The stretch run for some MLB teams can be profitable for bettors
Major League Baseball is back in full force after the All-Star break and now the stretch run for the playoffs and World Series begins. There are plenty of storylines for the second half of the MLB season, but there are five predictions and potential bets for the remainder of the 2022 MLB season.
White Sox Win the AL Central
The Chicago White Sox enter the second half of the season at exactly .500, 46-46. The Sox won the AL Central with a 93-69 record in 2021, and though this team is not quite as good, their division is weak. In addition, the rest of the way, the Sox face teams that have a winning percentage of just .467, lowest for any AL team's opponents.
The Sox have managed to stay in the playoff race despite a ton of injuries' to their stars and a powerful lineup that thus has far underachieved. Those stars, Jose Abreu, Yasmani Grandal, Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada, Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez started to heat up before the Al--Star break. The sox won 5 of six heading into the break and if they can play well against their late-season weaker opponents, they should run away with the AL Central and make this our Best Bet for the 2nd half of the 2022 MLB season.
Currently, industry giant BetOnline has the Sox at +120 to win their division, with the AL Central leading Twins listed just ahead of them at +110.
Before the season the Seattle Mariners were a long shot to even get to the playoffs. But after winning 22 of 25 heading into the All-Star game, they are the hottest team in baseball. Unfortunately for Seattle, the division leader, Houston, is still 10 games ahead of them in the AL West. They open the 2nd half against the Astros, which could be a VERY telling series.
But, fans and bettors of baseball got to see Julio Rodríguez at work in the Home Run Derby, where he finished second to the half-a-billion dollar man, Juan Soto. The Mariners have some bats, with first baseman Ty France, who is hitting .362 with runners in scoring position - sixth best in all of baseball, 3rd baseman Eugenio Suárez, who has 16 home runs and 50 RBIs and even aging Carlos Santana. The Mariners are 16-1 with Santana in the lineup.
If those players can continue to produce, AND the Mariners make the playoffs, Rodriguez is a shoo-in for the AL Rookie of the Year. The top online sportsbooks have odds of -350 to -375, and though they are massive, it's one of the better bets on the second half MLB betting board.
Fade the Sawx
The Boston Red Sox went on a tear to come back from the abyss and are again the 'talk' for a playoff spot. It's not gonna happen . . .
Despite their run, they are behind the Yankees, Rays and Blue Jays, who are all quality clubs and have had excellent seasons so far. It's a tall mountain to climb to even get into 2nd place in the AL East and no one is going to over take the Yankees in 2022.
The interesting number is the odds for total wins for the Red Sox set now at 84.5 at Jazz Sports. If they are still in the wildcard race, maybe they get to 83/84 wins. They are currently just out of the chase, but the aforementioned White Sox are behind them and we expect big things for the other Sox. Should things go poorly in August, they will look to 2023 and end up being a .500 ball club at best.
Phillies finally return to the playoffs
Despite losing the 2021 MVP to injury, the Phillies are currently in the playoffs, taking hold of the last Wild Card spot. The team went on a huge run after legendary manager Joe Girardi was fired and have continued to win, even after Bryce Harper was hit by a pitch in late June. They've also done it with 20 million-dollar man, Nick Castellanos hitting a meager .210. They have two All-Star caliber pitchers in Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler and some run support for ether of them in the second half will put the Phils over the top.
Philadelphia will also get some help from the schedule, where they have 43 (of 70) games against teams well below .500. They also should get some players back, as 2nd baseman Jean Segura and Harper should be back in the lineup before September. It's tough to find an MLB prop for making the playoffs, but we did find a Yes/No wager at Jazz Sports, where 'Yes' is a whopping -170. Betting the Phillies to end the season with more than 86.5 win looks doable and will cost less.
Verlander wins AL Cy Young award
The NL Cy Young will go to Sandy Alcantara of the Marlins. But, the AL award is still quite murky with no clear leader. Enter Justin Verlander. At 39 yard old, he is having a fantastic season on a very good team. Verlander's stats tell the story - 12 wins, three losses, ERA of 1.89 and WHIP of just 0.88. He has 13 quality starts and 14 of his 17 starts have gone Under the posted total. The Astros are 13-4 when he starts.
Currently listed at BetUS at +250, Verlander sits right behind Shane McClanahan, new ace of the Tampa Bay Rays staff. He's also having a great season, with an amazing 11.96 strikeouts per nine innings and a WHIP of just 0.80. But, McClanahan is in just his second MLB season and hasn't seen a stretch run like the Rays are going to have to make to stay in the Wild Card race. Verlander has, the Astros are a better team and so are his odds. Verlander at better than 2-1 at the top online sportsbooks, with the way he's pitched this season, looks like a gift.