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MLB All-Star Game, Home Run Derby & 2022 futures picks

MLB best bets

It’s the Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star break, with the 2022 Home Run Derby starting at 8pm ET on Monday and the All-Star Game starting at 7:30pm on Tuesday. Here are the best bets on the Derby, the Midsummer Classic, and on the division and award winners this season.

Corey Seager to win the Home Run Derby

Pete Alonso is the prototypical Home Run Derby champion. He’s won two straight, and it seems everyone likes him to win a third. He’s a +200 favorite, but only Ken Griffey Jr. has won three straight derbies, so it might pay to take the field. Kyle Schwarber was the runner-up in 2018 and is +330. It is not surprising that most betting sites have those two as favorites, especially in pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium, where the power alleys are 380 feet to the fence. Definitely consider either or both for the longest home run, although they’re only paying -110.

Consider this bargain: Jose Ramirez at +155 to win his matchup against Juan Soto, who recently turned down a 15-year, $440 million contract offer from the Nationals. Corey Seager to win his matchup against Julio Rodriguez is also a bargain at +140. The best bet is on Seager to win the derby. He hit 58 of his 104 Dodger dingers at Dodger Stadium, and he’s a bargain at +1100.

Corey Seager to win Home Run Derby


National League (-115) vs American League (-105)

Pitching always wins these games, and the National League has the better of it. But the best bats are in the American League. The AL might have the best hitter and the best pitcher in the same body. There is a good chance Shohei Ohtani goes on to be MVP and decides the game with both his arm and his bat. That pays +390. Plus, the return on the American League to win by two or more is an irresistible +170. The American League to win and the total runs to come in under 7.5 at +295 is also attractive given what we know about these games from the past: pitching rules the day. The last two and four of the last five Midsummer Classics have come in at seven or fewer runs.

If you’re looking for an All-Star MVP dark horse, Minnesota’s Luis Arraez is going to enter the game in a big spot and probably get a hit. They don’t call him ‘La Regadera’ (The Sprinkler) for nothing. His .338 batting average leads all of baseball, and his 28 strikeouts is second-fewest by just one behind Cleveland’s Steven Kwan, who’s had 32 fewer at-bats. Arraez to win MVP pays +7000.

American League -1.5


2022 MLB division winners

It’s hard not to bet on both New York teams to win their divisions. The Yankees are 13 games up on Tampa Bay in the AL East, and the Rays are 10 games over .500. But the return on that bet is just -10000. You’d be better off betting on the Mets to run away from the Braves in the NL East. The Mets currently hold a 2.5-game lead, have the better starting pitching staff, will trade for a better bullpen, and are basically Atlanta’s equal on offense. Plus, that bet pays -190.

The best bet is on the Minnesota Twins to win the AL Central at +110 despite leading the division by only two games. They stumbled into the All-Star break, but have often been one of the best second-half teams in baseball. They will trade for better relievers and maybe even a starter, because the entire front office might be on a hot seat. Betting on the Cardinals to win the NL Central might be a better bargain. They’re a half game out and pay +165.

Minnesota Twins to win AL Central


2022 MVP and Cy Young Award winners

It’s hard not to like Shohei Ohtani to win AL MVP at -115… and to win the Cy Young at +700. Justin Verlander has looked every bit like the best pitcher in baseball – still! – but Sandy Alcantara might have him beat. Alcantara is currently a -125 favorite for the NL Cy Young, and there is no reason why he wouldn’t win it. Max Scherzer could mess around and make a run, and he’s a bargain at +3000.

For an AL MVP bargain, consider Houston’s designated hitter Yordan Alvarez. Sure, he doesn’t play a position, but he’s the best hitter in baseball. He’s got a 1.058 OPS. He’s accounted for 57 runs and 60 RBI, and that’s in just 75 games. He has 71 fewer at-bats than NL MVP frontrunner Paul Goldschmidt (+100) and has six more homers and just four fewer walks.

For an NL MVP bargain, take Freddie Freeman of the Dodgers. He’s currently the second-best hitter in the National League behind Goldschmidt, but he and the Dodgers are sure to be there in the end, whereas the Cardinals are more of a question mark. He could very easily go on a tear the way he’s hit the ball his entire career. The man has a .297 career batting average. You just don’t see that much anymore.

Shohei Ohtani to win AL Cy Young Award


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