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The MLB season has arrived and The Wolf has scouted every team in every division to give us his full season preview.

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2017 MLB Season Future Bets

2017 MLB Divisional Previews

AL Central

Cleveland Indians
The AL Central is again expected to be dominated by the Indians. They went 102-60 last season, which included one of the longest winning streaks in history. However, the Yankees knocked them in the playoffs. However, they should be in contention once again. They have one of the strongest rotations in the MLB, headed by Corey Kluber. He went 18-4 last season with an ERA of just 2.25. He’ll be the key for the Indians reaching the playoffs and more this season. Their bullpen has been torn apart from last season with Bryan Shaw to the Rockies, Boone Logan to the Brewers and Joe Smith to the Astros. Also Carlos Santana left to the Phillies. They did add Mike Napoli and Yonder Alonso to cover the loss of Santana. Jose Ramirez is coming off a great season and Francisco Lindor is a star. So the Wolf isn’t too worried about this team. The Indians should win this division again
To win AL Central – $1.20
To win World Series – $9

Minnesota Twins
The Twins were the surprise wildcard team in the AL last season and the Wolf can see them challenging for the division in 2018. Mainly because of their pitching moves. They added strong closer Fernando Rodney, solid reliever Addison Reed, SP Jake Odorizzi and SP Lance Lynn. They weren’t great at keeping runners off the bases last season so with those four inclusions, the Wolf is predicting major improvements. However, the loss of SP Ervin Santana early on this season is a blow. On offence, they added the power of Logan Morrison and he’ll improve an already strong lineup. They finished just behind the Indians for runs scored and Morrison improves their ability to clear the bases. Along with Miguel Sano, this batting lineup will be fun to watch. In 2017, they also actually had a better road record so they should win more home games with those offseason additions. So the Wolf can see them finishing around the Wild Card race.
To win AL Central – $6
To win World Series – $51

Kansas City Royals
The Royals lost Eric Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain in the offseason and the Wolf can’t see the Royals winning the AL Central without them. They would be glad to have Mike Moustakas back after a breakout season (38 HR). But Hosmer and Cain leave a big gap in the lineup. They added Lucas Duda at 1B as cover and they’ll hope he puts up similar numbers (30 home runs last year). In the pitching department, Danny Duffy will likely be their number one starter after they let Jason Vargas leave in the offseason. The concern is the middle of the rotation with Kennedy and Hammel both posting a 5+ ERA last season. So the Wolf says beating the Twins and Indians for the AL Central isn’t possible.
To win AL Central – $17
To win World Series – $151

Chicago White Sox
It will likely be another rebuilding season for the White Sox. They’ll be hoping to continually develop their younger players for the future in 2018. They finished with 67 wins last season and the key to their improvement will start with winning on the road (28-53 last season). Another interesting story to watch is whether they trade the talented Jose Abreu. He led the team with 33 home runs and 102 RBI last season but could be another trade piece for the White Sox as they look for prospects. The pitching rotation is looking weak and that will likely be their downfall. James Shields has been below his best for the last two seasons but he’ll be their Opening day starter. They’ve also added Miguel Gonzalez from the Rangers after an 8-13 record. So they’ll likely struggle to win over 80 games again.
To win AL Central – $21
To win World Series – $251 

Detroit Tigers
The Wolf says it’s going to be another tough season for the Tigers. They went 64-98 last season and traded away star pitcher Justin Verlander. But hopefully that will help them improve in the future. They added Mike Fiers and Liriano which could help them win a few more games. Fulmer is their best pitcher and he posted a 3.67 ERA last season. In the offseason, they also traded veteran Ian Kinsler and Anibal Sanchez’s Tigers run is over. Their batting lineup struggled in 2017 and they’ll need to improve. Only one starter had a batting average over .300, which was JD Martinez (Now in Boston). RF Nicholas Castellanos is the young player to watch and veteran Miguel Cabrera will look to rebound from a down season. So in 2018, the Wolf says they can win over 70 games if they start winning at home (34-47 last season). They have a decent rotation and a few talented players in their batting lineup.
To win AL Central – $21
To win World Series – $251 

