The NBA and NHL are finishing up their seasons, so it’s a great time to turn our attention to baseball. After a couple of months of play, the playoff contenders are coming into focus, and players are emerging for end-of-season awards.
Do you know how the MLB season and awards will turn out? Well, in any case, we’ve prepared this guide to give you some pointers on MLB wagering as well as highlighting some teams and players who might currently be undervalued when it comes to playoff/WS/awards Odds.
We have also listed the top MLB futures betting sites, with BetOnline being our top pick.
Want to find out more? Keep on reading!
Best Baseball Futures Betting Sites
- BetOnline: Best overall
- Bovada: Excellent odds
- BUSR: Variety of betting markets
- MyBookie: Top pick for mobile betting
- EveryGame: 20+ years in the industry
- XBet: Easy-to-use website
- Thunderpick: Top pick for crypto
- BetUS: Features BetUS TV
- SportsBetting.ag: $1,000 welcome bonus available
- GTBet: 24/7 customer support
What are Baseball Futures, and How Do They Work?
When we say MLB Futures betting, we are referring to wagers based on end-of-season outcomes. It might refer to predicting which team will win the pennant or World Series, or a futures bet could also be related to an individual player winning an award (such as league MVP, Cy Young, or Rookie of the Year) at the end of the season.
If you are familiar with Prop bets, you can look at Futures bets as “Very Long Term Prop bets.”
Because the results of these bets are months away, it can make them very difficult to predict. The benefit to that difficulty is that the odds often offer a generous return.
For this preview, we will be looking at the following MLB futures bets.
- World Series Winner odds
- AL/NL Pennant Winner odds
- Playoff odds
- AL/NL MVP odds
- AL/NL Cy Young odds
- AL/NL Rookie of the Year odds
For each category, we will highlight a few teams/players amongst the favorites and a few further down the list of odds. We’ll also select one long shot for each wager as well as one “fade” candidate who might be overvalued in the current odds.
Keep in mind, with each of these teams/players we highlight (other than the fades) we aren’t saying they are who we pick to win, but rather that their current odds might be undervaluing their chances.
Best MLB Futures Bets for 2023 (Odds Courtesy of BetOnline)
Here are some of the MLB futures odds we found:
World Series Odds
- Atlanta Braves (+500)
- Los Angeles Dodgers (+650)
- Philadelphia Phillies (+2500)
- Baltimore Orioles (+4500)
- Boston Red Sox (+6600)
- New York Yankees (+1200)
- New York Mets (+1400)
When it comes to betting on the World Series, there can be only one winner, but you can wager on more than one team and still come out on top. The Braves and Dodgers have been at the top of the NL World Series Odds for the last several seasons, and they look to be the class of the National League once again. If either of these clubs starts to pull away from the league in the coming weeks, you are going to see those odds drop considerably. Both are currently offering great value.
We’ve selected one dark horse squad from each league. The defending NL Champion Philadelphia Phillies (+2500) have suffered through injuries and underperformance this season, but they have a talent-laden roster with time to gel and have proven that they can reach the World Series as a wild card.
The Baltimore Orioles look to be ahead of schedule in their rebuild and have more than held their own in the brutal AL East. They look to have future (or current) stars all over the lineup and, as of this writing, would be in the AL playoffs. To get those WS odds is an incredible value.
Our World Series Long Shot, the Boston Red Sox (+6600), also plays in the AL East, which could end up sending four teams to the playoffs.
The teams below Tampa Bay have been jumping one another in the standings all season; if Boston is still contending in July, they have the money to add at the trade deadline, and this franchise has a (recent) history of unexpected titles. Consider that the Red Sox are offering more than quadruple the return of the Toronto Blue Jays.
In what we hope isn’t an insult to the Big Apple, we are facing the New York Yankees and New York Mets. Again, this is for the World Series Odds. Both teams could make the playoffs (more on that later), but they are flawed in ways that make us doubt their ability to win it all.
The Mets are star-studded, but it’s hard to imagine both Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer having enough gas in the tank for a deep October run. The Yankee’s recent playoff history doesn’t suggest they are capable of making the World Series, let alone winning it.
- Texas Rangers (-155)
- Cleveland Guardians (+300)
- Chicago Cubs (+325)
- Cincinnati Reds (+1600)
- Detroit Tigers (+1000)
- San Diego Padres (+110 to NOT make the playoffs)
Betting on Playoff futures is a much different game than World Series futures, as you have a much lower bar to reach. As such, the odds are significantly lower than WS futures, yet you can still find really great value in both leagues.
