For the 2021 MLB preseason, The Game Day has compiled 2021 Twins Prop Bets, including Minnesota Futures Odds & Picks. I’ll list a few 2021 Twins Picks, Player Props and Team Prop wagers that MLB bettors can target.
(Odds provided by PointsBet)
Minnesota Twins Futures Bets: 2021 Team & Player Props
Player Props & Futures
2021 AL MVP
- Josh Donaldson (+5000)
- Miguel Sano (+8000)
Donaldson was one of many sluggers that saw a downturn at the plate in 2020, as he slumped to a .222 average that was his lowest since his initial 14-game big-league cameo in Oakland back in 2010. However, last season’s struggles came over a modest 102 plate appearances, and it’s worth noting Donaldson still mustered an elite .373 on-base percentage and slugged .469 while lacing eight (two doubles, six home runs) of his 18 hits for extra bases. Additionally, Donaldson blasted 37 home runs and drove in 94 runs two seasons ago in Atlanta, and he’s a 2015 winner of the award courtesy of his 41-homer, 123-RBI effort in Toronto that season.
Donaldson did see notable drops in hard-hit rate and exit velocity last season, but there’s no real reason to think he had a precipitous power drain overnight. Nevertheless, with a calf injury robbing him of significant playing time a year ago, Donaldson is reportedly set to take more days off this season, which could certainly hurt his candidacy. The price on the wager is certainly appealing, but the veteran may simply not have enough chances to keep up with a formidable field that includes Mike Trout, Aaron Judge and Anthony Rendon.
Sano’s 2020 had some similarities to that of Donaldson’s, as he, too, saw a drop in batting average (.204) after a 34-homer season in 2019. Sano still slugged .478 with 25 extra-base hits (12 doubles, 13 home runs) out of 38 hits overall, an elite ratio that corroborates the pop in his bat is as healthy as ever. Nevertheless, the mammoth strikeout rates that are usually part and parcel with Sano always cap his overall statistical upside to an extent, making him about as long a shot for the award as his price suggests when considering there are several other comparable sluggers in the field with much better contact rates.
2021 Most Regular Season Home Runs
- Miguel Sano (+2500)
Having just critiqued Sano’s robust swing-and-miss tendencies, I’ll pivot to praising his prodigious power, which certainly makes him a top contender for the HR crown every season. Sano’s 34 round-trippers two seasons ago count as his career-high, so he’d likely have to exceed that figure by a decent amount to have a realistic chance at making a wager pay off. Playing time will be key, as Sano has yet to log more than 116 games in any season.
He missed only seven games during the abbreviated 2020 campaign, and if Minnesota follows through on their reported plans to have Sano fill in for Donaldson occasionally at third this season in addition to his usual first-base duties, we could finally see the former put in a 140-to-150-game season. If that comes to fruition, this could turn out to be an excellent value bet, considering Sano is averaging one home run every 13.7 plate appearances the last two seasons.
2021 Most Regular Season RBI
- Nelson Cruz (+4000)
- Miguel Sano (+7000)
The ageless Cruz has driven in 141 runs over 173 games in his first two Twins seasons while slashing .308/.394/.626 during that span, with 89 (32 doubles, 57 home runs) of his 197 hits going for extra bases. In other words, the veteran’s bat is loaded with RBI potential, and all four instances in which he’s eclipsed the century mark in that category have come within the last six seasons.
As customary, Cruz continued to thrive with slash lines of .310/.396/.488 and .333/.478/.611 with men on base and men in scoring position, respectively, in 2020. Those types of numbers always give him a fighting chance at the crown, especially in as talented a lineup as Minnesota boasts and his likely cleanup spot. The one blemish on Cruz’s outlook is his DH-only role, which will factor him out of interleague games.
Meanwhile, having already elaborated on Sano’s expansive power profile, it goes without saying he also can always be in play for the RBI title assuming he plays in enough games. Sano’s high strikeout tendencies are a serious liability, however, and they certainly help cap his chances of driving in runs outside of those he racks up through his homers.
Sano’s career .249/.357/.511 with men in scoring position is relatively solid, but he’ll likely need to make more consistent contact than usual in order to stay in contention. That said, the price he carries certainly makes him worthy of a flyer if you can swing it because if he combines his long-ball pace of the last two seasons with at least an uptick in contact rate and enough games played, his RBI numbers could be elite.
Most Regular Season Stolen Bases
- Byron Buxton (+7000)
Buxton still has elite speed and an excellent career success rate (87.3 percent) on the basepaths, but he’s never swiped more than the 29 bases he compiled in 2017. Granted, totals in the mid-30s to mid-40s have gotten it done in terms of the steals crown in the AL over the last five 162-game seasons, so it’s certainly within Buxton’s reach to capture the title if he’s out there enough. As with his teammate Sano, durability has often been a concern for the outfielder, who’s only played over 100 games once in his career.
On-base opportunities are another sizable obstacle – Buxton has never posted an OBP above .314 and his strikeout rate has never dipped below 23.1 percent. He hasn’t offset the mediocre contact rates by drawing plenty of walks, either, with 2017’s 7.4 percent figure in that category counting as his high-water mark.
2021 AL Cy Young Award
- Jose Berrios (+1800)
- Kenta Maeda (+2000)
Hope springs eternal for Berrios prior to every season, and although the talented right-hander has certainly put together some solid major-league campaigns, he’s never quite lived up to elite billing. Berrios posted a combined 40-27 mark, 3.80 ERA and 1.20 WHIP across his 89 starts from 2017-19 seasons, certainly impressive numbers that nevertheless fall notably short of Cy Young quality. He then followed it up with a so-so 5-4 mark and 4.00 ERA in 2020.
Berrios always seems to have perfectly acceptable numbers almost everywhere you look on his stat sheet, but a fastball that averaged a career-high 94.3 mph last season has yet to produce truly top-shelf strikeout numbers. The 26-year-old’s odds check-in as the sixth shortest overall, which may be about right for a player of his upside. However, it will require Berrios to take his game to a different level for him to climb the field.
Maeda is somewhat surprisingly right below Berrios with the ninth-shortest odds overall. Much like Berrios, Maeda has been a rock-solid No. 2-quality arm throughout his MLB career so far, but his numbers haven’t truly been top-of-rotation quality. The veteran has a 53-36 career mark complemented by a 3.75 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. That caliber of numbers won’t garner him the Cy Young trophy, but if last season’s 6-1 record, 2.70 ERA and 0.75 WHIP are a sign of what may be to come in a full year, Maeda could prove to be a viable longer-shot bet to take.
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