Verdict: To win AL Central – Cleveland Indians @ 1.20

AL East

New York Yankees
The Yankees were just one win away from the World Series last season and the Wolf is tipping another strong season. New York were big spenders in the offseason with former Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton now in pinstripes. Stanton instantly improves their batting lineup and with Aaron Judge coming off 52 home runs, the Wolf will enjoy watching this trio. They combined for 111 home runs last season and opposing pitchers will not like heading to Yankee Stadium this season. In the pitching department, they missed out on Gerrit Cole but they’re still very strong. CC Sabathia is back for another year and so is Tanaka. Luis Severino is a pitcher to watch and Chapman out of the pen is a tough battle in the 9th. There isn’t much concerns for the Yankees unless injuries hit their best players. They also went 11-8 against the Red Sox and play 6 games against them in September. The Wolf can see them winning most of those on their way to the AL East title and more.
To win AL East – $1.80
To win World Series – $6

Boston Red Sox
After winning the AL East in 2017, the Red Sox weren’t satisfied and sacked manager John Farrell. Former Red Sox Alex Cora is now in charge and will look to lead his side to World Series success. The biggest story of the offseason for Boston was whether JD Martinez would sign and after a few months, they finally landed their man. He recorded 45 home runs last season and will play DH for Boston. The Red Sox’s main issue last season was the home run ball and Martinez will help them clear the bases a lot more often. Their pitching is another issue which cost them in the playoffs against the Astros. Chris Sale had an impressive first half of the season but struggled as the playoffs neared. David Price ended up in the bullpen and Rick Porcello had a poor season after winning the Cy Young in 2016. Eduardo Rodriguez has issues with his knee as well. So the rotation will need to step up to win another divisional title. In the end, the Red Sox will attempt to compete with the Yankees but they’ll just come second this year.
To win AL East – $2.55
To win World Series – $15

Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays 2018 season hasn’t started well with a number of key players under injury clouds for Opening day. Marcus Stroman has shoulder issues and Troy Tulowitzki is struggling with a heel injury. So the Wolf says its likely another tough season for the Blue Jays. In the offseason, they’ve added a number of veterans, such as Granderson, Clippard, Breslow and Garcia. So that experience will help the Blue Jays build up their younger stars. Another story line for the Blue Jays will be whether they trade or keep Josh Donaldson. The Wolf would say he’s likely to be traded for prospects as Toronto builds for the future. In the race for the AL East, they just lack the talent to beat the Yankees and Red Sox at the moment.
To win AL East – $9
To win World Series – $51

Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays had a very interesting offseason to say the least. They’ve shipped Evan Longoria to the Giants, Corey Dickerson to the Pirates and Logan Morrison to the Twins. Will these moves pay off in the future? The Wolf says maybe but in the now, the Rays aren’t contending in this division race. The pitching department wasn’t sparred either. They’ve lost Jake Odorizzi and reliever Shawn Tolleson. Chris Archer is the key atop the rotation with a number of young pitchers behind him. Such as, Blake Snell and Jacob Faria. So after an 80-82 record in 2017, the Wolf can’t see them winning 80 games with that much talent leaving.
To win AL East – $17
To win World Series – $101 

Baltimore Orioles
Last but not least is the Orioles. After a 75-87 record in 2017 and last place in the AL East, the Wolf says they can improve in 2018. They had a 29-52 record on the road and just struggle to beat the Yankees (7-12 last season) in particular. So that’s two areas they will need to fix. In terms of moves, SP Andrew Cashner is their best signing. He posted a 3.40 ERA in his first AL stint last season. They’ve also added Alex Cobb from the Rays (pending physical). They resigned Chris Tillman and added Colby Rasmus from the Rays. On offence, Manny Machado will be a player to watch, especially since Baltimore will likely trade him soon. In a blow to their lineup, Mark Trumbo is out for the 3-4 weeks already. In the end, Baltimore will likely finish third or fourth in this division.
To win AL East – $26
To win World Series – $101 

