After walking through the player pool for the fantasy baseball season, it’s time to switch gears to the betting market. My first stop is the American League Rookie of the Year awards. I used DraftKings Sportsbook as my point of reference for each player’s odds.
Before we look at my American League Rookie of the Year candidates, please familiarize yourself with my 2023 fade list. Also, my 2023 bounce-back players , deep sleepers, breakout hitter of the year, and extensive preview of all 30 squads are invaluable resources. Finally, our 2023 MLB breakout pitchers list digs deep to give you an edge on draft day.
3B Gunnar Henderson, Baltimore Orioles (+225)
Henderson is an enticing player this year while looking like he has a clear path to a starting job for the Orioles. He projects to have a 20/20 skill set out of the gate, but I question his ability to control the strike zone. I have him in the fade column in the fantasy market due to his draft cost, which also means I’m looking to beat him in this category based on his low odds.
OF Masataka Yoshida, Boston Red Sox (+600)
Yoshida has a proven floor in Japan and shined in the World Baseball Classic in March. I don’t see impact power with questionable upside in speed, requiring him to gain his edge by volume of at-bats in his rookie season in the United States. However, his approach grades well, indicating strength in his batting average.
SS Anthony Volpe, New York Yankees (+750)
A hot spring training and the New York fan base have pushed Volpe to the third betting chance over the last week or so. He looks poised to start the year with the Yankees, but Volpe must hit to keep the job. His glove and defense don’t have the edge over Oswaldo Peraza. Volpe brings a high upside in steals with a flyball swing path to the majors. There will be a learning curve in the majors, but I like his chances better than Gunnar Henderson if he sticks with New York all season.
1B Triston Casas, Boston Red Sox (+800)
After researching Casas, I took the stance that Boston would use him as a platoon hitter until he improves against left-handed pitching. I like his expected power, but this game isn’t ready to make an impact in 2023. Casas could hit more than 20 home runs with 450 at-bats, but the overall depth of his production probably won’t be high enough to beat the best first-time players in the American League.
SP Grayson Rodriguez, Baltimore Orioles (+1,000)
I expect Rodriguez to hit the ground running in his rookie campaign, but the length of his innings pitched could lead to him pitching minimally in September while his top competition for this award gains momentum late in the season. His odds and potential ceiling pair up well in the betting market.
Long Shot: DraftKings doesn’t have OF Esteury Ruiz of the Oakland A’s listed on the site, but I saw a +5,000 line at MGM Bet at the Mirage, and the Venetian’s sportsbook had Ruiz listed at +7,500 on their betting sheet (not sure of his actual odds at their location). Either way, Ruiz has impact speed, giving him a chance to lead the American League in stolen bases. In addition, he should handle the strike zone while also offering double-digit power. He is the player I’ll bet on in this category while I’m in Las Vegas to draft in the high-stakes market.
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