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All of the 2023 San Diego Padres‘ MLB future prices are tight. So let’s look toward Padres’ slugger Juan Soto for betting value in the season-long markets since he’s my No. 1 ranked hitter in baseball.
San Diego’s regular-season win total is 92.5 with more vig on the Over (-120). The Padres are the 2nd-best odds to win the NL West (+130), 4th for the NL Pennant (+500), and 6th to win the 2023 World Series.
For the record, I love San Diego this season but all these odds are sharp. Soto is the favorite to win the 2023 NL MVP (+550). But, there are juicier Soto odds in the “Regular Season Leaders” markets on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Juan Soto season-long betting strategy
Imma split 1 unit among several Juan Soto future odds, using $100 as “1 unit.” The biggest portion spent on Soto to win the 2023 NL MVP with three other bets on Soto leading MLB in a few stat categories.
My handicap is straight-forward. If Soto is going to win NL MVP, he’ll have to rank high in a few different hitting metrics and those numbers are far better than his MVP odds.
More importantly, Soto is the best hitter in baseball. Soto is one of six everyday players with a higher BB% than K% last season (with the qualified minimum of at-bats), per FanGraphs.
San Diego’s lineup is stacked with newly acquired leadoff hitter SS Xander Bogaerts batting in front of Soto and perennial NL MVP contender 3B Manny Machado behind him.
Soto’s MVP price is a chalky number and I’m betting it to cover my bases if Soto gets edged out in the other markets. Obviously, I’d prefer for the bets with longer odds to cash instead.
Juan Soto: 2023 NL MVP (+550)
Soto getting traded to the Padres by the Washington Nationals in 2022 significantly helps his chances of winning NL MVP. Unlike basketball, baseball production isn’t dependent on usage.
For example, when Kevin Durant joined the Golden State Warriors in 2016, it effectively ended KD’s and teammate Steph Curry’s chances of winning the NBA MVP. How do you decide who is more important?
In this case, Soto is on a much better team i.e. gets a bigger spotlight. He should see better pitches because of lineup protection and Soto is a Gold Glove-caliber outfielder.
Soto’s path to NL MVP is 40+ home runs, 115+ RBI with a .300+ batting average and a top-five WAR. All of which is doable. Since 2019, Soto is 6th in WAR and 4th in both wRC+ and wOBA in all of MLB.
MLB RBI Leader (+3000)
I’m confused as to why Soto is the favorite to win the 2023 NL MVP yet is tied for the 18th-best odds to lead MLB in RBI. The numbers that’ll decide the MVP race are home runs, RBI, and runs scored.
Juan will get more RBI opportunities and better pitches because San Diego’s lineup is much better than Washington’s. You cannot pitch around Soto with Machado and 1B Jake Cronenworth following him.
He ranks 13th in RBI since 2019 and should get a lot more RBI chances hitting in San Diego’s lineup. Juan has played at least 150 games in three of the last four years and 47 in MLB’s COVID 60-game 2020 season.
MLB Hits Leader (+5500)
The biggest concern is Soto taking too many walks. He has the highest BB% by a healthy margin since 2019. But, according to Statcast, Soto was in the 85% or better in exit velocity, hard-hit rate and barrel rate.
Also, Soto has above-average rates for hitting to opposite field and straight away. Juan’s ability to spray the ball will be even harder to defend with the MLB banning the shift for 2023 and beyond.
Aka Soto rakes and there shouldn’t be 34 batters with better odds to lead MLB in hits. Point blank, Soto is too good of a hitter to pass up on +5500.
MLB Runs Leader (+800)
This is a sharp price-point since Soto has the 3rd-best odds to lead MLB in runs scored. However, I’m going forward with my buckshot approach at betting Soto futures.
Perhaps Juan really does takes too many walks for the other bets to cash. That said, barring injury, I don’t see a world where Soto scores less than 100 runs. San Diego’s lineup is an embarrassment of riches.
Soto has by far the highest on-base percentage over the past four years. Padres power hitters Fernando Tatis Jr. (when he returns from suspension), Machado, Cronenworth and DH Nelson Cruz will get Soto home.
Other 2023 MLB betting previews
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