Giancarlo Stanton

MLB Home Run Derby odds boil down to Stanton, Judge

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The combination of a home ballpark and being the only returning power hitter in the field has put Giancarlo Stanton atop the MLB Home Run Derby futures board – albeit barely.

Defending champion Stanton, of the hometown Miami Marlins, is listed as a +165 betting favorite to capture MLB’s annual contest of clout at Marlins Park on Monday night at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

New York Yankees rookie slugger Aaron Judge, who has an MLB-best 30 home runs and is threatening to take down Mark McGwire’s rookie record, is listed right behind at +175. By virtue of having had more home runs on June 15, Stanton is the No. 1 seed, whereas Judge is No. 2.

Eight players will be participating in a bracket-style timed event, where each player has four minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. Hitters get another 30 seconds if they hit two home runs measured at more than 440 feet.

Stanton, who bashed 61 big flies during the 2016 contest at San Diego’s Petco Park, will try to become just the third repeat champion and third player to win in his home park. Judge will try to be the first rookie to win since 1986.

Either player is a worthy play, but there’s far, far greater value in picking one of the darkhorses. For the quarter-finals, Staton faces that other Yankees rookie, Gary Sanchez (+1400 to win). Sanchez has the longest average home-run distance in the field (422 feet to Judge’s 415 and Stanton’s 410) and could be an early bracket-buster. Upsetting Stanton would throw the field wide-open.

The Minnesota Twins’ Miguel Sano (+1000) and Kansas City Royals’ Mike Moustakas (+1400) meet in the other quarter-final in the “Stanton region” of the bracket. Sano (average home run distance of 414 feet) should also be considered a darkhorse.

Judge faces the other Marlins representative, Justin Bour (+1400), in his quarter-final. Bour has an average home-run distance of 398 feet – tied with Moustakas for lowest in the field – and might be a bit of a sacrificial lamb up against Judge.

Meantime, Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger (+900 on the 2017 Home Run Derby odds) and the Colorado Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon (+2000) meet in an all-NL West quarter-final. Bellinger has enlisted his father Clay Bellinger as his pitcher and will be the fourth competitor to have his dad serving up meatballs. One of the other three (Robinson Cano in 2011) won and another (Bryce Harper in 2015) was runner-up.

Blackmon, meantime, faces a potential Bellinger-Judge tag team just to make the final, so his high price is probably a red herring.

MLB 2017 betting props roundup: Home run leader, Cy Young Award odds

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Some long-term trends, one individual and one historical, work against the favorites in two of the big Major League Baseball season props.

Miami Marlins rightfielder Giancarlo Stanton is established as the +750 favorite on the MLB home run leader odds for 2017 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. And on the Cy Young Award winner odds, Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox is the +200 favorite on the American League board while a fellow left-hander, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, is the +100 favorite on the National League board.

Stanton’s slugging prowess speaks for itself, but staying in the lineup has been an issue for him. The Marlins star has reached 500 at-bats only once in the past five seasons, so it is buyer beware when it comes to betting on Stanton to stay healthy enough to mash 40-some big flies.

The Colorado Rockies’ Nolan Arenado (+1250) is coming off consecutive 40-homer years in the high altitude of Denver. Reigning champ Mark Trumbo (+2000) is not the first Baltimore Orioles slugger you will find on the board, with corner infielders Chris Davis (+1500) and Manny Machado (+1500) each higher. Machado is entering his age-25 season and is nearing his peak years as a power hitter. He has already had two 35-homer seasons.

One player who might fill a need for deep value is Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier (+5000), who hit 42 homers last season.

On the AL Cy Young odds board, the aforementioned Sale (+200) had some regression late last season that should give bettors pause. As well, no Red Sox left-hander has ever won the award, which might be a reason to strike David Price (+550). It’s doubtful that their teammate Rick Porcello (+3300) will win again after his controversial victory against the Detroit Tigers’ Justin Verlander (+1000), who received more first-place votes.

The recent pattern with the AL Cy Young winners has been that it goes to a young star. That might make it worthwhile to throw a dart at the board with the Toronto Blue Jays’ Aaron Sanchez (+2000) or Cleveland Indians’ Danny Salazar (+4000).

The NL Cy Young odds board is top-heavy, with Kershaw (+100) joined by the reigning honoree, the Washington Nationals’ Max Scherzer (+300) and the New York Mets’ Noah Syndergaard (+800). Kershaw’s odds may offer too small a payout to back him when he’s coming off a year when he made only 22 starts due to a back injury.

Scherzer has been indomitable for four seasons and his odds make him worth being a safe pick. But Syndergaard winning a Cy Young might just be a matter of when.

Farther down the board, the Chicago Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks (+3300) is probably the pitcher to back from the defending World Series champions. Rotation mate Jake Arrieta (+1200) had some regression in 2016 after his 2015 Cy Young season, and voters sometimes tend to turn to a more recently established star.

Trout, Harper lead way on MVP futures at Sportsbooks

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(OddsShark.com) — Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout has emerged as the +150 favorite on the odds to win the American League MVP award at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com in the season ahead, sitting just ahead of reigning AL MVP Josh Donaldson.

After earning AL MVP honors in 2014 Trout enjoyed an outstanding campaign again last year, belting a career-high 41 home runs to go along with 90 RBI. However, he was unable to get the Angels into the postseason, as the club finished a game back of the Houston Astros in the race for the second AL Wild Card berth.

Donaldson returns to action sporting +450 odds to win the AL MVP in 2016 following a season in 2015 in which he achieved career highs with 41 home runs, 41 doubles, and 123 RBI.

The Blue Jays third baseman received 23 of a possible 30 first-place votes in AL MVP balloting last year after leading Toronto to its first AL East division title since 1993, including a stunning 43-18 stretch run by the team.

Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado finished fourth in AL MVP balloting last season, but closely trails Donaldson on the MVP odds at a strong +550 in third place.

Two-time AL MVP Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers sports +800 odds, ahead of Boston Red Sox center fielder Mookie Betts at +900, while Houston Astros shortstop and 2015 AL Rookie of the Year Carlos Correa trails at +1600.

Over in the National League, Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has emerged as a clear +200 favorite to repeat as NL MVP at the sportsbooks. Like Donaldson, Harper busted out in 2015, hitting 42 home runs while tallying career highs with 38 doubles and 124 walks.

Harper is chased by Andrew McCutchen and Paul Goldschmidt, both sporting NL MVP odds of +500. McCutchen was once again the model of consistency in 2015, connecting on 36 doubles and knocking in 96 runs while making just two errors patrolling center field for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Goldschmidt finished second to Harper in NL MVP voting in 2015 after hitting .321 and driving in 110 runs for the Arizona Diamondbacks, who enter the 2016 season with much improved 12/1 odds to win the National League Pennant after winning just 79 games last season.

Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton rounds out the front of the pack in NL MVP betting at +650, followed by Chicago Cubs third baseman and last season’s NL Rookie of the Year Kris Bryant, who sits at an intriguing +900.