Elly De La Cruz Odds: Will Cincinnati Star Steal 100 Bases in 2024?

Elly De La Cruz has the opportunity to become the first player to steal 100 bases in a season since 1987 when Vince Coleman accomplished the feat. Betting odds are available and at significant plus money, this could be the best time to buy

Jason Wilson - Publishing Editor at Covers.com
Jason Wilson • Publishing Editor
May 22, 2024 • 11:57 ET • 4 min read
Elly De La Cruz Cincinnati Reds MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz is among MLB's most electrifying and exciting young players today. He has prodigious power and will almost certainly win several Gold Gloves for his defense.

But his speed is the tool that stands out most of all and sportsbooks are taking notice. MLB odds are readily available for his season-long stolen base prop and whether he will become the first player in nearly 40 years to steal 100 bases.

Let's look at Elly De La Cruz's numbers to date and break down his odds of becoming one of the all-time greats at stealing bags, and we can add another wager to your MLB picks in the process.

Elly De La Cruz stolen base odds

Will Elly De La Cruz steal 100 bases in 2024?

Over 99.5 SBs Under 99.5 SBs
+350 -450

Odds courtesy of DraftKings on 5-22-24.

My best bet: Over 99.5 stolen bases (+350 at DraftKings)

An increase in stolen bases was anticipated when Major League Baseball introduced new pick-off rules and larger bases before the 2023 season, and it worked like a charm. There were exactly 3,500 stolen bases in 2023 after 2,487 were swiped in 2022. That's the second most in the live ball era (since 1920), trailing just the 3,585 stolen in 1987.

National League MVP Ronald Acuna Jr. led the way with 73 while Oakland A's outfielder Esteury Ruiz picked up 67. Corbin Carroll tallied 54 while three others eclipsed 40 and 12 more got 30 or more.

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz was one of those players to reach the 30 stolen bases plateau, snagging 35 in just 98 games played. He did this despite a .300 OBP. Basically, if he reached base, he was taking off.

This has been amplified even further in 2024. De La Cruz has recorded 30 stolen bases in just 48 games, and that's despite going without any in his last four games. This is extra impressive because 15 teams have yet to steal 30 bases. De La Cruz's most impressive effort came last week when he stole four bases in a single game against the Los Angeles Dodgers (it could have been five, but he was caught once).

So, naturally, given a full season of work, we're asking if De La Cruz can hit the century mark. It's not entirely unheard of, but it's a number no one has touched since 1987.

St. Louis Cardinals speed demon Vince Coleman stole 109 bases in 1987, one of three years he hit triple digits. Rickey Henderson, who himself stole 100+ bases three times, was the last player to notch at least 90 (93 in 1988). Like Coleman and Rickey, De La Cruz has started the season hot, putting himself in a good position to join the century club.

So, will he do it? He certainly has the tools. His sprint speed (30 ft/sec) ranks third in baseball behind just Bobby Witt Jr. and Victor Scott II, according to Baseball Savant. He crushes the ball, ranking in the 80th percentile or better in average exit velocity, bat speed, barrel rate, and hard-hit percentage. It's pretty basic, but if you hit the ball hard you're more likely to get a hit. He also has an 11.2% walk rate.

Of his 30 stolen bases, 12 have been of third base. Even when Rickey Henderson stole a modern-era record 130 bags in 1982, barely more than a quarter of them were on the corner while 40% of De La Cruz's swipes have occurred at third.

De La Cruz has played in all 48 Reds games this season, leaving him 114 to get 70 more SBs. Assuming he keeps his current pace, he should be able to do it. Now, we can't exactly predict an injury — see Mike Trout — but any missed time would thwart his efforts. But, the thing that might cause him the most friction is his swing-and-miss. De La Cruz has struck out in 32% of his plate appearances, which is only marginally better than the 33.7% mark from last year. Only nine qualified hitters have struck out more frequently this season. Simply put, you can't steal if you're not on base.

But De La Cruz's batted ball data and a vastly improved 11.2% walk rate (up from 8.2% last year) will help his chances. And if you are unsure of whether or not it's something that matters to the young shortstop, there's this:

At 20-28, the Reds aren't as competitive as perhaps people expected or hoped, which could help keep the shackles off. If the Reds were in the thick of the playoff race, manager David Bell might be more inclined to put up the stop sign and force De La Cruz to play more conservatively on the basepaths. But with this being one of his many feature attractions, I don't expect him to stop running anytime soon, and he should ultimately become the first player in many moons to clear triple-digit steals.

And another outburst like the one he had against the Dodgers when he nabbed four bags in a single game could inspire books to shorten this price. I wouldn't go wild, but it's worth a sprinkle at +350. Doubters need not apply yet, as the Under 99.5 simply offers no betting value at -450.

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More Elly De La Cruz props today

If the season-long approach isn't to your liking, you can wager on De La Cruz and his MLB player props today. Notably, he's +210 to steal a base against the San Diego Padres on Wednesday, May 22.

De La Cruz's power is likewise potent, making his hits+runs+RBI market appealing at -120 to go Over 1.5.

With nine home runs on the year, he's capable of clearing the fence, too, and he's currently paying +475 to hit a dinger.

Previous 100-stolen base seasons

Here is a list of every player since 1920 to record 100+ stolen bases in a single season:

Year Player Stolen bases
1982 Athletics Rickey Henderson 130
1974 Cardinals Lou Brock 118
1985 Cardinals Vince Coleman 110
1987 Cardinals Vince Coleman 109
1983 Athletics Rickey Henderson 108
1986 Cardinals Vince Coleman 107
1962 Dodgers Maury Wills 104
1980 Athletics Rickey Henderson 100

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