When you are looking for a favorite to wager on, it doesn’t make much sense to put anything down on a team like the Braves (-5000) or Rays (-1600). Waiting months for a pittance of a return is a waste of resources, especially with so many superior options. The Texas Rangers lead the AL West, and while they still come in with negative odds (-155), you can bet $30 to win almost $20 on a team that has been amongst the best in baseball so far. That’s a better return than the stock market if you pay attention to such things.
There were a number of teams in the middle range of odds who were tempting us, which is a sign of how many teams are in the playoff race. We really like the Cleveland Guardians and Chicago Cubs, both of whom are offering baseball playoff odds that would triple your money. Both teams are just a handful of games out of first place in their divisions.
Neither the AL or NL Central has a dominant frontrunner this season, and both should be competitive down to the last week of the season. That’s why our long shots are also from the Central Divisions.
Detroit is actually ahead of Cleveland as of this writing, and the Reds are only a game or so behind the Cubs. Despite that, the Tigers are offering more than three times the return of the Guardians, and the Reds are currently giving odds almost FIVE times the Value of the Cubs.
Again, we aren’t saying that these teams are juggernauts. But you don’t have to be to make the playoffs, and as we said before, no one is running away in the AL or NL Central. Even a small wager can deliver a healthy return if either of these teams gets just a tiny bit better.
We have a fade candidate for the Playoffs, the San Diego Padres, who doesn’t quite embody the “whole is greater than the sum of their parts” principle. Quite the opposite, actually, and while the Padres have the names and payroll fit for a Dynasty, the actual results don’t match up.
AL and NL MVP odds
- Juan Soto (+1200)
- Aaron Judge (+700)
- Bryce Harper (+1800)
- Adlee Ruschman (+3000)
- Will Smith (+5000)
- Trea Turner (+5000)
Making your MVP wagers before the all-star break can yield a HUGE return. These are the types of wagers that can be worth the time it takes to wait for them to cash.
You need to look no further for proof than the tasty odds being offered for Juan Soto and Aaron Judge. While Soto hasn’t yet matched his Nationals production in San Diego, at the time of this writing, he was starting to really heat up, and considering the hundreds of millions of dollars he stands to make as a free agent in the off-season he has all the motivation he needs.
Similarly, Judge is back from an early season injury and mashing at a similar rate to last year, when he broke the American League record for Home Runs in a season. Even if you think Shohei Otani (-130) is ahead of Judge currently, the value doesn’t make up for the difference with this much season ahead of us.
The Value keeps on getting better down the list with Bryce Harper (+1800), who returned ahead of schedule from his elbow injury like he never missed a beat and already has two Most Valuable Player awards. The Phillies have underachieved thus far, and if Harper can help turn their season around, he could be rewarded with a third MVP.
Orioles Catcher Adley Rutschman (+3000) is the leader of an exciting, young Baltimore team that has the look of a playoff team. MLB MVP odds have been friendly to Catchers over the years, which makes sense even if you just consider the amount of abuse they put themselves through.
On the subject of Catchers, we’d like to introduce you to Will Smith, who puts up DH numbers while still lining up behind the plate. His numbers are even better than Rutschman’s, and the Value (+5000) is kind of nuts.
Bryce Harper’s return to action could be just the thing to get Trea Turner up to his usual levels of production in Philly. He has the advantage of playing a premium defensive position which could be a tiebreaker with Harper if it comes to it. Getting more than double the value of Bryce (+5000) is nice too.
AL and NL CY Young Odds
- Garrett Cole (+400)
- Clayton Kershaw (+1200)
- Nathan Eovaldi (+2000)
- Sonny Gray (+2200)
- Jacob Degrom (+7500)
- Marcus Stroman (+7500)
When you look at the odds for some of the other pitchers on the board, you might be inclined to skip past the favorites, as CY Young is prone to more surprise winners than the MVP. We built this preview with a favorites section, though, and with good reason. The Yankees Garrett Cole might need to carry the team all year while the rest of the pitching staff takes turns on the IL. Through his first 10 starts, he’s looking the part of a Cy Young winner and could quadruple your money if you get in while he’s (+400).
Our NL favorite pick might seem sentimental initially, but Clayton Kershaw has performed well this season and has gotten run support in his starts. Even if he doesn’t put up the innings of some other contenders, he has the potential to get 20 wins while never going past the 6th inning. While the importance of wins has diminished over the past decade or so, the voters might be willing to use it to justify giving Clayton one more Cy Young. You know, baseball writers might be some of the most sentimental people on earth.
Our Dark Horses are a couple of ex-Yankees who are thriving outside of the big apple. Nathan Eovaldi and Sonny Grey are on track for career-best seasons; if their teams make it to the playoffs, they could gain some votes for the Cy.