Verdict: To win AL East – New York Yankees @ 1.80

AL West

Houston Astros
The Houston Astros won the World Series last season and they’ll be expecting to repeat in 2018. With the addition of Gerrit Cole, their rotation is looking star studded. The Justin Verlander addition last season paid off instantly and he’ll be the favourite for the Cy Young this season. Dallas Keuchel is a star and Lance McCullers Jr at number 4 in the rotation could easily be a number one starter for alot of teams. They also improved their bullpen with Hector Rondon and Joe Smith in the lineup. Their batting lineup is pretty similar with just Carlos Beltran not returning (retirement). Jose Altuve just resigned for 5 more years and he’s coming off another great season. He posted a .346 batting average and made key at-bats during their playoff run. George Springer was outstanding last season, especially hitting the long ball in the World Series. Along with Correa, Guffiel and Bregman, the Astros didn’t have to change an all ready strong lineup. They dominated this division last season with 101 wins and the Wolf can’t see them slowing down in 2018.
To win AL West – $1.25
To win World Series – $7 

Los Angeles Angels
2018 is a year of optimism for the Angels says the Wolf. The main problem last year was Mike Trout missed around 45 games. But he’s looking fit this season and that’s great news for the Angels. They also signed talented Japanese pitcher Shohei Ohtani. He does have a history of injuries and the Angels don’t have a great track record with pitchers. For example, Garett Richards (6 starts in 2017) and Matt Shoemaker (14 starts in 2017). But hopefully Ohtani stars for the Angels. Their batting lineup does look stronger with the additions of Zach Cozart and Ian Kinsler. Along with the versatile Chris Young from the Red Sox. They do need to improve their record against the Astros to win (7-12 last season) the AL West. But the Wolf believes they can win a wildcard spot with this much talent. The question mark is usually in the pitching department and that will be the key to watch with this team.
To win AL West – $6
To win World Series – $26 

Seattle Mariners
It was another failed season for the Mariners in 2017, in terms of playoffs. They finished with a 78-84 record and they now own one of the longest non-playoff season records in US history. Their offseason was pretty successful so there is hope. They added Dee Gordon from the Miami fire sale and RP Juan Nicasio. Ichiro is also back in Seattle. They did lose a few depth players and the key will be beating the Astros. They went just 5-14 against them and they seem to be better on paper in 2018. The pitching rotation will need James Paxton to have another solid season and King Felix to turn back the clock. But the Wolf isn’t so sure Hernandez can return to his former self as age catches up with him. So it’s probably going to be another wildcard race for this team.
To win AL West – $10To win World Series – $41

Texas Rangers
The offseason wasn’t kind to the Rangers in terms of pitching. Andrew Cashner is off to Baltimore and he leaves a gap atop the rotation. They’ve added some questionable pitchers in return, such as Doug Fister (4+ ERA in 3 straight seasons) and Jesse Chavez (5.35 ERA last season). Especially in a hitter friendly ballpark in Texas. Cole Hamels is the key atop the rotation but he’s likely to be traded near the deadline. Matt Moore is second in the rotation but an ERA of 5.52 last season in San Francisco doesn’t fill the Wolf with confidence. Their batting is looking weaker without Gomez and Napoli as well. But Joey Gallo is a star in the making after hitting 41 home runs last season and he now moves to first base. They also still have power with Adrian Beltre and Shin-Soo Choo in the starting lineup. So with question marks in the pitching department, the Rangers are looking like another middle of the pack team in the AL.
To win AL West – $17
To win World Series – $101 

