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JohnnyVTV’s 2021 MLB AL Futures Bets and Predictions

About that time, ladies and gentlemen. Baseball season is BACK. America’s past time is ready to return to its past 162 game regular season glory after a Covid-shortened 60 game sprint in 2020. While there have been some MAJOR shakeups this off season, one thing always remains a constant; BETTING. Your favorite Italian Stallion capped off a strong NFL season with cashing in a major Tampa Bay Buccaneers future bet from March 2020. Flipping seasons over, it’s time to take a look at what this MLB campaign has to offer.


First off the board, it’s every AL team’s projected win total (and more) via FanDuel Sports Book.

AL EAST:
Baltimore Orioles  63.5 UNDER -110
For a team that was a real threat in the mid 2010’s, they have taken a fall from grace. Having been one of the worst teams in the MLB for the past few years, the O’s still possess one of the bigger rebuild rosters in baseball. On the plus side, First basemen Trey Mancini returns after his victorious battle with colon cancer. Luckily, I had the opportunity to ask him a few questions back in November. On the negative side is just about all else. While I could see this roster hit this over, I’m in more of an under mood.



Boston Red Sox      79.5 UNDER -110
Speaking of quick drop offs, Boston went from 2018 World Series Champions to projected 4th place finish in the AL East in only a few years. Now, we know projections mean nothing at the end of the day, but still. This roster is pretty strong considering the losses they’ve endured. While their former superstar, Mookie Betts, now resides in LA as a reigning Champion with the Dodgers, this Red Sox team has some formidable threats like J.D Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, and Rafael Devers. A usually competitive team, they would not surprise me to eclipse 80 wins in 2021. However, the uncertainty in the starting rotation and difficulty of this division is forcing me to lean in a slight under.



Tampa Bay Rays      86 OVER- 110
Moneyball 2.0 continues to be one of the most successful teams despite one of the lowest payrolls. While the only real loss counts as starting pitcher Blake Snell, now in San Diego, most of the World Series runner up roster remains intact. As a team that can never be counted out, Tampa Bay is a strong bet to return to the MLB post season, even in arguably the toughest division in baseball behind Cy Young contender, Tyler Glasnow.



Toronto Blue Jays   86 OVER- 130
The young guns of the AL look to finally be poised to take the leap many are projecting. As the highest projected Toronto win total in recent memory, this franchise is surrounded with young talent with the likes of Vladdy Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, George Springer, Cavan Biggio etc. Of course, the big question comes in with the pitching staff. Currently sporting Hyun Jin Ryu as the ace, the Blue Jays will need to score a lot of runs to offset an unexpecting underwhelming staff. I’m buying the hype in 2021.


New York Yankees   95 OVER -110
95 wins is A LOT. The Yankees currently project one of the best starting lineups in baseball with a strong enough pitching rotation/bullpen. The story has been the same every season with this team though. Wild underachievers in the 2010’s, the Yanks appear to have arguably their best chance in a long time to at least reach the Fall Classic. If not now, then when?



AL Central:
Chicago White Sox   90.5 OVER -110
The team littered with arguably the most young talent in the entire MLB, the White Sox are on the verge of finally being legit contenders again for the first time since the 2000’s. Despite the brutal loss of star outfielder Eloy Jimenez (out for 4-6 months with a ruptured pectoral tendon), Chicago has enough firepower to overcome his absence. With few weak spots to speak of, there is no reason this team cannot win the division and venture far into the playoffs.



Cleveland Indians     81.5 OVER -110
An organization that was oh so close to being champions in 2016 have let players leave brick by brick ever since. For whatever reason, this franchise has viewed themselves better off rebuilding than swinging for the fences despite having a legitimate contending roster. In 2021, it’s mostly assembled of younger talent mixed in with a few strong veterans, and a star or two. The biggest loss to overcome will be that of SS Francisco Lindor, now with the New York Mets. One thing remains the same though; Manager Terry “Tito” Francona. This is a team that most likely misses the playoffs but puts up a fight to be around .500.



