For the 2021 MLB preseason, The Game Day has compiled 2021 Athletics Prop Bets, including Oakland Futures Odds & Picks. I’ll list a few 2021 Athletics Picks, Player Props and Team Prop wagers that MLB bettors can target.
Oakland Athletics Futures Bets: 2021 Team & Player Props
(Odds provided by PointsBet)
Player Props & Futures
2021 AL MVP
- Matt Chapman (+1500)
- Matt Olson (+4000)
- Ramon Laureano (+5000)
It’s fitting the two “Matts” head up the MVP odds for the Athletics, because as those two players’ bats go in 2021, very likely so will Oakland’s ceiling as a team. Both players suffered down years in 2020 from a couple of different perspectives, but their prior body of work suggests they could rebound handsomely in the coming season.
Chapman’s torn hip labrum is fully healed, and the slugging third baseman has already remarked this spring that he feels like he can fully drive the ball again with his legs back fully underneath him. Chapman smacked 36 home runs and drove in 91 runs across 156 games in 2019, a year during which he generated an elite 45.3 percent hard contact rate. A 100 percent Chapman very likely has the ability to put up a 40-homer, 100-RBI season and he’s also going to offer Gold Glove defense at the hot corner. The lingering question will be whether he can put together the kind of batting average and OBP that can keep him a top-shelf candidate and whether his very pitcher-friendly home park also caps his total home-run upside to an extent.
Olson’s downturn last year came in the form of an unsightly .195 average, which represented a 72-point drop from 2019. However, the big first baseman still knocked an impressive 14 balls out of the park while playing in all 60 regular-season games and somewhat offset a career-worst 31.4 percent strikeout rate with a 13.9 percent walk rate. If Olson can break the 100-RBI threshold for the first time in his career while giving his average a significant boost and racking up round-trippers in the neighborhood of his career rate (one every 16.5 plate appearances), he has a solid chance of putting up the type of numbers that would warrant him serious consideration.
Laureano may not have the prodigious power of his two teammates, but he could well outshine both in batting average and on-base percentage while potentially approaching the 30-homer, 90-RBI mark. The defensive wizard looked to be on the precipice of such numbers after posting a .288/.340/.521 slash in 2019 with 29 doubles, 24 home runs, 67 RBI and 13 steals, but a 72-point drop in BABIP from .342 to .270 in 2020 helped contribute to a miserable .213 average. A bounce-back year and likely leadoff role could lead to plenty of opportunities for Laureano to flash his diverse skill set, and given his ability to offer an extremely well-rounded stat line, he could generate MVP-worthy numbers in a season where he plays as close to 162 games as possible.
2021 Most Regular Season Home Runs
- Matt Olson (+2000)
- Matt Chapman (+3000)
No surprise here with respect to the Athletics’ two candidates in this market. As already discussed, both Olson and Chapman already have prolific home-run seasons on their resumes and enter 2021 intent on putting forgettable years behind them.
Both players have handled the spacious Oakland Coliseum relatively well in terms of their power – Olson averages one home run every 17.5 plate appearances there, while Chapman has 44 homers there compared to 40 on the road. Olson, with arguably a bit more raw power than his teammate, rightfully has shorter odds than Chapman, but both players represent reasonable values at their current prices.
2021 Most Regular Season RBI
- Matt Chapman (+5000)
- Matt Olson (+5000)
Chapman drove in 159 runs across 301 games between the 2018 and 2019 seasons, while Olson had an even more impressive 175 over 289 contests during that same span. Given the power of both players, 90-100 RBI should be their minimum range if they stay mostly healthy, but each will likely need an uptick in their situational hitting numbers to have a chance at this crown.
Olson owns .258 and .240 career averages with men on base and men in scoring position, respectively. Meanwhile, Chapman sports .254 and .250 figures in those categories. While there should be a serviceable amount of opportunities for both players to rack up RBI, the higher strikeout rates of both could prevent them from maximizing their chances.
AL Rookie of the Year
- AJ Puk (+4000)
Puk’s brief major-league career has been long on both potential and injury thus far, but his talent is indisputable. The big lefty didn’t pitch at all in 2020 due to shoulder surgery, but he’s being brought along slowly thus far this spring and appears set to start the year in the bullpen.
Puk is considered a future starter, yet he’s likely to be handled cautiously early via a relief role, which could prevent him from picking up enough decisions to garner ROY-quality numbers by the season’s end. One area where Puk is still likely to stand out irrespective of his slotting on the staff is through missing plenty of bats — he sported K/9s between 12.1 and 14.5 in every minor-league stop before generating a 10.3 figure during his first 10 big-league appearances in 2019.
2021 AL Cy Young Award
- Jesus Luzardo (+2500)
- Frankie Montas (+3500)
Luzardo is considered a future co-ace of the A’s rotation along with Puk, and he’s reportedly set to dazzle again with a breaking ball he worked on refining this offseason after mostly ignoring it last season. The 23-year-old southpaw has a diverse arsenal and already has 18 big-league appearances (nine starts) on his big-league resume, so it’s not outlandish to expect a true breakout in 2021, especially given his location, mid-90s fastball and above-average ability to keep the ball in the park.
Montas is an intriguing value option to consider after tanking last season to the tune of a 3-5 record and 5.60 ERA over 11 starts. Multiple aspects of Montas’ game seemed to fall apart in 2020, as evidenced by a 1.7 HR/9 and 3.9 BB/9. However, two seasons ago, the hard-throwing right-hander posted a 9-2 mark that was accompanied by a 2.63 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. Montas would have to make much more than the career-high 16 starts he logged in 2019 to be a serious Cy Young contender, but if he puts in a full season, the upside is there for him to approach or exceed the 20-win threshold.
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