Oakland Athletics
Oakland had an interesting 2017 season in terms of winning at home. They had a 46-35 record at home but went just 29-52 when they travelled. So if they can improve their road record, this team can compete for the wildcard. In the offseason, they added Catcher Jonathan Lucroy and Brandon Moss from the Royals. Moss joins a batting lineup that can hit the long ball. LF Khris Davis slugged 43 home runs last season and Matt Joyce returned to form with 25 home runs. In the pitching department, they have a number of strong arms. Sean Manaea and Kendall Graveman are all around the 26 years mark and can improve in 2018. The season ending injury to Cotton hurts though. But if the Athletics can improve their road record, they can challenge teams around the wildcard race. The Wolf can’t see them winning the AL West though.
To win AL West – $26
To win World Series – $251 

Verdict: To win AL West – Houston Astros @ 1.25

NL Central

Chicago Cubs
The Cubs are back after a 92-70 season and will start as the overwhelming favourite to win the NL Central. They’ve improved their pitching options in the offseason as they attempt to beat the likes of the Dodgers in the playoffs. Yu Darvish is the key signing and should enjoy pitching in this division. They’ve also added Tyler Chatwood and former Dodger Brandon Morrow will be their closer. So with a rotation that already has Lester and Quintana, the Wolf can’t see the Cubs slowing down in 2018. The batting lineup is pretty much the same with the likes of Bryant, Russell, Rizzo, Baez and Heyward back for another season. The Cubs were the second best scoring team in the NL last season and they should enjoy more success with this lineup. So the Wolf can’t see them losing this divisional race.
To win NL Central – $1.33
To win World Series – $9

St Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals are coming off another consistent season after an 83-79 record. As a result of some offseason additions, they’re 2nd in the betting for the NL Central. In the offseason, they added Marcell Ozuna in left field and he’ll form a strong outfield combination with Pham and Fowler. They did lose Lance Lynn from the rotation. So their hopes will ride on Martinez, Wacha and Wainwright once again to keep the Cardinals in close games against the likes of the Cubs and Brewers. The Wolf says they just lack a few more All-Stars to win this division. They can compete for the wild card race but the Cubs just have them covered in the depth department at the moment.
To win NL Central – $6
To win World Series – $21

Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers are the third favourites in the betting but the Wolf would rate them as the 2nd best team. They won more games than the Cardinals last season and they almost reached the Wildcard game. They also led the division at the All-Star break last season. The Brewers had a strong offseason with a few key signings. They improved their outfield with Yelich at LF from the Marlins and Cain from the Royals. It does mean a reshuffle in the lineup as Braun moves to 1B. Which will be interesting to watch. They also added Chacin from the Padres and Gallardo is back at the Brewers after a stint at the Mariners. So they have a strong rotation with those two mentioned and Davies/Anderson coming off strong seasons. So the Wolf is predicting another strong season by the Brewers and they should reach the Wildcard game. However, they should just fall short of the NL Central title once again.
To win NL Central – $6.50
To win World Series – $26

Pittsburgh Pirates
Based on the Pirates offseason moves, it looks like they’re returning to a rebuilding team for a few more years. Andrew McCutchen is gone and he leaves a gapping hole in this lineup. They did pickup Corey Dickerson from the Rays and he’ll be a player to watch. They also traded star pitcher Gerrit Cole in the offseason. So Ivan Nova will be their Opening Day starter. However, they don’t have much depth after him. So the Wolf can’t see them winning over 75 games this season.
To win NL Central – $26
To win World Series – $101  

Cincinnati Reds
The Reds are pretty similar to the Pirates as they just lack depth to challenge the top three teams in the NL Central. They’ve also lost talented SS Zach Cozart in the offseason. Last season, they gave up a ton of runs and it’s hard to see any different in 2018. Homer Bailey is their number one starter and he has recorded a 6+ ERA in the last two seasons. The batting lineup has a few decent players, with Joey Votto easily the best player on this team. Although, he’s arguably the best trade target for a contender. If the Reds win over 70 games, the Wolf will be surprised.
To win NL Central – $26
To win World Series – $251

