Givin’ Futures: NL Rookie Of The Year And Other MLB Futures

Byron Buxton #25 of the Minnesota Twins bats in the fifth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on November 3, 2021, in Kansas City, Missouri.
Image Credit: Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Seiya Suzuki of the Cubs to win Rookie of the Year at 15/1

So a baseball focus on Givin Futures given the flurry of post-lockout transactions. Let’s start with NL Rookie of the Year, where you can get Seiya Suzuki of the Cubs via the NPB in Japan (where he was the best player in the circuit) as high as 15/1.

Brad: Michael totally got me into Suzuki. You get smarter knowing smart people. 

Well in fairness I write the NPB cards for Topps. 

Brad: And you’ve said this guy can be a superstar. I got 12/1 for part of my bet. And I took the rest of 8/1. Okay, but there’s one site which I’m not allowed to bet that’s 15/1. No joke. Some have lowered it to 5.5/1. By the way, I would still take that in this NL field. I would make this plus-250. I think Suzuki has AT LEAST a two-in-seven chance to win this. This class is so weak. And this is a different rookie. Even with a year that would disappoint you and the Cubs judging from the contract, he probably wins. 

Byron Buxton for most runs at 50/1.

Brad: Michael and l have a man-crush on Byron Buxton. We gave you MVP at 50/1. You sent me the chart from 2021 that showed Buxton had the most runs per game, and the market doesn’t know this because he played just 61 games. Before we gave out Wander Franco for most runs at 30/1 and in one of these places he was 75/1 and I was able to get a grand on that. It was a nice feeling. We also gave out Tim Anderson at a nice price and I like that bet, too. But Buxton was No.1 in the stat. His price is so good because you’re not going to see him anywhere on the runs-scored list. To me, his runs per game is a forecast. And he has an improved offense with the Twins adding Carlos Correa. So at 50/1, let’s dance. If Buxton stays healthy, he’s probably going to come in the top four.

Buxton is also probably the fastest man in MLB and that means he scores from first on every double, from second on every single, from third on every fly ball or grounder with less than two outs. Plus he’ll get on base more on basically routine grounders. I figure that’s about plus-12 runs over a full season. 

Brad:  Totally agree with that. It’s huge.

Next, Luis Robert at 35/1 to win the MVP and 50/1 to get the most hits.

Brad: Look at his second half. He’s right up there with the best hitters in the league and actually led MLB in hits per game last year. Like Buxton, here’s another guy with a great history as a top prospect. One of the most-hyped ones. His OPS last year was around .940, which is spectacular. He hit .338. He’s on a good team. He has power. He’s a great defender in the center along with Buxton. We also took a shot on Kyle Tucker at 40/1. On Buxton at 50/1. If I was just doing an MVP draft, Trout of course is there. Ohtani. Vlad. But these three would be in my top 10 and maybe my top six. By the way, I had a shop this; Robert was like 25/1 in most places. I wouldn’t have pulled the trigger there. I thought I deserved at least 30/1 because he’s still a young guy. But I was able to get 35/1 today.

I just want to point out for the listeners. Here’s a guy whose strikeout rate from 2020 to 2021 went from 32.2% to 20.6%. You can’t fake a declining K rate. It’s no fluke. It’s a stat that stabilizes even in Robert’s 2021 sample. How about the hits leader bet at 50/1?

Brad: Let me ask you a question: What’s the number one thing to look at if you’re a betting guy to lead the league in hits? 

Not walk.

Brad: Boom. Exactly. This guy Michael: 14 walks in 68 games. My kind of guy for this bet. 

Now a team future in light of recent roster moves: Phillies 20/1 to win the pennant.

Brad: When information changes, I change my opinion. This was not a team I was looking at. But they were able to add two really, really good hitters to their team. I think Nick Castellanos is unbelievable. He’s one of my favorite players. And Kyle Schwarber is a top power hitter, too. I know their defense could be a problem but that’s a lot of power and hitting. And they already had the two-time NL MVP and I think Rhys Hoskins is a good hitter. We both think J.T. Realmuto is overrated in fantasy, but he’s a top-three hitting catcher. This rotation is also really good if Zack Wheeler is healthy. I know bullpen and defense. But the Phillies will be a bear of a team. I like them at 20/1.  

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