And our long shots are also a couple of ex-New Yorkers, although these guys played for the cross-town Mets. Jacob Degrom already has a Cy Young to his name, and the Rangers are currently leading the AL West. The Cubs may not be leading the division, but the playoffs are within reach, which would be an even bigger surprise than the Rangers winning the division. Marcus Stroman has led the Cubs staff thus far and has as good of a shot as anyone in the long odds department.
AL and NL Rookie of the Year Odds
- Corbin Carroll (+175)
- Hunter Brown (+900)
- Yennier Cano (+1800)
- Gunnar Henderson (+2000)
- Elly De La Cruz (-2500)
- Jordan Walker (-5000)
At this point in the season, Corbin Carroll is looking like he might get MVP votes, let alone ROY votes. Normally with this many games to play, we wouldn’t be jazzed at his (+175) odds, but he is looking very comfortable in the big leagues and was an early season favorite for the award.
In the American League, we sure do like the (+900) odds that Hunter Brown is currently drawing. While he hasn’t specifically “replaced” Justin Verlander in the Astros rotation, you can be sure that’s what the “ROY promotional packets” the voters will get from Houston will say. If they are smart, they will have the packages delivered by UPS with the message “Look what Brown has done for us.”
Our Dark Horses (some of these descriptions are slightly arbitrary, look at the odds and call them whatever you want) both come from Baltimore. Yennier Cano is a flamethrowing reliever who looks unhittable at times, and Gunnar Henderson – well, he’s a fine player, but we think his name alone is probably going to get him 10 percent of the vote regardless of his stats. We said the writers were sentimental, not smart.
Both of our long shots aren’t even playing in the majors right now, so the shot doesn’t get any longer than that. Cardinals outfielder/DH Jordan Walker began the season right next to Carroll amongst the NL ROY front runners. He got off to a decent start, but a logjam of outfielders and a small slump had him sent back to the minors, but he’s just an injury away from returning, and the way the Cards season is going, they might want to get the young guys some playing time.
Cincinnati Reds gargantuan shortstop Elly De La Cruz might not even play in the majors this season due to club ownership having open contempt for their fans (not really, but maybe?) If the club is still hanging around the playoffs in June, they have no excuse to deprive us of seeing one of the most exciting prospects in the game. That would give him enough time to make a play for the ROY, and (+2500) would give his backers a large smile.
MLB Futures Betting Tips and Strategies to Consider
For those unfamiliar with baseball betting using futures (or anyone, we don’t care!) We’ve put together a few suggestions that might assist you in choosing your future wagers and how much to put on each bet.
Allocate your resources: If you are going to bet on Baseball futures, determine how much you can afford to wager on baseball for the season (this number is your bankroll) and then figure out how much (if any) you want to save for betting on games during the season and the playoffs.
What you have left can now be used for your future wagers.
Tip: Divide your bankroll by 100, and this number will be 1 betting unit. This will be helpful in keeping track of what you’ve wagered and how many bets you have left. For reference, professional sports gamblers rarely put more than 2 or 3 units on ANY wager.
If you see value in a futures wager, that might be a time to dedicate 1 or 2 full units if you can afford to have that money out of reach for months. The return could make it more than worth the wait.
Take advantage of the market: Anytime a new market opens up, there are going to be loads of competitors vying for your attention and business. This can really be turned to your advantage.
To begin with, there are dozens and dozens of legitimate online sportsbooks in states where it is legal. In order to entice customers, they will offer incredible bonuses. A smart baseball betting strategy is to divide your bankroll between several options, taking advantage of all the different bonuses available to you.
Having access to a number of different online options can also serve you in finding the best odds. Many of these sportsbooks are sourcing their lines and odds from a variety of places, which often can result in a variety of different odds being available to the savvy wagerer.
Because these odds differences can be the difference between winning and losing, they often close up quickly as bettors swarm to the place with the favorable odds.
When you are registered at a number of online sportsbooks, you can quickly take advantage of these edges. Why wouldn’t you want to guarantee the best odds on every bet?
Ignorance is NOT bliss: Yea, no big deal to put a small bet on some longshot for Cy Young or MVP. After all, it’s a long shot, right? WRONG! With all the players available, why not take five minutes and look at a few numbers (preferably applicable statistics for your pick).
The pros are pouring over analytics like they were day traders (many were). The least you can do is find out if your Rookie of the Year pick is even on the roster, right?
P.T. Barnum would love the Parlay: It was Barnum who allegedly said, “There’s a sucker born every minute,” and while we aren’t willing to do the work to confirm that, it sure seems true. The parlay can be enticing, but you are ALWAYS better off taking all the wagers you were going to put into a parlay and making them as separate bets. The odds are in your favor that way, plus one loss won’t kill the whole bet. Putting multiple futures into a parlay is not advisable.
