MLB Injuries: Long-Term and Short-Term Betting Impact

MLB Injuries: Long-Term and Short-Term Betting Impact

As we near the halfway point of the MLB season, you may be looking to assess your preseason bets. Perhaps, with some data points to look at, you are looking to make some new bets related to the World Series or individual awards. And, of course, you can always bet on games day by day, week by week. Injuries, like it or not, play a role in those decisions, so here are a few notable injuries and how they will, or should, impact MLB bets.

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Long-Term Looks

We start with two Dodgers who are now out of the end-of-season awards races, more than likely. First up, Yoshinobu Yamamoto. After a rough first outing in the Seoul Series, the newly-minted MLB pitcher was everything anybody could have hoped for. Through 14 starts, the Japanese hurler has a 2.65 FIP and 4.94 K/BB rate. He has also picked up six wins, of note for the archaic-minded awards voters out there, but it may be a while before he picks up his next victory. 

Yamamoto has been diagnosed with a strained right rotator cuff. That's not ideal for a right-handed pitcher. The best manager Dave Roberts could offer up is that the injury isn't season-ending. Yamamoto was an intriguing play for the NL Cy Young, but where this really matters is the NL Rookie of the Year award, where a favorite is now likely out of the mix. If you want a replacement long-odds play, Gavin Stone probably is locked into a rotation spot for the Dodgers now, and he has a 3.01 ERA and 7-2 record through 13 starts.

Then there's Mookie Betts. He's won an MVP before. Many argued he should have won another in 2023. Betts was at the forefront of the picture in 2024, and then Royals reliever Dan Altavilla hit him in the hand with a 98 mph fastball. Betts' left hand is broken. Roberts has said he will be out "for some time." When he returns, how will his hand injury affect his swing? You can count Betts out of the MVP race.

Of course, the Dodgers still have two MVP candidates in Shohei Ohtani and Freddie Freeman, which gets me to my final point. The Dodgers have an eight-game lead in their division and, as noted, neither of these injuries is expected to be season ending. Los Angeles' World Series odds should not be impacted, so if you see them dip, jump on that opportunity.

Short Hops

On a positive note, since those are rare in injury articles, Gerrit Cole could return from his elbow injury as soon as Wednesday. Once Cole is back, and until someone else gets hurt, the Yankees will trot out Cole, Carlos Rodon, Nestor Cortes, Marcus Stroman and Luis Gil. That's the best rotation in MLB. I would not want to bet against the Yankees ever, and they are going to be a good team to bet on most days.

Atlanta centerfielder Michael Harris has suffered a hamstring injury, adding him to the IL alongside Ronald Acuna, out for the season with an ACL tear. Too much Ramon Laureano is not a good thing for an MLB team. Atlanta hosts Detroit to start this week, but catch Tarik Skubal on Wednesday. That might be a good day to bet on the typically tame Tigers. Atlanta then heads to New York for a series with the aforementioned Yankees.

After picking up two hits Sunday, Brewers catcher William Contreras owns a .305/.367/.467 slash line. He's now got some of the shorter odds for NL MVP, and he's a big reason why the Brewers sit atop the NL Central (though it does help the rest of the division has struggled). However, catching is not for the faint of heart. When making the final out of a 5-4 win Sunday, Contreras was involved in a collision, and he had to be tested for a concussion. Maybe he won't miss any time. Maybe he misses a week. Maybe it proves serious. Gary Sanchez is Contreras' backup, and while he never lived up to the hype, he's one of the better backup backstops, at least.

Lastly, Corbin Carroll needs an MRI on his left side. He's struggled this season, and was already out of the various award races, but if you want to make some very specific Randal Grichuk-related bets, this may be your time. Good luck.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Morgan
Chris Morgan is a writer of sports, pop culture, and humor articles, a book author, a podcaster, and a fan of all Detroit sports teams.
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