Tis’ the season. It’s that time again where the sportsbooks begin spitting out a plethora of MLB player prop bets for the masses that get down on the futures. For the 2020 season, we find ourselves scouring the player prop bets, looking for the best values we can find. Atop two of these options sit two of the game’s biggest names. At +200, New York Yankees Gerrit Cole leads the pack as the odds-on favorite to win the AL Cy Young in his first year with his new team. When looking at the AL MVP stack, the leader of the pack is Los Angeles Angels OF Mike Trout, as the -125 favorite. As you walk up to the window, or log into your betting app, do one simple thing: fade them. So how could one simply fade two of the biggest stars in baseball with such proven track records? One word...Babies.
Every year, the game has many stars that become new fathers as they sneak away for a few days on paternity leave. It’s not just those three games they are granted as part of the leave that rocks their world. It is months of preparation, conversations with the wife, and added contacts from distant family and friends that rock the player’s world. It rocks their stats as well. This is a game changer.
It is 2019, and Bryce Harper props hit the books, led with him as the odds-on favorite to win the league’s NL MVP award. As odds come out, so does a social media post from Harper’s wife Kayla, announcing the addition of their first child due in August. Obviously, Harper is ecstatic, but unfortunately his numbers fall flat, even after relocating to one of baseball’s more hitter friendly ballparks in Philadelphia. Harper not only failed to win the MVP award, but also failed to receive a single vote. A career .279 hitter finished the season hitting .260 and struck out more times than he ever has in his eight-year career.
There are countless examples of this over the years, but let’s get back on track with the two bets to fade for 2020.
FADE: Favorite at +200 Gerrit Cole to win the 2020 AL Cy Young Award
Not only is he relocating to New York to begin the first year of his monster nine-year, $324 million-dollar contract, Cole’s wife Amy broke the news on New Year’s Day that they wouldn’t be alone when they move to New York. “2020: a year of new beginnings. New city, new team, and a new member of the family! Baby Cole is arriving in June and we are overjoyed. 👶🏼💙,” Amy Cole wrote on Instagram. This will be the couple’s first child.
FADE: Favorite at -125 Mike Trout to win the 2020 AL MVP Award
On Monday, Trout shared a video on Twitter, highlighting many family snippets, including his wife Jessica informing him that she was pregnant. “Baby Trout due in August 2020!!” the three-time MVP tweeted, followed with “I don’t even know where to begin..from seeing your heartbeat for the first time to seeing you dance around in mommy’s belly…we are truly blessed and this is only the beginning!” This will also be the couple’s first child.
I couldn’t be more excited for these two amazing talents and their wives, along with their extended families. With that said, I’d recommend passing on the two favorites and considering another look at the board. This is a great year to find some value spots at plus money. SI Gambling guru Frankie Taddeo posted just weeks ago that sharps are eyeing longshots Giancarlo Stanton (30-1) and Josh Donaldson (60-1) to win the AL MVP honors, along with James Paxton (20-1) and Shane Bieber (10-1) as potential candidates for the Cy Young. I don’t hate any of those names.
As I wrap up, I just got an alert on my phone. The Yankee game has gone final. The Tigers 15, Yankees 11. In Thursday’s Spring Training start, Gerrit Cole pitched just two innings, and gave up 6 hits, 6 runs, and 4 home runs, for a 27.00 ERA.