Let’s start with Igor Shesterkin of the Rangers minus-210 to win the Vezina Trophy for best NHL goalie.
Brad: There was just a poll of the voters for this award and he got every single vote. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bigger discrepancy of a starting goalie versus a backup goalie. He’s been the best goalie ever in save percentage at 94%. When he doesn’t play, it’s a night and day difference. It’s not like the Rangers are making it easy for him, judging by how the backup has played. Minus-210 means there’s a 67.7% chance he wins. From what I’ve read, and what I’ve seen, I would have to think he should be 95% or more to win the award, so minus-1900. Usually injury is the big risk with these bets. But you’d have a better chance of him losing the award if he plays badly for some reason because his numbers now are so gaudy, so ridiculous, so crazy. You can’t improve upon them because he’s having the best year ever.
Toronto’s Auston Matthews +300 for NHL MVP/Hart Trophy I note he finished second in the voting last year behind Connor McDavid.
Brad: In that same article only Matthews and Shesterkin got Hart Trophy votes and Matthews got 75% of the votes. He’s 3/1 now. Connor McDavid could win this every year. He’s like Mike Trout was when everyone knew he was the best player. But Matthews is having a great year. He scored a hat trick tonight. He has 43 goals now. He’s up by five now for most goals and could score 60; it’s possible. And he came in second last year and some voters always believe a guy has to climb the ladder. Do I think he has a 25% chance? Yeah, I’m gonna say it’s above that. I think he’s probably at least in the mid 30s to win the award. So I’ll take plus-300.
You like the Mavericks 9/1 to win the Southwest Division with a record since trading Kristaps Porzingis of 8-2.
Brad: We’ve given out on the show Memphis all year. The 11th Commandment is Brad Feinberg taking the Memphis Grizzlies to win the division. And we’ve given out that show. We took 4/1, 3/1, 2/1 and we took even money. We laid minus-150 and minus-200. We laid minus-400. We’ve taken Memphis at least five times on the show. But I bet numbers not teams. Now, Dallas is the good number. Porzingis just wasn’t fitting in. I fully expect Memphis to win the division, but I think it should be minus-600. So I think they have around an 85% chance. You want to give me nine to one again, a 10% chance? At odds where I don’t have to bet big? I feel pretty good about it. This bet has a 15% chance of winning,
Moving to baseball and hopefully we’ll have baseball back by the time this is read…. Tim Anderson 33/1 for most runs in MLB.
Brad: Vladimir Guerrero had 123 runs in 161 games. That’s .76 runs per game. He led the league. Tim Anderson in 123 games had 94 runs: .76 runs per game. Now he got injured and missed 40 games and this is the kind of bet that if you don’t play 155 games, you’re not going to win. So right off the bat you have to always get lucky in this kind of bet but I’m going to get lucky on a 33/1, not 15/1 or even 22/1. I’m getting 33/1 on a guy I like if he just stays healthy and plays. So it’s like the Byron Buxton MVP bet last week. There were three guys at that .76 mark and we’re going to talk about another one next. At 33/1 for Anderson, sign me up.
Wander Franco 30/1 most runs. He’s a switch hitter. At age 20, he struck out in just 12% of plate appearances, about half the MLB-average rate. He tied a record by getting a hit in four-straight Postseason games before his 21st birthday. His sprint speed is 85th percentile.
Brad: He’s the other .76 runs per game guy. The reason I’m getting this number is they see he scored 53 runs. He was not even close to leading the league. But on a per-game basis, he was at the top. Now the thing with the Rays is that people think they all sit a game or two per week. But they didn’t do that with Franco (According to Baseball-Reference, Franco played 75 of 76 games after his callup before he was hurt in September. And they were ALL complete games.) You’re getting a generational prospect who will have a high average and a high OBP and has power.
Pete Alonso: 18/1 most homers in the majors. He has a rate of a homer every 12.89 at-bats that is fourth in MLB history (min. 100 HRs), 1.13 behind Ruth. His 100th career round-tripper came at the second-fastest pace in MLB history, happening in 347th career game.
Brad: He’s the HR leader in MLB since 2019. He was basically on pace for around a low 40s homer year in the COVID season. He had 37 last year. His 53 is of course the rookie record. He has just been consistent. Do I think he’s gonna win it? No. But do I think he wins 1 out of 19 times? I feel very confident he does and I think he probably wins it twice out of 19 times. He should be 11/1 not 19/1. My buy price would probably be like 16/1 or maybe 15/1. If I had to pick someone for free, it was just: You Pick, the odds are the same on every player. I’d pick Pete Alonso as my first choice. And I get 18 /1.
For Brad’s thoughts on how the NFL futures landscape has changed with the Packers signing Aaron Rodgers and the Broncos trading for Russell Wilson, plus some disagreement on what Deshaun Watson can fetch in the trade market relative to Wilson, listen to the full Given Futures podcast.