5 best bets ahead of 2023 MLB season: Team futures, win totals & MVP picks

Phillies Trea Turner salutes team at WBC
U.S. ‘s Trea Turner (8) salutes his teammates after hitting a home run during the second inning of a World Baseball Classic final game against Japan, Tuesday, March 21, 2023, in Miami. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

The 2023 MLB season is here and with it comes a summer of opportunities for bettors to sink their teeth into. From season-long props to in-play betting during live games, there are endless ways to back your team this season. But as we approach the night before Christmas, what are some of the best season-long value-based bets out there?

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5: Los Angeles Angels: Over 82.5 wins -115

It feels like the Los Angeles Angels go through the same cycle every year. They’re very much the Tottenham Hotspur of Major League Baseball – It’s always their year and this time is always different. I hate to say it but 2023 might actually deliver on those tiring claims.

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Former MVP, Shoehi Ohtani, needs no introduction and his excellent WBC performances see him coming into the new league year with a ton of momentum. Mike Trout is still one of the best players on the planet and this offseason has seen the Angels take some big steps, with investment in players such as Hunter Renfroe highlighting a push for greatness.

They won the Cactus League and surprised a lot of people in doing so. Sure, they’re down a pair of starters to start the season, but this is an explosive roster that has been reinforced across the board with names like Tyler Anderson.

The Angels might not win it all, but their win total looks a little too low for my liking.

Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani runs to first as he flies out during the sixth inning of a preseason baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Sunday, March 26, 2023, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

4: Milwaukee Brewers Under 84.5 wins -115

The Brewers have an aging roster and decided to trade away Kolten Wong and Hunter Renfroe at the end of 2022. What remains is a shell of a team that will be heavily impacted by the new MLB rule changes. If the Brewers hit the trade deadline and are even on the fringe of playoff contention, it’s hard not to imagine the new front office hitting the panic sell button on the remaining big-name players in order to cash in while they can. I think this is far more likely than people think.

3: Trea Turner to win NL MVP +850 (Or over 23.5 hits -115)

Trea Turner might be the new kid on the block, but he’s no stranger to accolades. He’s a 2x All-Star, a World Series champion, as well as a winner of the coveted Silver Slugger. The only thing missing? An MVP award. Turner has a great shot to make some noise during his first year with the Phillies and he came into the season 6th place in the NL MVP race according to DraftKings. He’s now second, ahead of the likes of Mookie Betts, Ronald Acuna Jr., and Fernando Tatis.

Turner’s number was hammered in after his incredible WBC performances and there’s never been a better time to hop on the train. He’ll start the MLB season with a spring in his step on a new team that has title aspirations of its own.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 10: Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner (6) at bat during the Major League Baseball game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Los Angeles Dodgers on August 10, 2021 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia PA. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

2: Pete Alonso: Over 37.5 home runs -115

He avoided arbitration with a $14.5M Contract, but after a dominant 2022, Alonso knows he has the chance to secure an almighty payday. He hit 40 home runs and 131 RBI last year, the most in Mets history. With the extra incentive to ball out and secure the bag, we could see a season of 50+ homers for Alonso, who could end up being one of the heavy hitters in terms of MLB contracts as well as home-runs by this time next year.

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1: Aaron Nola to lead the MLB in strikeouts +1400

The former All-Star is in a similar spot to Pete Alonso. Nola had a great year in 2022 and his personal stakes are now the highest they’ve ever been. If he can punch in a season like he did last year, there’s no reason he can’t lead the league in K’s.

Nola threw 205 IP yet K’d 235 batters and only walked 29 of them. His 8.1 BB/K ratio was the best in baseball. The Phillies will need Nola to be at his best in 2023 but all signs are pointing toward exactly that.

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AP Photo/Marta Lavandier