The Philadelphia Phillies made several outstanding moves this past offseason in an effort to get back to the postseason for the first time since 2011. Now the big question is, did the Phillies do enough to win the National League East and possibly reach the World Series for the first time since 2009? Philadelphia is currently listed at EVEN money to make the playoffs on the 2019 MLB odds and +1200 to lead MLB in wins.
The over/under win total for the Phillies is 89.5 as well, a number they have not surpassed in nearly a decade, which is also the last time they won their division and made it to the postseason. But buoyed by the additions of outfielders Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen along with catcher J.T. Realmuto, Philadelphia is poised to make a run at the NL pennant and could win a few individual player awards in the process.
For example, Harper is the +650 favorite to win his second NL MVP while starting pitcher Aaron Nola is the +700 third choice to take home the NL Cy Young Award. Nola beccame the ace of the pitching staff last season in going 17-6 with a 2.37 ERA. The 25-year-old LSU product is entering his fifth year in the majors and could be even better in 2019. He is +1600 to have the most wins in MLB, and his O/U total is just 13.5.
Meanwhile, the expectations for Harper are pretty high from a props perspective, but not as high as you might think. The O/U total on his home runs has been set at 34.5, which may seem low. But the 26-year-old Las Vegas native has topped 34 homers only once in his career, and that came in 2015 when he hit a career-high 42 with 99 RBI and 124 walks en route to winning his first NL MVP with the Washington Nationals. The problem for Harper has been staying healthy, as he has played more than 147 games only twice.
The American League equivalent of the Phillies might be the New York Yankees, the AL pennant co-favorites who are expected to be among the best teams in baseball, according to similar props available at sportsbooks. New York’s O/U win total is much higher at 96.5 on those 2019 MLB odds, and the team is a +350 co-favorite to lead MLB overall with the Houston Astros.
If the Yankees are going to take the next step in 2019, outfielder Aaron Judge will need to bounce back from an injury-plagued sophomore year in which he played just 112 games after winning AL Rookie of the Year with 52 homers and 114 RBI in 2017. Judge still totaled 27 homers and 67 RBI last season, but he is fully capable of being the most feared hitter in the AL if he can stay healthy and remain in the lineup throughout 2019.
Judge’s O/U totals for homers and RBI this year are 39.5 and 100.5, respectively. If he can top both of those numbers again like he did as a rookie, then he will definitely be in the running to win AL MVP for the first time in his career as the +700 third choice behind former winners Mike Trout (+150) of the Los Angeles Angels and Mookie Betts (+600) of the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox. Only one player has won back-to-back AL MVPs in the previous 24 seasons, and that was Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers in 2012 and 2013. Albert Pujols of the Angels is the last NL player to do it when he was a member of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2008 and 2009.
New York starting pitchers Luis Severino and James Paxton are two top contenders for the AL Cy Young Award too. Severino is the +850 third choice on those 2019 MLB odds behind favorite Corey Kluber (+375) of the Cleveland Indians and Chris Sale (+500) of the Red Sox. Paxton is +1800 and might be a nice value bet considering he has a powerful offense to support him unlike his previous team the Seattle Mariners, who scored the fifth-fewest runs in the AL last year. He started strong for the Mariners before fading down the stretch.