The 2019 MLB season begins soon and there is plenty of value to be found in betting on the various futures markets.
<p>The 2019 Major League Baseball season begins on March 20 and bookmakers have released a number of intriguing futures markets. Last season the Boston Red Sox beat the LA Dodgers to seize the World Series and they are among the favourites to defend their crown this year. But the American League looks ferociously competitive and several teams will feel confident in their ability to clinch it, while a couple of franchises will fancy their chances of usurping the Dodgers in the National League.</p><h2>Divisional futures</h2><p>The AL East should develop into a gripping battle between the New York Yankees and the Red Sox. The Yankees are 20/21 (1.96) with <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=a710bfac-73c1-4a57-b441-2caf1b9f397b" target="_blank">William Hill</a>, while the Red Sox are 11/8 and they look like an interesting bet at those odds. The Cleveland Indians tied up the AL Central without much difficulty last year and they are 2/5 with William Hill to do so again due to their dominant rotation and the strengths of Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez. The 18/1 (19.0) Chicago White Sox might make an interesting long shot there after building a wonderful collection of young stars such as Yoan Moncada, Leury Garcia and Omar Narvaez. They look like a safe over bet when looking at win totals. The Houston Astros are the shortest priced favourites in any division as they are just 3/10 (1.33) with <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=8e57de00-8c0e-4848-b6da-ea2a0f565fb1" target="_blank">888 Sport</a> to with the AL West.</p><p>The NL East is giving bookmakers a bit of a headache, as William Hill makes the Philadelphia Phillies favourites at 21/10 (2.10), with the Washington Nationals just behind at 9/4 (2.25) and the Atlanta Braves at 11/4 (2.75). Right now the Braves are attracting the most betting action, but that could all change if the Phillies sign Bryce Harper. That looks increasingly likely, so the 21/10 on them is attractive. Last year, the Milwaukee Brewers edged the Chicago Cubs by a single win in the NL Central, and they look well priced at 3/1 (4.0) with Marathon Bet to win it again in 2019. The Cincinnati Reds are also an interesting team and they look like a good over bet on win totals. The Dodgers are 2/5 (1.40) with William Hill to win the NL West and it is hard to see anyone stopping them.</p><p><strong>Tip: </strong>Indians, Astros and Dodgers all to win their divisions at 2.55</p><h2>American League</h2><p>The AL looks extremely competitive this year, with the Red Sox, Astros, Yankees and Indians all vying for glory. There are also some interesting outsiders, including the White Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays, who are attracting a fair few bets at 66/1 (67.0). The Red Sox are the favourites at 3/1 (4.0) with William Hill and deservedly so after postseason heroes Nathan Eovaldi and Steve Pearce and bringing back virtually everyone from a team that led the majors in scoring. The Yankees will be much better this year and the Indians are solid, so it looks like a tough one to call.</p><p>Yet the Astros look a great bet at 10/3 (4.33) as they are coming off a 103-win season despite being ravaged with injuries. The 2017 World Series winners went to the League Championship series last year, and they could win it this time. They lost some talented veterans to free agency, but they brought in some exciting stars such as Michael Brantley, while a healthy Carlos Correa would give everyone a huge boost and the likes of Forrest Whitley, Josh James and Kyle Tucker will kick on.</p><p><strong>Tip: </strong>Astros at 10/3</p><h2>National League</h2><p>The Dodgers are bidding to become the first team to win the NL for three years in a row and they look well priced to pull it off at 7/2 (4.50) with <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18" target="_blank">Bet365</a> and various others. They have lost back-to-back World Series, first to the Astros and then to the Red Sox last season, so they will need to regroup and find the motivation to go again. The off-season purchase of A.J. Pollock is a massive addition to an already stacked rotation. Just like Houston, they struggled with injuries last year and if they can avoid too many problems in that department this time around they will be hard to topple. But the Cubs are a very talented team, and if they get full seasons out of Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels they will be fearsome, so they could make a good each way bet.</p><p><strong>Tip: </strong>Cubs each-way at 13/2 with William Hill (half the odds on the place for a top two finish)</p><h2>World Series</h2><p>The Yankees are the most popular choice right now with punters at odds of 13/2 (7.50) with 888 Sport. It seems too early to call the winner of the World Series, but the Astros also look tempting at 7/1 (8.0) with Betfred. It will be really tight in the AL, with the Yankees, Astros and Red Sox all among the brilliant teams battling for glory. Whoever emerges triumphant should go on and win the World Series, and Houston should be back with a vengeance this year. The Cubs also look interesting at 12/1 (13.0) each-way for the World Series, as they need to take advantage of their supremely talented team while they can.</p>