2023 MLB Sleeper Bets For Team, MVP, & Cy Young

By Chris Hughes   March 3, 2023 

2023 MLB Sleeper Bets For Team, MVP, & Cy Young

While Major League Baseball doesn’t always have a lot of huge surprises when it comes to the World Series winner, thanks to the enormous amount of futures bets available, there is definite value in trying to pick out some MLB sleeper bets for 2023.

In league MVP results, we haven’t seen a repeat winner over the past six seasons. In that stretch, only Justin Verlander and Jacob deGrom have won more than one Cy Young Award.

With seven teams from each league now getting into the playoffs, that opens up surprise teams either reaching the playoffs (Cleveland hitting at +1000 to win the American League Central division) or making a strong run. Baltimore’s over-under win total last year was set at 62.5, and they easily surpassed that at 83-79, missing out on a playoff spot by three games.

As we get ready for the 2023 season, here are three MLB sleeper bets for the new year.

MLB Team Sleeper Bet: Baltimore Orioles to Make Playoffs

Even though the Orioles overachieved in a big way in 2022, oddsmakers aren’t sold on a repeat performance.

Taking a look at DraftKings, the over-under win total for 2023 is set at 76.5.

We’re going to look past that near-even-money bet and aim higher. Here are the odds for teams in the sleeper-bet position to reach the MLB playoffs in 2023 (again, from DraftKings).

TEAM2022 RECORDODDS TO MAKE 2023 PLAYOFFS
Baltimore Orioles83-79Yes: +350 / No: -450
Boston Red Sox78-84Yes: +300 / No: -370
Chicago Cubs74-88Yes: +310 / No: -380
Miami Marlins69-93Yes: +320 / No: -400
Arizona Diamondbacks74-88Yes: +550 / No: -750

While there’s plenty to like with Miami‘s pitching, we believe Baltimore has the best chance to reach the playoffs of these teams.

Looking deeper at the Orioles, they have a nice mix of young players who performed well in 2022 and are projected to make a big impact this year. Catcher Adley Rutschman made his MLB debut on May 21 and still finished 12th in MVP voting.

Grayson Rodriguez, who is the No. 4 prospect in baseball, is projected to make the rotation this year. At the end of the game, the Orioles have the electric Felix Bautista. He could be the 2023 version of Edwin Diaz: a closer with unhittable stuff and an entrance to match.

Finally, the Orioles will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the balanced schedule in 2023. Gone are 18 or 19 matchups with three playoff teams from the AL East. Instead, clubs inside the division will play each other 13 times. Fifteen fewer games against tough division opponents will be enough of a benefit for the O’s to make the playoffs this year. Baltimore also currently has +2000 odds to win the American League title.

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MLB MVP Sleeper Bet: Corey Seager to Win AL MVP

Corey Seager’s 2022–his first year with the Texas Rangers–was unlike any other year in his big-league career.

His 33 home runs were a career-high (and his first time over the 20-homer mark since 2017 with the Los Angeles Dodgers). His batting average, however, was down to a career-low .245.

In looking at strikeout totals–yes, his 103 Ks last year was the third-highest in his career–he fanned 133 times in 2017 and still hit .308. Instead, it appears that Seager was a victim of the shift (which is now banned) and bad luck. His BAbip (batting avg. on balls in play) was .242. His previous career-low was .303 in 2019.

Teams put infielders in the shallow outfield to catch line drives from Seager, and that won’t be allowed this year. Looking at advanced stats, Seager lost 58 base hits due to the shift since 2020, which leads all MLB players.

If he can maintain his home run total from a year ago and get his other offensive numbers to where they were earlier in his career, it could equal an MVP-caliber season for Seager, who can be had at FanDuel for +3200.


MLB Cy Young Sleeper Bet: Cristian Javier to Win AL Cy Young

The Houston Astros shouldn’t be too worried about Justin Verlander’s departure during the offseason.

While Framber Valdez (+2000 at Caesars Sportsbook) has higher odds in the AL Cy Young race, our eyes are glued on Cristian Javier, who has even better odds at +2500.

After posting a 2.45 ERA and striking out 194 batters in his third full season, Javier made a name for himself in the 2022 postseason.

Javier allowed zero runs and struck out 14 in 11.1 innings. More famously, he didn’t allow a hit to the Philadelphia Phillies in six frames; Astros relievers kept the zeroes flowing for the second no-hitter in World Series history.

Notably, all of Javier’s numbers have improved in each of his three seasons. Last year, he held hitters to a .170 batting average, and his 194 Ks were in just 148 innings of work. If he shoulders a load closer to 200 innings, his strikeout numbers could be among the league leaders, which should push him into Cy Young contention.

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