The Game Day’s baseball writers offered up their favorite 2021 MLB futures bets, where they feel they can find an edge on the current 2021 MLB markets.
Our Favorite 2021 MLB Futures Bets
Bryce Harper To Win 2021 NL MVP (+1700) at BetMGM
Harper slashed .268/.420/.542 with 13 home runs in 244 plate appearances last season, but his expected stats were even better, as he posted a .308 xBA and .600 xSLG. Harper also cut his strikeout rate from 26.1% to 17.6% while increasing his walk rate from 14.5% to 20.1% as well as his Barrel% from 14.8% to 17.3%.
This is one of the best hitters in baseball who is now entering his age-28 season. We’ve seen his ceiling before, back when he slashed .330/.460/.649 with 42 home runs in his 2015 MVP season. I expect Harper to carry the Phillies to a division title this season, securing the MVP in the process. — Frank Ammirante
Max Scherzer To Lead MLB In SP Strikeouts (+1000) at PointsBet
Scherzer led baseball in strikeouts in 2016 and 2018. He was second in the MLB in strikeouts in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017. Part of the reason he is able to accrue so many strikeouts, aside from a 95 mph fastball and a wicked slider, is his ability to pitch deep into games.
During all but two of the seasons in which he has finished first or second in strikeouts, he has also been top-5 in quality starts. As long as he can stay healthy, he will have among the best chances at leading baseball in strikeouts, and at +1000, it is a bet I am happy to make. — Taylor Tarter
Chicago White Sox: Over 90.5 Wins (+100) at SugarHouse NJ
I wrote this even before Eloy Jimenez‘s likely season-ending pectoral tear, and the PointsBet line was much less favorable before that.
Given the overall improvements the Pale Hose made, this team can weather the loss of their big bopper. Led by Jose Abreu, this offense is deep enough to weather this loss. They should also see further growth from their young hitters like Luis Robert, and I like Yoan Moncada to have a big bounce-back campaign after a bout with COVID-19 last season limited his production. Chicago can make up for this injury by possibly bringing up top prospect Andrew Vaughn.
Remember: The White Sox won 35 games in 2020 on their way to a .583 winning percentage. Over a full 162-game season, that would put them on pace to win 94 games. They’ve improved the rotation team considerably since then, adding Lance Lynn and Liam Hendriks.
It also helps them that their division has three underwhelming teams in the Tigers, Royals and Indians. The Indians did win 35 games last season, but the loss of Francisco Lindor and their lack of spending during the offseason could have them primed to decline. — Mike Barner
Walker Buehler To Win 2021 NL Cy Young Award (+900) at PointsBet
There are three Dodgers pitchers with odds of 20-to-1 or less to win the NL Cy Young. They are newly signed and reigning NL Cy Young award winner Trevor Bauer (+600), Walker Buehler (+900), and three-time NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw (+2000).
Betting on Buehler to win this award is my favorite 2021 futures bet, especially at 9-to-1 odds. In his two full seasons in the bigs, Buehler has put up Cy Young numbers. In 2018, he started 24 games, had an 8-5 record, a 2.62 ERA, a 0.96 WHIP and 151 Ks in 137.1 innings. Then in 2019, he went 14-4 despite a dip in his ERA (3.26) and WHIP (1.04). The man that is quietly the ace of the defending World Series champions simply needs his win-loss record to catch up with his non-counting stats. If and when that happens, Buehler will win his first career Cy Young award and increase your initial wager tenfold. — Pauly Parlays
Randy Arozarena To Win 2021 AL Rookie of the Year (+350) at PointsBet
The young outfielder made the most of his part-time opportunities in the regular season last year before shining at his brightest on the biggest stage in the postseason, belting 10 homers with a .377/.442/.831 triple slash and 239 wRC+ in 86 plate appearances, according to FanGraphs. Arozarena produced eye-catching Statcast data in the regular season. He also teased an MLB breakout by hitting .344/.431/.571 with 15 homers and 17 stolen bases in 399 plate appearances in Double-A and Triple-A combined in 2019, per Baseball Reference.
Arozarena’s postseason heater is unsustainable. Regardless, his production in the upper-minors and regular season indicates he’s a supremely talented player. Additionally, he’ll be an everyday player in the majors starting on Opening Day. That’s not necessarily the case for some of his top competition for AL Rookie of the Year hardware. — Josh Shepardson
Milwaukee Brewers To Win NL Central Division Title (+290) at PointsBet
The Milwaukee Brewers should be the favorites in this division or at least much closer to the Cardinals who sit at (+120). The additions of Jackie Bradley and Kolten Wong may not pop out, but the defensive stabilization each provides is like a boost to each starting pitcher while they can also produce at a league-average level offensively.
The biggest addition though is the return of a healthy Christian Yelich in a more normal year. The kneecap injury he suffered towards the end of 2019 along with the wonky season potentially threw him off and resulted in something far from the MVP on display in 2018.
The already strong pitching staff carried by Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, Josh Hader and Devin Williams is complemented by a flurry of potential in Freddy Peralta, Josh Lindblom, Justin Topa, and Adrian Houser.
The Brewers could win close to 100 games this year if healthy and essentially lap a top-heavy Cardinals team.