We're slowing chipping away at the list of MLB futures for the upcoming season, having previously covered AL and NL MVP bets, Cy Young candidates, prop bets for Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, and more.
Today, we're digging into AL Rookie of the Year, a list spearheaded by a player we believe offers value at a plus-EV price.
Guerrero's one of the highest-touted prospects since ... yeah, it's been a while. Being the son of a former nine-time All-Star and AL MVP certainly helps the future Toronto Blue Jays star. So too does a 2018 season that yielded a .336/.414/.564 slash line at the Triple-A level, followed by a .351/.409/.442 line in the Arizona Fall League playing among other lauded peers. Guerrero is the real deal with a power stroke that could have the soon-to-be 20-year-old primed for a decorated career at the plate.
Projections aren't bashful for a player who will play his first major league game in 2019. FanGraphs' Steamer metric has the consensus No. 1 prospect good for a .306 average, 22 homers, 77 RBIs, and a 138 wRC+. The most pessimistic projection (ZiPS) still has the third baseman hitting .288 with 17 homers, 70 RBIs, and a 125 wRC+.
Guerrero, like most of the prized rookies in baseball, will bide his time in the minors as the casualty of a service time loophole. Once he's promoted, don't be surprised if he's separating from this category's pack sooner than later.
This is a pretty nice number on a starting pitcher who could chew up a good number of innings with the Oakland Athletics. He's certainly forcing the organization's hand this spring.
Luzardo, 21, has allowed a lone earned run with 15 strikeouts over the course of 9.2 innings in spring training. Over two seasons in the minors, he owns a 2.53 ERA, 1.014 WHIP, and a noteworthy 10.4 K/9.
Joining the Athletics in a 2017 trade that sent Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle to the Washington Nationals, Luzardo was the high-ceiling asset in the five-player deal. He's slowly climbed up the MLB prospect leaderboard and should be in contention for a spot in the back half of the rotation this year.
Playing in a pitcher-friendly park with all that upside, Luzardo is our favorite pitching candidate for the award.
It's been tough sledding for Tucker, the Houston Astros' top hitting prospect. He was miserable at the plate in his first 72 major-league plate appearances last season, slashing .141/.236/.203 without a homer. Buzz surrounding Tucker was quiet this spring, too, after he went homer-less in 13 games. But it shouldn't deter you from buying stock.
Remember: Cody Bellinger crushed 39 homers en route to NL Rookie of the Year in 2017 after hitting .207 with 20 strikeouts in 58 at-bats in spring training with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Tucker is in an eerily similar spot as a plus hitter who hasn't yet figured it out. He's still vying for a spot on the Astros' roster but offers plenty of upside with his raw power if he sees time.
Alex Kolodziej is theScore's betting writer. He's a graduate of Eastern Illinois who has been involved in the sports betting industry for 11 years. He can quote every line from "Rounders" and appreciates franchises that regularly wear alternate jerseys. Find him on Twitter @AlexKoIodziej.