentified fan put down $250 on the Cardinals at 500/1 win the NL Pennant, another $250 on them winning the World Title at 999/1. The Cardinals ended up doing both, netting the man $125,000 for his first bet and around $250,000 for his second wager, for a cool $375,000 payday.