Major League Baseball is introducing several rule changes this upcoming season in an effort to speed up the game. But will the rule changes also speed up runners on the base paths? Many experts expect stolen bases to increase with the new pitch clock and limits on holding runners. The uncertainty is creating a lot of variance on the MLB stolen base leaders betting market. Miami’s Jon Berti led baseball with 41 steals a season ago, but there are several other names ahead of him on the MLB futures odds board.
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MLB Futures Odds: Chaos on Base Paths and Stolen Base Betting Market
Odds Per DraftKings,
Adalberto Mondesi +600
Ronald Acuna Jr. +600
Esteury Ruiz +700
Cedric Mullins +900
Trea Turner +1100
Jon Berti +1100
Bobby Witt Jr. +1200
Julio Rodriguez +1400
Tommy Edman +1500
Randy Arozarena +1700
Adalberto Mondesi and Ronald Acuna Jr. might be atop the stolen base odds, but their 6:1 odds are bunched up with several other players. Their chances are also long enough to suggest that bettors expect significant variance in the stolen base predictions this year.
Both Mondesi and Acuna bring serious question marks given their track records. Mondesi will join the Boston Red Sox this year after spending the entirety of his career with the Kansas City Royals. He has been a prolific base stealer when healthy, but full seasons have been hard to come by for the 27-year old SS. Mondesi appeared in only fifteen games last season.
He played 35 games in 2021 and 59 in 2020, and has only played over 100 games in a season once in his career. That year was 2019 when Mondesi logged career high 43 steals in 102 games. Red Sox manager Alex Cora said he anticipates his team “playing fast whenever we can” this season, which could be good news for Mondesi. If he is able to play a full season in Boston he should be a top contender for the stolen base crown in 2023.
Ronald Acuna Jr. is also 6:1 to win the award. After beginning last season on the injured list, Acuna appeared in 119 games and posted 29 steals. His career high in steals was 37 in 2019. That season Acuna played in 156 games and was the last time he topped 100 games played in a season.
Those question marks add to the unclarity as to how the MLB’s new rules will impact steals. It certainly has Acuna excited. When commenting on his health, he told ESPN “I think my face says it all. I think it’s beyond two years at this point since I’ve felt completely healthy, so I’m beyond excited.”
If that rings true, Acuna will still have to top other big names on the MLB stolen base odds board, including Trea Turner (+1100), Julio Rodriguez (+1400) and last year’s champion Jon Berti.
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