Another Spring Training is coming to an end, and this new regular season is a mere days away. There will be many intriguing storylines to keep an eye on this summer. What can we expect from the new three-headed monster in the Bronx? All the endless speculation around Bryce Harper every chance they can get. Will new Angel, Shohei Ohtani even make the Opening Day roster after an abysmal spring? So much will play itself out over the next six months; I can’t wait for the 29th! On my way home, I grabbed the propositions betting sheet and the win totals from a strip casino sportsbook. Looking at the props, there are some bets I like much more than others, so those will be my plays below. Players must play at least 1 game for action, so betting on injury prone players is ALWAYS a risk.
Will a player hit 50+ homeruns?
At first glance, one might instantly side with the yes here. Let’s take a deeper look though. With all the power we had last year, we only had two players hit over 50 homeruns. And they are now, more than likely, hitting back to back in New York. The three players that hit 40 dingers (JD Martinez, Khris Davis and Joey Gallo) are capable but very unlikely to elevate their total another 10 homers. Of the three, Davis seems the most realistic to make that jump. Gallo swings and misses way too much for me to believe he can even replicate 41 homeruns and I don’t believe J.D. is going to live up to the hype in Beantown, which would be hitting less than the 45 bombs from 2017. I believe Stanton and Judge’s numbers mellow out a bit, placing each under 50 but still within the 40’s. When the offense has a BOOM year, the pitchers usually find a way to adapt. Dark horse candidates to bust my wager: Cody Bellinger, Nolan Arenado and Josh Donaldson.
Total Homeruns by Mike Trout (35.5)?
The Angel’s franchise player has only eclipsed this number once in his career, in 2014 when he hit 36 homeruns. However, in 2017, Trout slugged 33 in just 114 games. He’s batting pretty well in the spring and now has a full season of Justin Upton in the lineup, but unless Pujols and Ohtani can get their shit together, there’s not much else. Trout is entering his prime and should see some hittable pitches this season. He plays defense with ferocious intensity and that could lead to injuries and missed games, which impact the bet. I’m very conflicted on which side to take but I will lean to paying less juice and praying for another 6-10 week injury.
Total Wins by Stephen Strasburg (14.5)?
Strasburg is a funny prop bet. This guy could walk out in game 2 and snap his whole damn arm off. But I believe he’s a fully developed stud who is probably the best #2 starter in the league today. When Strasburg pitches at least 20 games in a season he has reached the 14 win mark four times, including 15 wins in 2012, 2016 and 2017. The WHIP was a remarkable 1.02 last year and I look for that to be nearly similar in 2018. The Nationals need wins from Scherzer, Strasburg and Gonzalez next year, because they’ve got to show impending free agent Bryce Harper that D.C. is still a contender. Look for a healthy Strasburg to touch 16-18 wins this season. I’ll say 17-8, well enough to cash.
GOOD LUCK TO US ALL!