MLB 2019 Best Bets
Here at CoverTheSpread365, we have the chance to toss out some predictions on the over/under of the most common statistics in Major League Baseball. I can smell the peanuts, crackerjacks, and great odds. Here are some over/under predictions on these common statistics to give you the competitive edge this season.
Most Regular Season Home Runs
OVER 48.5 -115 UNDER 48.5 -115
Most Home Runs in 2018: 48 (Khris Davis, OAK)
Khris Davis shockingly took the home run crown in 2018, mashing 48 long balls. Davis ended up topping the Red Sox big bat J.D. Martinez, who wound up with 43 home runs of his own. Davis entered last season coming off of a two-year campaign of 40+ home runs. He hit 42 in 2016 and 43 in 2017. With those two seasons combined, he was only one behind Giancarlo Stanton’s 86 combined, which led the league. Davis certainly has the power to get to that 48 mark once again.
However, this isn’t a debate on whether or not Davis will be crowned home run king again, it’s about if anyone can beat his 48 from 2018. I believe that will happen and I will tell you why. Giancarlo Stanton is just a year removed from belting 59 homers. His 38 last season was a bit disappointing yes, but he was with a new ball club and in new park. Stanton has massive power potential and so does his sidekick Aaron Judge, who hit 52 home runs in his rookie year. One of these two Bronx bombers is bound to hit 50 this season.
Prediction: OVER 48.5 (Giancarlo Stanton, 54)
Most Regular Season RBIs
OVER 130.5 -115 UNDER 130.5 -115
Most RBIs in 2018: 130 (J.D. Martinez, BOS)
Hitting with runners on base, especially with runners in scoring position, is crucial in baseball. No one was better at that last year than J.D. Martinez with a total of 130 runs batted in. He was third in the league in hits and finished with seven more RBI’s than the home run winner Khris Davis. He sure can rake and that showed in the red-hot Boston lineup in 2018. Will he repeat? I believe there’s a good chance. Will he lead the league in RBI’s again this season? I don’t believe so.
The most RBI’s since 2010 was when Miguel Cabrera knocked in 139 in his Triple Crown year (2012). Only five times in the last nine years has a hitter clubbed in more than 130 RBI’s. Even when Stanton had his 59-home run season in 2017, he only had 132 RBI’s. This paints a clear picture that hitting more home runs does not necessarily mean that comes with more RBI’s, especially in weaker lineups that struggle to put runners on base.
With that being said, I am taking the over. I predict that either Stanton or Judge will top Martinez and get over his 130 mark from last year. The Yankees lineup is lethal, and the top end should be relied on to get runners on base for the power hitters to produce.
Prediction: Over 130.5 (Stanton, 135)
Most Regular Season Hits
OVER 209.5 -115 UNDER 209.5 -115
Most Hits in 2018: 192 (Whit Merrifield, KC)
Whit Merrifield where did this come from? Although he squeaked out the hits lead (192) from Freddie Freeman (191), it still was an impressive year at the dish for Merrifield. It should be noted that this statistic was way down from the 2017 season where Blackmon smacked 213 hits.
The 2018 season in terms of hits was a little bit of an anomaly from past seasons. In 2016 Jose Altuve posted 216, in 2015 Dee Gordon reached 205 and in 2014 Altuve knocked an impressive 225. An interesting point to go along with 2018 being an anomaly, is that many star players missed time. Mookie Betts missed 26 games, Jose Altuve (25), Mike Trout (22) and Christian Yelich (15). It is fair to point out that a player rarely plays a full 162 game season, but Betts and Trout missed almost three weeks of play.
2019 should see a competitive hits race, but I am going with the under here.
Prediction: Under 209.5 (Betts, 205)
Most Regular Season Steals
OVER 50.5 -115 UNDER 50.5 -115
Most Steals in 2018: 45 (Whit Merrifield, KC)
Whit Merrifield back at it again with 45 total swipes. Talk about a bargain for the Royals, leading the league in hits and steals all at a base salary of $1M. This category also saw a dip from last season, but not at the expense of injuries. The leagues two biggest speedsters Billy Hamilton and Dee Gordon swiped 55+ in 2017, and Johnathan Villar tallied an impressive 62 with the Brewers in 2016. With that being said, listen to this. I have a sleeper candidate to steal more than 50 bags in 2019 and he also plays for the Royals. His name is Adalberto Mondesi. Mondesi was called up to the bigs in June last season and in his 75 games, he made 32 successful swipes on 39 attempts. Mondesi did have a low walk rate therefore dipping into his on-base percentage, but the 82% success rate on steals as a rookie is a good sign.
Prediction: Over 50.5 (Mondesi, 60)
Most Regular Season Wins
OVER 20.5 -105 UNDER 20.5 -125
Most Wins in 2018: 21 (Snell, TB)
We’ve been seeing a drop in some statistics, and this is another category here. Blake Snell’s 21 total wins from 2018 would have been the only one to make the over bet of 20.5. Corey Kluber came in second with 20. Since 2010, only 11 pitchers have notched 21 wins. No one was able to reach that mark in 2017 and only Rick Porcello and Jake Arrieta were able to do it in the 2016 and 2015 seasons. Needless to say, I am not too excited with the high total here, so I will take the under.
Prediction: Under 20.5 (Kluber, 19)
Most Regular Season Strikeouts
OVER 290.5 -115 UNDER 290.5 -115
Most Strikeouts in 2018: 300 (Max Scherzer, WSH)
Max Scherzer is a strikeout king, notching 300 punchouts a season ago. Justin Verlander wasn’t too far off with 290. However, the next league leaders were quite far off. The nice thing about this is that you only need one pitcher to fan more than 290 hitters this season to go over that. One of baseball’s best strikeout pitchers, Chris Sale, missed a lot of time last year. Sale owns the most K’s in a single season since 2010 where he whiffed 308 batters in 2017. There are a lot of innings pitched on the arms of Scherzer and Verlander and they both sit in their mid-30’s.