I apologize for no The House Versus Straus last week as things were crazy busy with the Masters. But those that follow me got a heavy dose of golf, so for this week, we are going to switch it up and give you a heavy dose of MLB Futures Bets Mid-April
If you are not interested in baseball and want to scroll down to the end of Strausberg's Favorite Bets For Early April, you can find my USFL wager to make now if you prefer.
However, I know most of you are much more interested in baseball bets rather than XFL bets, so I'll start with those. And early April is a good time to make some MLB futures, as we do have some data at our disposal, but the books have not necessarily adjusted yet to what some of the data might be telling us.
So with that in mind, here are Strausberg's Favorite Bets For Early April.
*Note that all these props come from the DraftKings Sportsbook unless otherwise noted.
MLB Futures Bets Mid-April
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American League Cy Young Award Winner: Drew Rasmussen (+4000)
I have to give props to my friend Jeff for bringing this one to my attention. And depending on where you make this bet, it might not even be available. He said he was at his local Cesar's sports book and Rasmussen wasn't even one of the top 20 options on the board. That's absolutely crazy.
As we both agreed, Rasmussen is probably not going to win the AL Cy Young. But he found it elsewhere at 23 to 1 and when I went searching for it on DK, I found it at 40-1. I did not pass go or collect $200 but immediately placed a unit or two on it as that is insane value.
Do you realize what Rasmussen has done so far this year? Let's start with the quick top-line numbers. In two starts he has two wins, 15 strikeouts, and a microscopic 0.00 ERA. He's pitching for Rays, who happen to be white hot right now. He should definitely rack up the wins this year, which unfortunately is still a key factor in Cy Young voting. He's also averaging more than a strikeout an inning, so if he gets 200 IP, he should easily surpass 200 strikeouts this season. Rasmussen is an absolute flame thrower right now:
Drew Rasmussen, 97mph ⛽️
6th K pic.twitter.com/c7GBmaaWsM
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 9, 2023
His fastball is averaging over 96 mph, but it's not just Rasmussen's speed. He's not just striking guys out, but his control is excellent as well. He's walked NO ONE this season so far. Of course that will change. But the fact that he has allowed all of three base runners (resulting in a 0.23 WHIP) this season is quite impressive.
And yes, the fact that it was Washington and Oakland is a reason to slow our roll. I would bet the house that his stats aren't quite as sparkling a month from now. But his performance is legit. And he's well worth a shot at 40-1. You don't get that kind of value on a potential Cy Young winner. Grab it while you can.
Speaking of the Rays...
Tampa Bay Rays World Series Winner (+1200)
If the playoffs started today, Tampa Bay would be the clear top seed as the only undefeated team in the entire league. I realize they don't start today, but at 12-to-1, the books are not giving them a ton of respect. That's higher odds than the bet I made on any team (at +1000) starting 10-0. Obviously, I won that bet and I could take a victory lap, but that's not the point here. The point is we are getting a ton of value at +1200.
Tampa Bay has won by four or more runs in nine of their games so far this season. The Rays are literally off to the best start in over 100 years! Think I'm exaggerating? I give you this little nugget via MLB.com:
Even with a one-run win on Monday, the Rays boast a hefty plus-58 run differential. That’s the fifth highest by a team in its first 10 games of a season in MLB history. Each of the four teams ahead of them on the list played before 1893, when the mound was moved to its current distance. They are the aforementioned 1884 Maroons (+98) and Gothams (+67), 1876 Hartfords of Brooklyn (+61) and 1882 Providence Grays (+59).
They are doing it on both sides of the ball with both hitting and pitching. In fact, I'm at the stage right now where I am including the Rays' money line in nearly any MLB parlay I make. They will lose eventually, I promise you. But until they do, I'm going to bet them daily. And I'll be honest, I don't know if they will win the World Series, but they have already shown this young season that they have the talent to do so. And at 12-to-1, I'd make that bet before the books drop it.
Ronald Acuna Jr. NL MVP (+400)
Three-hit night for Ronald Acuña Jr.
Six multi-hit games this season. pic.twitter.com/IydOEMnxit
— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) April 11, 2023
I am not actually recommending you make this bet. I do like Acuna to win MVP, but there is little to zero value on this bet right now. Yet I'm highlighting it here because it is the perfect example of why when I tell you to make a bet now while you can, you should.
Not saying that Acuna won't win NL MVP. In fact, I hope he does. That's because I jumped on him to win NL MVP this preseason, back when he was +1100 to win NL MVP.
All he has done is got off to a blistering start, currently hitting .340 coupled with his SLG % of .511. But it's not just his bat that is going to help get Acuna named MVP. It's also his legs. He has five stolen bases already and I would be shocked if he doesn't swipe at least 40 this season. Acuna is currently the front-runner to win the NL MVP.
I can't say I'm surprised.
Bonus Bet: St. Louis BattleHawks to win the XFL Championship (+425)
So going to switch gears here a little as we are getting down to the last few weeks of the XFL season. I told you in February when the lines first opened to bet on St. Louis back when they were +400 and now I look stupid as they are up to +425. However, that's extremely good value.
The DC Defenders are a ridiculous favorite at +125. I like the Defenders and if they were close to 400 like the Battlehawks, I'd probably grab them. But at +125, that bet screams fade. The Defenders are the favored because they are the only team in the league with just one loss. But their loss to Orlando, the worst team in the league, two weeks ago has me a little concerned. The BattleHawks meanwhile got off to a strong start, had a bit of a hiccup, but are now the only team with a three-game winning streak.
XFL experts like to point to the Defenders' strong defense. Maybe it's the "pun-like" ability. But I got news for those people--the Battlehawks have allowed fewer points this season than the Defenders. Fade the favorite and go with the underdog Battlehawks.
Check out the rest of our Betting Coverage.