Betting: 2019 MLB Season Player Props – Awards

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To round out this series of posts on player props betting for the 2019 MLB season, we are going to take a look at all the awards that can be wagered on. I will not necessarily be wagering on all of these, some of these will just be “forced leans” in order to provide some sort of recommendation, but I will label it as a LIKE or a LEAN to indicate what I personally have wagered on. When all is said and done, some of the leans I may end up taking for the action.

**Unless otherwise noted, all lines are from MyBookie

So let’s get caught looking at these props!

AMERICAN LEAGUE MVP

Personally, I probably would not feel comfortable wagering on anyone to win this award besides Mike Trout at +250. I believe that Trout is just in for a career year that is going to blow all the other fish out of the water, and that no matter if the Angels end up contending or not, Trout’s performance will be amazing enough to take home the hardware. But I am going to throw a couple suggestions out there as LEANS on guys whose odds are long enough to potentially have some value should Trout suffer an injury (God forbid).

Andrew Benintendi (+5000) (LEAN) – Benintendi is all set to leadoff for the defending champions where he will be hitting in front of a couple of pretty okay hitters in Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez. In that spot, we know that Benintendi will score a lot of runs, but he is going to really have to step up his game in some other aspects in order to make a run at MVP here, but I do see some sort of pathway for him to do it. Firstly, he is going to have to become a .300 hitter. He was a .300 hitter in the Minors, but that was largely in part due to his elite ability to avoid striking out. His 16.0% K% from last year is good, but not elite. If he can cut down on the strikeouts by a few percentage points, then that should be enough for his first .300 AVG season. What also may help his AVG as well as boost his overall resume is if he adds on some pop. This is probably going to be his biggest obstacle. While he has shown 20 HR pop from the 2017 season, it is going to be tough to expect a big progression in this category, especially since he has been quoted this Spring Training as saying his focus is on his AVG and not HR since he is now a leadoff hitter, and his home park is not conducive to left-handed home runs. But being a leadoff hitter now, he may start running more. While not a burner on the base paths, he seems to pick his spots well and is efficient. It may not be out of the question for Benintendi to push 30 SB. So it seems like the best case scenario here is something like a .315 AVG with 25 HR, 90 RBI, 125 R, 30 SB, which would almost certainly put him in the MVP conversation.

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Betting: 2019 MLB Season Player Props – RBI

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The 2019 MLB season is quickly nearing and that means it is season long player prop time! For the 2018 season, I logged winners on 44 out of 67 (66%) season long player prop bets on their over/under marks in statistical categories. Those bets are undocumented outside of my own records, but those who know me well know I am an honest gentleman, and they also know I have a bit of a knack on this baseball thing.

Laying down some of that hard-earned cheddar to have to wait over six months to see any potential return on these season long props can be quite a drawn out process, but hey, baseball is a drawn out sport that is not for the impatient or for the thrill seeking adrenaline junkies. So if you are one that can truly appreciate the thought, deliberation, skill, and strategy that goes into this game that most grown men can only dream of playing for a living, then you should have no problem waiting the six plus months to see your bankroll additions! But if you are one that thinks baseball is “boring,” a.) I don’t necessarily blame you and b.) then you can still read the analysis below, bet it and forget it, don’t watch a single at-bat all season, then login to your account on September 30 for a pleasant monetary surprise.

These picks are based off my personal hand-crafted statistical player projections.

***Unless noted otherwise, all lines are from MyBookie.

***I will be referencing a stat labeled RBI/BIP. This is RBI per ball in play. A “ball in play” in this scenario is defined as any batted ball that does not result in a home run. And to account for the fact that home runs may be solo shots, 2-run shots, 3-run shots, or grand slams, this RBI/BIP play stat involves a constant of 1.565 that is multiplied by the number of home runs. This method is borrowed from Mike Podhorzer of Fangraphs.

So let’s get caught looking at these props!

LIKES

Trevor Story: Over 99.5 RBI (-115) – As I mentioned in Betting: 2019 MLB Season Player Props – Home Runs (Part One), I think Story’s big year last year can have some stick, and I also think he should spend a bit more time out of the cleanup spot than 5th this year. Story spent 39.5% of his plate appearances cleaning up and 52% hitting 5th, but I think at worst those numbers will flip flop this year with the decent chance he is the team’s unquestioned cleanup hitter. The switch in lineup spots wouldn’t necessarily be huge to his RBI total, but in theory it should at least help a bit. In 312 career plate appearances hitting cleanup, Story has an extremely robust RBI/BIP of 14.4%. As the #5 hitter in 549 career plate appearances, his mark is at a healthy 11.7%. Aided by Coors Field as his home park and having proved to be a very capable power hitter, I see no reason to project his RBI/BIP at less than 11.7%, so my RBI projection for him is based off the level of 12.0% RBI/BIP. The Backwards K projection: 106 RBI

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