Verdict: To win NL Central – Chicago Cubs @ 1.33

NL East

Washington Nationals
2017 was another season of missed opportunity for this talented Nationals side. After a 97-65 record, they again failed to reach the World Series and it seems like time is running out. The question mark is whether Bryce Harper will stick around. But in terms of this divisional race, the Nationals have all four teams covered once again. In the offseason, they added Matt Adams and he joins a very strong lineup. The likes of Zimmerman, Murphy and Harper had great seasons in 2017 and the Wolf can see the same in 2018. Murphy is struggling with a knee injury to start the season but that improve as the season progresses. Trea Turner is also a player to watch at short-stop. He only played 98 games last season but still recorded 46 stolen bases and 45 RBI. The pitching rotation is looking strong as well. Max Scherzer is back after winning the Cy Young. With Strasburg and Gonzalez behind him, they boast three excellent starters. Last season, they won more games on the road which says alot about the weak teams in the NL East. So it’s hard to see the Nationals finishing with under 95 wins.
To win NL East – $1.25
To win World Series – $11 

New York Mets
After finishing 2017 with a 70-92 record, the Mets are expecting a better showing in 2018. They have a strong one-two punch atop the rotation with DeGrom and Syndergaard. Syndergaard only made 7 starts last season as injuries hit so hopefully he can rebound. But the depth will be tested behind those two. Matt Harvey is probably past his best, new signing Jason Vargas could miss the early season with injury and Zach Wheeler is inconsistent. Their batting lineup is different with veterans Adrian Gonzalez and Todd Frazier. But the Wolf isn’t sold on either helping the Mets win this division. The outfield is strong with Cespedes, Conforto and Jay Bruce. So that will be the key for the Mets outscoring teams this season. At $4.50, the Mets are pretty overrated for a team that just won 70 games last year, especially if injuries and distractions hit them again. So the Wolf is steering clear.
To win NL East – $4.50
To win World Series – $26 

Philadelphia Phillies
Along with the Giants, the Phillies are one of the best chances to rebound in 2018. They added starter Jake Arrieta in the offseason to strengthen their pitching rotation. He has a career ERA of 3.57 so they are getting consistency atop the rotation. While on offence, they added first-baseman Carlos Santana from the Indians. Again, he was a consistent performer for the Indians and the Phillies will expect the same. With that move, young slugger Rhys Hoskins moves to the outfield. The bullpen was also improved with Tommy Hunter and Pat Neshek. So the Phillies should easily improve on a 66-96 record from last season. Whether they can beat the Nationals enough is the question and the Wolf isn’t so sure about that. But this team is building nicely for the future.
To win NL East – $13
To win World Series – $126 

Atlanta Braves
The Braves are coming off a 72-90 season and the Wolf can’t see much difference in 2018. Their hopes mostly ride on two players – Freddie Freeman and Julio Teheran. So the depth just isn’t there. Freeman only played 117 games last season and they’ll need him fit for any chance of winning the NL East. While for Teheran, he has made 30+ starts in five straight seasons for the Braves and has a career ERA of 3.59. But he is coming off a 11-13 season and a high ERA of 4.49, which is concerning. The Braves have two veterans behind him in the lineup – Brandon McCarthy and Scott Kazmir. But Kazmir didn’t pitch at all last season and he isn’t getting any younger. So the Wolf can see the Braves upsetting a few teams here and there but they can’t win this division at the moment.
To win NL East – $17
To win World Series – $151 

Miami Marlins
The Marlins had a 77-85 record last season but they had a complete fire-sale in the offseason. All three starting outfielders were traded in Stanton, Yelich and Ozuna. That leaves a gap of 114 total home runs and a massive total of 337 RBI in this batting lineup. They also traded Dee Gordon and Ichiro left to Seattle. So the Wolf says this will be definitely be a rebuilding season for Miami. In terms of additions, Starlin Castro will start at second base and Cameron Maybin at right field. The pitching rotation is an area of strength. Dan Straily and Jose Urena are the key starters. Straily went 10-9 last season with a 4.26 ERA. Urena had a breakout season with 14 wins and a 3.82 ERA. But in the end, the Wolf can’t see the Marlins winning over 70 games this season.
To win NL East – $71
To win World Series – $501 

