The MLB will be back in action tomorrow for the second half of the season, and the next few weeks will determine a lot about certain franchises' futures. With plenty of teams looking at the possibility of being sellers at the deadline, including the St. Louis Cardinals, who publicly said they would be yesterday, those teams need to get off to a strong start in the second half of the season.
Today we’ll look at some midseason futures bets that could offer an excellent opportunity to hedge some first-half bets or turn a nice profit by betting on a few teams to turn their season around.
Cincinnati Reds to Make the Playoffs (+100 on DraftKings): Yes, I know this bet does not have the same appeal that it did prior to the Elly De La Cruz call-up, but there is a chance this is the last time we see a plus sign in front of their number. While their pitching is a concern, the NL Central division as a whole is a mess, and if the Cubs can’t figure it out, then this is a two-team race between the Reds and Brewers.
Cleveland Guardians to Make the Playoffs (+130): This is another team that is playing in a lackluster division, turning into a two-team race. The Guardians are sitting at 45-45 and are .5 game up on the Twins heading into the second half. While this team ranks 27th in runs per game and 26th in OPS, the history of making playoff runs is there. Not to mention, they boast a solid pitching staff that has the 10th-best FIP in the league.
San Diego Padres to Make the Playoffs (+300): I’ll start this with two quick notes: this should be a small unit to maybe a half-unit play, and the second is, why not? The first half of the season went about as badly as it could’ve gone for San Diego, and they are still six games back from the wild card, and two of the teams that currently have a wild card spot are in their division.
With the star power in their lineup, I do not see them being ranked 18th in runs per game like they are now by the end of the regular season. With their pitching staff ranked 5th in opponents batting average, as long as the offense can turn it around, I think we see a run from The Friars.
Seattle Mariners Over 83.5 Wins (-120): Seattle was another team that failed to live up to expectations in the first half of the season. Despite making an All-Star game appearance, the Mariners star, Julio Rodriguez, is hitting .249 after the first half. That said, though, Seattle has 45 wins at the moment, which means they would need 39 wins in the second half for this bet to cash.
With their pitching staff boasting the 3rd best xFIP in the league and the offense ranked 14th in wRC+, there is a good chance we see a solid second half from Seattle.
St. Louis Cardinals Under 75.5 Wins (-105): After an abysmal first half that has the Cardinals with 38 wins, St. Louis sits 11 games out in the NL Wild Card. Not to mention their President of Baseball Operations announced they will be trading people at the deadline. With their pitching staff being ranked 20th in xFIP and the team looking to move players, I don’t see them being able to win 38 games again in the second half.
Texas Rangers to win the AL West (+135): The Rangers will enter the second half of the season with a two-game lead over the Astros in the division and the second-best record in the American League. Texas has the second-best OPS and wRC+ in the league, and Houston ranks 17th and 13th in those categories, respectively. If their pitching staff can continue to pitch at a 4.13 FIP, then I think getting this number for them to win the division is excellent midseason value.
Division Straight Trifecta of ARI 1st/LA 2nd/SDP 3rd (+1100): If you’re looking for a small unit longshot play, then I think this bet is worth a look. Arizona was extremely impressive in the first half, and the Dodgers' rotation questions don’t make them a lock to win the division. If San Diego comes out hot, makes a run, and creates chaos, then this outcome could be a real possibility.
*All odds via DraftKings Sportsbook