MLB Futures Picks: 3 Best Bets for the 2024 Season

Andrew Caley has scoured the MLB futures betting board looking for underlays in various markets, including the MLB hits leader department. Find out why our MLB betting picks are all over Bo Bichette to pace the majors in hits at a big price.

Feb 20, 2024 • 16:22 ET • 4 min read
Bo Bichette Toronto Blue Jays MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

It's a little crazy to wrap your head around, but MLB Opening Day is just a little over a month away. As all 30 teams prepare for the season in Spring Training, there is no better time to slide headfirst into the MLB odds as we search for betting value in season-long player futures markets.

There are more baseball betting options than ever before with odds for MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, regular season leaders, and player totals. But don’t worry, I dug through the MLB futures and am sitting on my three best MLB picks for the 2024 season like a power hitter sits on a hanging breaking ball — ready to knock it out of the park.

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Jesus Luzardo — NL Cy Young (+3,000)

The National League Cy Young odds landscape has drastically changed over the past few years. No longer is the senior circuit dominated by guys like Clayton Kershaw, Jacob deGrom, and Max Scherzer. And the race to win the award for the NL’s top pitcher seems more wide open than ever.

Yes, the Spencer Striders, Zach Wheelers, and Zac Gallens and alike are all still there, and they are the favorites. But it doesn’t feel like there is an elite tier of pitchers that has separated itself from the pack anymore. And to me, that means there is betting value to be found in this market.

So, scanning the list of names to win the NL Cy Young, one that immediately stood out to me was Jesus Luzardo of the Miami Marlins at +3,000. 

Luzardo will be the Marlins de facto ace in 2024 with Sandy Alcantara sidelined thanks to Tommy John surgery. But don’t be mistaken, the 26-year-old has the stuff to be an ace all on his own and is coming off a breakout season where he pitched to a 3.58 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP over 32 starts. 

Luzardo is a power left-hander. And I mean he brings the gas. He is one of the hardest-throwing left-handed starters in baseball and ranked in the 90th percentile overall in fastball velocity. He combines that fastball with a wipeout slider and a devastating changeup that drops off the table. 

The result of those pitches? Strikeouts. A lot of them. Luzardo racked up 208 Ks in just 178 2/3 innings pitched last season. That was good for fourth in the NL in strikeout rate. What will help his case further is that his command is getting better and better as he enters his prime. Luzardo has slashed his walk rate each of the last three seasons and his 7.4% walk rate in 2023 ranked in the 65th percentile.

Cy Young voters don’t care too much about 200 innings pitched anymore it seems with four of the six winners since 2021 having fallen below that number. But they still love strikeouts. And a sub 3.00 ERA of course. 

Luzardo has dominant stuff and is still getting better. If he continues on this trajectory, Cy Young contention is not far off. At this price, I’m betting the Lizard King follows in Alcantara’s footsteps and grabs the National League Cy Young Award. 

Jesus Luzardo pick: To win NL Cy Young (+3,000 at DraftKings)

Dylan Cease — MLB strikeout leader (+3,500)

The Chicago White Sox are a perfect example of how quickly a contention window can close in baseball, because 2023 was one hell of a dumpster fire.

This team won 93 games and the AL Central crown in 2021, and just two seasons later they managed only 61 victories. Now, to pull off a collapse like that, basically everyone on the team has to have regressed last year, even ace Dylan Cease

The right-handed fireballer finished the year with an ERA of 4.58, his worst since his rookie season in 2019. But while there were some bad patches last year, there were stretches where the 28-year-old looked great. And despite the rough patches, Cease still finished the season ranked eighth in the MLB in strikeouts with 214 and sixth in strikeout rate.

So, when I look at the odds board for who will be the MLB strikeout leader in 2024 and I see a +3,500 by Cease’s name, that seems flat out disrespectful. That is behind 16 other starters. 

Remember this is a guy who pitched to a 3.01 ERA, limited opponents to a .207 batting average, and stuck out 11.7 batters per nine innings over 64 starts between 2021 and 2023. And he has struck out at least 214 batters in each of the last three seasons.

Just because his team sucks does not mean this guy is not a good pitcher, and I think he’s in a great spot to bounce back this season. Cease also clearly knows his name has been mentioned in plenty of trade rumors recently, so what better way to up your trade value than by mowing down opposing hitters?

Part of me still hopes Cease gets traded to a better situation before this year’s trade deadline, but even if he doesn’t this season, a bounce back does nothing but improve his value and it doesn’t hurt that he gets to pitch against the worst division in baseball.

At +3,500, there is plenty of value in Cease to lead the MLB in strikeouts in 2024.

Dylan Cease pick: To lead MLB in strikeouts (+3,500 at FanDuel)

Bo Bichette — MLB hits leader (+1,400)

Bo Bichette will lead Major League Baseball in hits at some point in his career. Full stop. He’s just that good a hitter. So, could 2024 be the year that the Toronto Blue Jays’ shortstop accomplishes that feat?

What makes Bichette such a dangerous hitter is that he has great plate coverage and is willing to take the ball to the opposite field. That allows him to hit every type of pitch well. Simply put, Bichette is one of the purest hitters in the game today and the numbers through his first handful of seasons reflect that. 

For starters, when it comes to expected batting average, Bichette has ranked in the 90th percentile or better in each of his last four seasons, which includes him finishing in the Top 2% of MLB hitters last season. He is also a .299 hitter for his career, never hitting worse than .290 in a season.

Bichette also led the American League in hits in both 2021 and 2022. In 2023, he ended the year with 175 hits. But he also had two uncharacteristic trips to the injured list last season and ended up playing just 135 games after suiting up for 159 in each of the two previous campaigns.

Take away the IL stints and Bichette was on pace for a 207-hit season, which would have given him the third-most in the big leagues and just 10 behind MLB leader Ronald Acuna Jr. 

On top of that, Bichette will also almost always be hitting second or third in a Blue Jays lineup that will need the most out of him this season if they hope to return to the postseason. And if Vladimir Gurrero Jr. can get back on track following a somewhat down season, watch out, because Bichette could get even more pitches to hit. 

There is no reason Bo can’t challenge for the league lead in hits in 2024, and at +1,400 he looks like one of the best values on the board.

Bo Bichette pick: To lead MLB in hits (+1,400 at DraftKings)

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