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Too-Early MLB Predictions for 2024

Will Youth Outplay Payrolls Again?

With the MLB winter meetings over and the biggest free agent signing out of the way, we can finally dig into some too-early predictions for the 2024 season. If you want a recap of the 2023 MLB season, check out the first article in this two-part series here. The highlights include rule changes, Shohei Ohtani and the unlikely World Series matchup between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers.

With a few days left until the New Year, let’s not waste time with a long intro. Instead, let’s dive into a season’s worth of MLB odds with just a few paragraphs to work with.

Too-Early MLB Predictions for 2024
Luis Arraez #3 of the Miami Marlins | Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images/AFP

Will the 2024 Dodgers be the 2023 Mets?

As much as the topic of the Los Angeles Dodgers annoys me with their insane spending in an attempt to buy a title, they are, for better or worse, the biggest story of the offseason.

In about a week, the Dodgers committed more than $1 billion to just two free agents. Crazy as that is, the Dodgers are probably not done spending.

Not only did the Dodgers win the Shohei Ohtani lottery, but Shotime deferred $690 million of his $700M contract so that LA could go out and sign Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto. And get this: Yamamoto, a guy who has never started an MLB game, is now the proud owner of the most lucrative pitching contract in history.

It should come as no surprise that the World Series odds list the Dodgers as heavy favorites (+380) to take home the hardware this season. But remember, the Mets were among the favorites to win in 2023 and look how that turned out. Heck, so were the Dodgers.

MLB Adding More Rule Changes in 2024

After MLB decided its rule changes for 2023 were a great success, they are off to the races with the goal of implementing even more adjustments to America’s pastime for 2024.

Among the changes the joint Competitions Committee voted on were to widen the runners’ lane to include parts of the infield grass, reduce the pitch clock allotment by two seconds with runners on base, and reduce mound visits by one to just four a game.

Regarding MLB betting, these adjustments will likely result in a small increase in steals and the potential for more extra-base hits with the basepath larger.

Like them or not, these rule changes will keep happening, and as sports bettors, we have to adjust our tactics in response.

Too-Early MLB Picks for Futures Betting

The Dodgers are a tricky play regarding World Series betting, even with decent MLB odds of +380. It’s impossible to argue that they added the most “on-paper” talent to their roster and certainly deserve to be favored. My issue is that preseason favorites don’t usually pay off, and after what happened to the Mets last year, the baseball gods proved they don’t care about your payroll.

It’s very hard to repeat as champions in the MLB, and therefore, I also want to avoid the Rangers and their MLB lines of +1100 to win back-to-back World Series.

Instead of betting on team futures, I found a very lucrative MLB player prop at BetUS Sportsbook that you should consider betting on.

Miami Marlins second baseman Luis Arraez finished the 2023 season with an impressive .354 batting average. It was the second time Arraez finished with an average over .315 and the first time he led the MLB in batting average. He also blew away the competition, with Ronald Acuna Jr. owning the second-best average at .337.

With his current Vegas betting odds at +750 to lead the league in hits, I love the value this play brings over betting on who wins the World Series in 2024. Arraez finished third in this category last year and fell short of Acuna (643) by 14 hits. While he finished third to Acuna and Freddie Freeman (637), it’s worth noting that Arraez had around 70 fewer at-bats than the Braves’ star outfielder.

 

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