Double or triple up?: While parlays are the shell game of sports wagering, there is a form of combination betting that might actually be a good strategy for futures. While it may seem like wasting a wager, there is some logic.
For example, if you feel like the National League is a level above the American League and the Braves (+500) and Dodgers (+650) are the class of the NL, it might be wise to put a World Series future bet on both teams, splitting your WS bet allocation between them. If either were to cash, you would still get a return of at least double your total investment, if not triple.
Where to Bet MLB Futures Online
You can bet on Major League Baseball Futures at a number of online sportsbooks or even at your local brick-and-mortar establishment, depending on where you live.
These sites have been around for years, building up a reputation for treating players fairly. That’s far from the only reason to bet with them, though:
- They’re Convenient: You can get the most up-to-date lines anytime you want, simply by refreshing the page.
- They Reward Players: These sites are always competing for your business and are constantly offering bonuses and special promotions. They’re always looking for ways to get you into the action – other MLB betting apps simply can’t compete with that.
- They Offer Round-The-Clock Action: You can bet on most sports matchups right up to the start time, and then you can get live bets during the game.
Why Bet on MLB Futures Online?
In a season as long as Major League Baseball’s, it’s nice to look forward to something at the end of it all. For some teams, it’s a playoff appearance; for ONE team, the season will end with a World Championship. And for a few players, their seasons will end with individual acclaim.
If you are a smart bettor, you could be celebrating along with these teams or players after correctly predicting their success.
Here are some reasons why betting on MLB Futures represents unique value:
- Great odds: You can bet baseball futures right up until the end of the season, but the closer we get to October, the less the Odds will favor the bettor. When you make a futures bet this early, you are likely locking in the best odds of the season.
- Hall of Fame History Makers: Did you know that the Arizona Diamondbacks have never had a Rookie of the Year winner? Could this be the year? Will Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, or Clayton Kershaw add a fourth Cy Young? Could Shohei Otani pull the rare MVP/CY Young double? History is always being made in Major League Baseball, and you can even make a buck on it if you pick right.
- Long Shot Possibilities: With individual baseball awards like Cy Young or Rookie of the Year, it’s not at all out of the question for an unexpected name to come out of nowhere and win. You could be in for a huge payout if you can predict the surprise winners.
Best MLB Futures Betting Odds Online: FAQs
When Do the MLB Playoffs Start?
The MLB regular season ends on October first. The playoffs are scheduled to begin on October third.
For now, the first game of the baseball World Series is TBA, but the series is scheduled to end by November fourth.
When Are MLB Individual Honors Awarded?
The top three vote-getters for each award are announced about a week after the conclusion of the World Series.
Then, the following week MLB will reveal the winners of the various awards over the course of several days, culminating in the naming of the AL and NL Most Valuable Players.
Who Made the MLB Playoffs and World Series Last Season?
Last season the American League Playoff teams were the Seattle Mariners, Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays, Cleveland Guardians, New York Yankees, and Houston Astros.
The National League Playoff teams were the San Diego Padres, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, St.Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Atlanta Braves. The Houston Astros defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series.
Who Were the MLB Award Winners Last Season?
The 2022 Rookies of the year were Seattle Mariners outfielder Julio Rodriguez in the AL and Outfielder Michael Harris of the Atlanta Braves in the NL.
As for the 2022 Cy Young Winners, they were Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros (AL) and Sandy Alcantara of the Miami Marlins (NL).
And the 2022 League MVPs were NY Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge in the American League and St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt in the National League.
Check these out before you leave:
Ready to Bet on Baseball Futures?
For the baseball season, you can easily see where things are heading with simple research.
While there is more than enough season left for things to change, if you think you know which way the wind is blowing for your MLB futures bet, lock in the best odds you can find while the value is as high as it gets!
If you are looking for the top betting sites, consider our top picks, including BetOnline.
As always, wager responsibly, and we wish you good luck.
DISCLAIMER: 21+ only. The information on this site is for entertainment purposes only. Online gambling comes with many risks. Players are advised to gamble responsibly and only use funds they can afford to lose. Remember, gambling is only intended for entertainment purposes and is not a solution to any financial difficulties.
Gambling laws and policies vary from one region to another. Some sites mentioned in this review may not be accessible in your area. Always do your due diligence and check your local gambling policies. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
If you suspect you’re becoming addicted to gambling, seek help immediately by contacting the National Gambling Helpline at 1-800-522-4700.
The following resources may be helpful as well: