2023 Major League Baseball Player Futures
FTN's MLBdream breaks down his favorite player futures around baseball heading into the 2023 MLB season.
Mar 14, 2023, 1:44 PM EDT
It’s technically only exhibition play, but baseball season is in full swing with both Spring Training and World Baseball Classic action daily. We’ve been treated to games from morning to night, and the WBC certainly has the intensity of postseason baseball. You can check out my WBC future bets here, as we shift our focus to MLB futures.
With all the rule changes in MLB, it’s tough to project exactly how the game will change, but a few things are certain: We will see significantly more stolen bases and attempts, and the pace of play will be much quicker than what we’re used to. We don’t know exactly how the new pace will affect a pitcher's stamina once they reach the middle innings.
I found a couple of edges on two players who had down years in 2022 due to injuries.
Ronald Acuña Jr. Over 26.5 Home Runs
I was surprised when I saw this number open in the mid-20s — I was certain Ronald Acuña Jr. would get lined around 30 home runs. I played over 26.5 HR at the end of February, and this number has moved to a flat 29. It’s playable through 30.5 home runs, so be sure to shop around for the best number.
The 25-year-old superstar had a down year in 2022 as he came back from an ACL injury he suffered in 2021. Acuña finished with 15 dingers in 119 games last season, as he clearly wasn’t 100%. Acuña didn’t get the results he expected but he still displayed an elite power skill set. His maximum exit velocity, hard hit percentage and expected slugging percentage all finished better than the 90th percentile. While his barrel rate wasn’t much worse in the 88th percentile. Ronald finished with four fewer home runs than expected and I believe we’re going to see better results with a full-off season that isn’t spent rehabbing from a serious injury. Ronald Acuña Jr. is projected for around 32 home runs — I would pass on betting the over at 31.5 or higher.
Rafael Devers Over 29.5 Home Runs
Note: Fanduel opened Devers at 28.5 -110 - which is better than what I played it at
Rafael Devers was another guy I was looking to target in the home run market after he played through leg injuries in the second half of the 2022 season that affected his season totals. Devers mashed in the first half, slashing .324/.379/.601 with 22 home runs a 170 wRC+. Devers only played 55 games post-All-Star break and slashed .249 /.325/.388 with five long balls and a wRC+ of 93, with his numbers drastically dipping after a return from the injured list. Like Acuña, Raffy’s power metrics still were elite. His max exit velocity, hard hit rate, expected slugging and xwOBA were in the 92nd percentile or better. The 26-year-old also finished with four fewer home runs than expected in 2022. This prop moved to 30.5 after I played it, but I still think there’s value at the current number. I would pass on betting the over at 31.5 or higher.
Just Missed My Card
As far as team futures go, I was close to locking in the Blue Jays to win the American League at around +225 but passed for now. This was before the Yankees suffered injuries to two starting pitchers — Carlos Rodón and Frankie Montas — but figured I’d wait for a potentially better spot in-season. Toronto did a great job of improving their bullpen and defense during the off-season, two areas that hurt them in 2022. As far as the AL East favorite goes, I think the bottom half of the Yankees lineup still lacks boppers and it’s tough to count on Aaron Judge hitting another 60-plus out of the park. However, even with the injuries, New York’s pitching staff will still be one of the best in baseball.
I’m also waiting for sportsbooks to open their stolen base props for individual batters. I’m not sure how inflated the numbers will be with the rule changes but I’m hoping these props are posted in the next week or so.
You can follow me on Twitter for more free bets, as I’ll be writing up free picks a few times a week this again season. You can find all my bets in the FTN Bet Tracker. If you're not subscribed, join now and get 20% off using promo code DREAM.
As always be sure you’re using FTN’s Prop Shop tool to ensure you’re getting the best number available to you.