Verdict: To win NL East – Washington Nationals @ 1.25

NL West

Los Angeles Dodgers
After a such a close World Series loss in 2017, the LA Dodgers will be motivated to win it all in 2018. The Wolf sees no reason why they can’t make it again. They bring back one of the strongest rotations in MLB with Kershaw, Hill, Wood and Maeda. The loss of Yu Darvish won’t hurt too much as he failed in the World Series. They allowed the lowest amount of runs per game in the NL and that should continue in 2018. Their batting lineup is pretty much the same. Puig, Taylor and Pederson are back in the outfield. Justin Turner will miss the first month but they have the depth to cover him. It will also be interesting to see how Cody Bellinger performs after a successful rookie season. After a 104-58 record last season, the Wolf is predicting the Dodgers will win 100+ games again and win the NL West.
To win NL West – $1.45
To win World Series – $6

Arizona Diamondbacks
Arizona is the second favourite in the NL West betting markets and they’re coming off a strong season. They finished with 93 wins but ultimately lost to the Dodgers in the playoffs. They’ve also lost JD Martinez in the offseason and that hurts their offence. But with the likes of Goldschmidt and Lamb around, the Wolf can still see them winning reaching the Wild Card game. Their pitching was a key strength last year. Zach Greinke is a beast and Robbie Ray is one of the most underrated pitchers in MLB. The key will be keeping their winning ways going at home as they held a 52-29 home record. So in the end, they should finish second in this division.
To win NL West – $6
To win World Series – $26

San Francisco Giants
In 2017, the Giants were arguably the most disappointing team with the equal worst record in MLB. However, the Wolf says a few offseason signings should help them rebound. The biggest signing is Andrew McCutchen from the Pirates. He’s been a consistent performer over his career so he’ll need to help the Giants score runs in 2018. Along with Austin Jackson from the Indians and Hunter Pence, the outfield is looking decent. They also added the power of Evan Longoria at third-base. After finishing 2nd last in MLB for runs scored, the new batting lineup should help win more games. The pitching department is strong with Bumgarner at the top. They will be hoping Johnny Cueto returns to form after posting a 4.52 ERA last season. The same can be said for closer Mark Melancon after an injury riddled season. In the end, the new faces at the Giants should see them compete for the Wild Card but they can’t challenge the Dodgers yet.
To win NL West – $6.50
To win World Series – $34

Colorado Rockies
The Rockies are coming off an 87-75 season and they earned the last NL wildcard spot. They led the NL in runs scored and they had positive records at home and on the road. So the Wolf can see another consistent year for this team. The core of their lineup is back with Arenado, Blackmon and Gonzalez. They’ve brought back Chris Iannetta at catcher as well. In the pitching department, they did lose Tyler Chatwood but added Bryan Shaw to stabilise the bullpen. At $8 for the NL West, the Wolf says the Rockies are pretty underrated and should be in the race for the Wild Card. However, they lack the pitching options to beat the Dodgers for the title.
To win NL West – $8
To win World Series – $51

San Diego Padres
The Padres will likely miss out on the division title again. But the signing of Eric Hosmer is a plus for the future. He signed an 8 year contract and will lock down the 1B position. They also brought back Chase Headley at 3B. They ranked dead last in MLB for runs scored last season so those two players should help them rebound. The loss of Chacin does hurt their rotation as Clayton Richard will start on Opening Day. They lack depth in the pitching rotation and bullpen which is the concern against the other teams in this division. They won 71 games in 2017 and the Wolf can see them winning around 70-75 again.
To win NL West – $29
To win World Series – $251

Verdict: To win NL West – Los Angeles Dodgers @ 1.25