Detroit Tigers           67.5 UNDER -110
Irrelevant for quite a while, these Tigers will be lucky to crack their pathetic projection of 67.5 wins. While they possess a couple of quality players in Niko Goodrum, Jonathan Schoop, and Nomar Mazara, it’s hard to count on any of them. That includes future first ballot Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera, one of the greatest hitters this game has ever seen. The truth is it’s not realistic to expect anything from Detroit for a while.



Kansas City Royals     73.5 OVER -110
A low projected win total with a surprisingly solid lineup, the Royals have a good shot to make it to 74 wins this season. There’s a lot to like with their current hitting situation, and exactly the opposite with their pitching. Still, in a weaker AL Central division, I’m not opposed to KC flashing some brilliance this season.



Minnesota Twins       89.5 Under -110
The Twins flash an all-around solid roster. Talent here, depth there. While they often prove to be a tough out in the American League, there’s a piece or two missing for them to take that next step. I have no doubts they yet again evince their savviness and find themselves in post season contention coming down the stretch but reaching 90 wins for this team doesn’t float my boat. Hell, 89 wins is a great season and still would hit the under.



AL West:
Houston Astros           87.5 OVER -110
A brutal cheating scandal dragged this once darling franchise through the mud. Since then, they’ve lost a few key pieces, but still remain a formidable opponent for many teams in the MLB. A potent lineup will have to be the bread and butter for this Houston team that is not expected to have 2019 AL Cy Young winner, Justin Verlander, back in action after undergoing Tommy John last season. Decorated starter Zack Greinke will be called on to be the rock in the rotation, while a mix of more unsure options flurry in. Regardless, Houston is still a force to be reckoned with.



Los Angeles Angels     83.5 OVER -110
New season, same story for the Angels. The line up is LOADED with talent, including the best player in the league, and one of the best to ever play the game when it’s all said and done. However, the pitching just doesn’t seem to improve. For a team that has missed the postseason for the entire last decade, they have yet to address their rotation successfully. With several unproven options in the mix, it appears this offense will have to attack early and often. 84 wins is not out of the question though.



Oakland Athletics        86.5 OVER -110
The original Moneyball roster, the A’s have been overachievers for the past few seasons winning 97 games apiece in 2018 and 2019. And going 36-24 in 2020’s shortened season. There’s one common denominator though, they have not been able to advance further than the ALDS. As usual, on the lower half of the MLB payroll, the A’s need to add a little more firepower if they want to break through, but it is yet again another talented roster capable of winning the AL West division.

 


Seattle Mariners              73 Under -110
Composed of younger star talent, the Mariners are a long way off from contending in the conference. There are some things to like about them later on down the road, but with young players come a lot of growing pains. A couple of players worth tuning into on this roster though would be OF Kyle Lewis and DH/3B Ty France. Seattle is not close to being a threat in the MLB.



Texas Rangers              67.5 Under -110
Like Seattle, this team is built more for growing pains than anything else. Projected as one of the worst teams in baseball, it’s likely Texas struggles to eclipse the 67.5-win total. This team is going to have go through an entire rebuild to return to their early 2010’s contending ways. 


MLB Division Winners:
AL East: New York Yankees -220
AL Central: Chicago White Sox – 115
AL West: Oakland Athletics +155


MLB AWARD Winners:

AL MVP: Mike Trout +220
AL Cy Young: Tyler Glasnow +1100
AL ROY: Nate Pearson +1200
AL Manager of the Year: Bob Melvin +1000

MLB

Photo by Mike Bowman on Unsplash


As you can see, there are some big-time totals coming around the way for this American League. Just wait until the National League.

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John Venezia
John Venezia is JDF Sports lead bettor on NFL and MLB, while also contributing extensively for fantasy football. He operates a self-created video segment on his Instagram account, @JohnnyVTV called the Weekly Taste, where he locks in all of the best NFL bets of the week.

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